A Niggardly Principle Quiz: The Politically Incorrect Statue

Jesuit-Missionary-Pierre-Jean-De-Smet-slu

A  statue in the middle of the campus of Saint Louis University, a private Jesuit institution, depicted famous Jesuit missionary Pierre-Jean De Smet S.J. praying over two Native Americans dressed in traditional clothing. There had been increasingly intense demands from some faculty and student activists to remove the statue. Summarizing the objections, a student editorial recently argued that the statue sent an unacceptable message to Native Americans and others that

“You do not belong here if you do not submit to our culture and our religion…The statue of De Smet depicts a history of colonialism, imperialism, racism and of Christian and white supremacy.”

[ The editorial also said that “As the protests surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner have shown us, just because racist policies are off the books doesn’t mean that racism is no longer practiced.” I am trying not to allow that fatuous, counter-factual and ignorant statement cause me to regard the writer and his piece as unworthy of serious consideration.]

Naturally, as is almost always the case, the spineless, path-of-least-resistance driven administrators at the university capitulated, and moved the statue into some museum.  Note that this is a Jesuit university, and teaching is one of the primary things that the Jesuit order does.

De Smet was a remarkable individual who, far from imposing his beliefs on Native Americans, began his obsession with starting far West missions for the native tribes in the U.S. after the Salish and the neighboring Nez Perce sent four delegations to St. Louis, where he was stationed, to find a “black robe” to live among them. They specifically sought a priest to teach them Christianity, which the Iroquois, who had been introduced to it much earlier, had told the other tribes was an inspiring religion. Eventually De Smet would travel over 180,000 miles throughout the Rocky Mountains and parts of the Pacific Northwest, interrupting his teaching to make an amazing 19 Atlantic crossings to raise money for the establishment of missions. He was respected and trusted by all the tribes that he worked with, so much so that in 1868 the U.S. government asked him to go into hostile Sioux territory to petition the Sioux to negotiate a peace treaty. He visited a camp of 5,000 warriors and met with Chief Sitting Bull, persuading the chief to agree to negotiations that did produce a treaty. In 1870, three years before he died,  De Smet established his first Sioux mission.

Wow. Sounds like a heartless racist, doesn’t he? Why would a Jesuit college in St. Louis ever want to honor a guy like him?

Ethics Alarms has two Niggardly Principles. The first declares that it is unethical to force a retraction of a statement or action because someone is offended due to their own bias or ignorance:

“No one should be criticized or penalized because someone takes racial, ethnic, religious or other offense at their conduct or speech due to the ignorance, bias or misunderstanding by the offended party.”

The second holds that no one should intentionally offend someone, even if the offense is unjustified, if it is not necessary to do so:

“When an individual or group can accomplish its legitimate objectives without engaging in speech or conduct that will offend individuals whose basis for the supposed offense is emotional, mistaken or ignorant, but is not malicious and is based on well-established impulses of human nature, it is unethical to intentionally engage in such speech or conduct.”

 Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Which Niggardly Principle  applies to the St. Louis University statue controversy?

My view: easy call. It’s the First Niggardly Principle. The complaints about the statue have no merit, and are political correctness at its worst:

1. This is a Jesuit school, and the statute honors a great Jesuit, doing the Order’s work, who was a friend and supporter of Native Americans. If current Native Americans, or their knee-jerk progressive allies, don’t know or understand that, a college’s duty is to educate them, not cater to their ignorance.

2. De Smet taught Indians, and the statue shows him teaching Indians. It makes him the center of the scene? Why yes, because it’s a Jesuit institution, he was an important Jesuit, and the statue honors him, not his students. The author of the student editorial darkly hints that De Smet may have been “a willing cog sent to convince the Lakota to sign the 1868 Fort Laramie treaty, a treaty which the U.S. government had no intention of fulfilling.” There is no evidence that the government had no intention of keeping the treaty agreements, just as there is no evidence that the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner were motivated by racism. Why are teachers allowing the bias and ignorance of students to make them reject one of their Order’s hero’s legacy?

3. The men who tried to educate the Native Americans and help them transition from a doomed primitive culture to an unavoidable dominant one were far-sighted and compassionate, and the tragedy is that there were not enough of them, nor enough Native American leaders with the wisdom to realize this was the tribes’ only chance. What happened to the stone age North American native culture was inevitable, and it’s time to stop indulging the fantastic victim-mongering about it. What was the alternative, for Native Americans to enjoy a property free, non-technological, “natural” existence in happy ignorance of the scientific, industrial and other advances in Europe until Hitler or someone as bad arrived and slaughtered them?

I know this is really unpalatable to diversity fanatics, but some cultures are inferior, and thus doomed to fail unless they can adapt. De Smet devoted his life to trying to help Native Americans adapt, and his reward is to have his statue insulted.

4. Is the style of the statue a bit triumphal by modern sensibilities? Sure. That was how statues were designed then. It’s art, and banning a statue because it displays the artistic sensibilities of a different time is a rejection of what art is about: the time, the subject, the artist, and a thought. I’d think a respectable university would want to teach that, too.

In fact, it is obligated to.

________

42 thoughts on “A Niggardly Principle Quiz: The Politically Incorrect Statue

  1. To add to the irony, De Smet, if anything, represents how relations between the natives and the settlers should have been; a peaceful exchange of ideas, culture, and knowledge. Indeed, De Smet detested how the natives were treated by the settlers and the US government (having even done his part in trying to get the various tribes to stop fighting each other as opposed to the US government’s strategy of “divide and conquer”).

    On a side note; George Leslie Mackay, a Canadian missionary who brought Presbyterianism to Taiwan in the late 1800s, is still quite fondly remembered for his various works, even though Christianity there seems to have topped out at less than 5% of the population.

    • “To add to the irony, De Smet, if anything, represents how relations between the natives and the settlers should have been; a peaceful exchange of ideas, culture, and knowledge.”

      Exactly, Julian. This is what really burns me: it’s historical air-brushing to lock in a simplistic, black and white interpretation of a long, complex, probably unavoidable process in which the lesser culture was either going to evolve and merge with the dominant one or die, and the valiant and compassionate figures like DeSmet are recast as villains because they tried to ease the transition. Because stubbornly insisting on tradition and stasis is such a smart strategy…

  2. “I know this is really unpalatable to diversity fanatics, but some cultures are inferior, and thus doomed to fail unless they can adapt.”

    Well boys and girls, we won’t hear that worthy sentiment anywhere else, will we?

    I call the diversity crowd’s view on this the Least Common Denominator theory of culture. They won’t be happy until the crudest aspects of the worst cultures are revered by all. Completely moronic. It’s kind of like the socialists and communists saying, “Hey, great idea, let’s ALL be poor!”

    I’m stunned the Jebbies running St. Louis University cowered. I’ve been told the Anti-Vietnam protest era at Notre Dame was fairly short-lived. There was a big “protest” on the main quadrangle. Father Joyce, Fr. Hesburgh’s (aka Hess) enforcer, took the microphone of the guy who was leading the protest and said something along the lines of “Anyone who’s still on this quad three minutes from now will be expelled.” And three minutes later the Anti-Vietnam protest era at Notre Dame came to an end.

    I wasn’t there and only heard the story second or third hand.

    Who knows, maybe social justice warriors are running SLU these days. ND is fairly infested with them.

    • Yes, you correctly picked out the money quote, and I dearly hope there are enough bold Ethics Alarms contrarians out there who will try to defend the opposite position. Especially where it concerns primitive native cultures. I’d like to know how else the world was going to develop, what better scenarios for these cultures over the long term would evolve? Read some of the comments in the College Fix article I linked to…

      • Oooh, here’s a good one from the college fix article:

        “The statue’s removal comes just months after controversy broke out at the Jesuit campus over a proposed statue to commemorate a six-night sit in that served as an extension of protests in nearby Ferguson.

        After donors threatened to pull donations over the proposed statue, the university walked back the original intent of the statue, saying it would instead highlight the university’s values of diversity and inclusion.”

        Another question: Why are the students content with the statue’s removal? Shouldn’t the entire campus be removed from Native American land?

        Which reminds me. When the Bidwell family was negotiating with a tribe near Phoenix to build a new football stadium on their reservation, an article proudly stated the stadium would be “the first NFL stadium built on Native American land.” To which someone replied, “Aren’t they all?”

  3. What a great opportunity to paint 2 targets on my back!

    As most here know, I am a liberal. I have long had great concerns for the welfare of the original Americans (please don’t split hairs about the REAL original Americans who were the migrating tribes who came across from Asia, down through the Alaskan peninsula, etc., etc. — yes, I know about them) who were displaced, infected, disrespected, marginalized, killed, and denigrated by some — not all — of their colonizing conquerors. I have felt that we have not done a great job of making reparations for the damage that we as the dominant race have inflicted upon them.

    THAT said, as a Catholic, I am — in general — proud of what some individual representatives of the Church have done over the centuries to help with education, health care, and other services to the original Americans. Some have continued to use prayers to the Great Spirit as a way to ease the understanding of the similarities between the various belief systems. Surely, some made mistakes in their zeal. But in general, the influence of the Church has been to help make life better. (I am conflicted when I think of movies such as “The Mission” — set in South America, but same difference — in which there are no doubt truths, half truths, and fabrications, but it is after all a movie, not a documentary.)

    When I started reading this post and saw the photo of the statue, it made me uncomfortable in its depiction of apparent superiority of the priest. But I liked your explanation, Jack, about the artistic sensibilities of different generations of artists.

    What bothers me about such instances as SLU is that capitulation robs the situation of a teachable moment — for both sides — and an opportunity for dialogue and conversation, exploration of ideas and challenges. Kind of what higher education should be doing, eh?

    And what a difference a NEW statue could make, one with more modern artistic sensibilities, where there could be an equality of cultures!

    • I didn’t consider that last option. PAW, and you’re right. Although I sure wouldn’t want to be on the committee choosing the design. And talk about teachable: I am ashamed to say that I had no idea, before researching this, what an amazing figure that Jesuit missionary was.

  4. So, I’m reading along and nodding my head to this perfectly reasonable post – until I hit this:

    “…some cultures are inferior, and thus doomed to fail unless they can adapt.”

    What!?!

    I have run into this argument over the years many times, and I have come to believe it is some combination of meaningless, ignorant, and racist.

    Let’s start with “meaningless.” By what possible definition is one culture “superior” to another? Can you similarly tell me why one gender is superior to another? Why one language is superior to another? Why one skin color is superior to another? Why one art form is superior to another? Why classical music is “superior” to jazz? Why one age is superior to another? Why Presbyterianism is superior to Catholicism? These are all similar, I believe, to the claim that one culture is superior to another.

    There is only one meaningful definition, and it’s the one you gave – might makes right. The Darwinian solution. Adapt or die, and he who dies is inferior. Winner take all. Last one standing wins.

    The problem is – this is supposed to be about ethics, right? I cannot imagine a less ethically tinged definition of culture than one based on the power to overwhelm other cultures. By that definition, ISIS is the up and coming superior culture, just as were the English when they trumped up charges in the Opium Wars to overcome the “inferior” Chinese culture. (I assure you the Chinese are laughing now at the obviously “inferior” British culture, as measured by military and economic power). How bizarre is it to claim that because Europeans took over native American lands and effectively decimated their populations that this act of brutal force itself constitutes proof of a ‘superior’ culture?

    The point is, “superior” and “inferior,” when applied to groupings of people, are almost always self-applied. The Japanese – especially the traditionalist, right-wing, royalist factions– feel their culture is superior, that westerners are ignorant and rude and that they smell. The British invented the term ‘White man’s burden,’ and have an extraordinary history of arrogance and disdain for various forms of ‘natives.’

    This notion of cultural superiority and inferiority is, I’ll suggest, generally shouted out by nations who have, for some period of time, been “on top” in terms of economic and military might. And it’s largely the province of the right wing, whether it’s Germany, Japan, Britain, the US, or Barbados.

    As for “racist,” I think it’s self-evident. In Germany, the belief in their superior culture led, and still leads to, xenophobia and belief in things “aryan.” In France, cultural arrogance shows up in bizarre attempts to exclude ‘foreign’ words. In Japan, it shows up in weird laws about import tariffs, because “foreign” goods are obviously inferior.

    If history shows anything, it’s that cultural hegemony is transitory. Look at the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Spanish, the British, the Japanese. All have been “overcome” by other cultures. Were the Barbarians superior because they sacked Rome? Was Genghis Khan superior? Do you really want to claim the culture of Walmart is superior because it contributes to overwhelming the culture of small mom-and-pop stores?

    This argument just makes no sense; it is short-sighted, and its effects are racist. The belief that a culture is “inferior” to another doesn’t belong in here.

    • You’re just dead wrong, Charles, and I submit you can only believe what you just wrote if you don’t think about it very hard.

      A positive and successful culture maximizes the happiness, freedom, human potential, achievements and contributions of the human race and civilization of those who live within that culture. There is nothing racist, irrational or unfair about making such a judgment, or holding a culture inferior that does not measure up. Arguing that all cultures are equal in value, health and postive effects on the world is like–exactly like—arguing that every pair of individuals are equally strong, healthy and talented. That all cultures believe in their own virtues is irrelevant. We have valid objective standards if we dare to acknowledge them.

      You don’t seriously believe that radical Islamic culture is equally admirable to mainstream US culture, or that Jim Crow culture in the South isn’t inferior, or that the culture of Mao’s China, Soviet Russia and Nazi German deserve a shrug and a “different strokes for different folks.”

      Native American culture, like all nomadic, non-industrial cultures was a great culture as long as the world stayed primitive, populations didn’t move, and life stayed still. It doesn’t, and it didn’t. That means it was a dead-end, doomed culture.

      Of all the self-imposed delusions of liberals, the all-cultures are equal one is the most disingenuous, the most crippling, and the silliest. You are too smart to hold on to it. It’s demonstrably nonsense.

      • I NEVER SAID they were equal. That is your spin, not mine.

        I simply said the “inferior/superior” rubric does not apply. “Equal” would just be another spot on the same continuum. I reject the whole stupid continuum.

        Again, it makes no more sense to say women are “equal” to men than it does to say they are superior or inferior. Ditto music. Ditto arts. Ditto language.

        The whole entire continuum of “superior/equal/inferior” is flawed; don’t try to put me on that continuum by claiming I said “equal,” I didn’t – you did. It’s all irrelevant, a non sequitur, a category mistake.

        They are, just, different.

        • That’s just semantics. “Equal” is, in my view, claiming equivalency, as in “10 dollars equals 100 dollars.” I define culture as what civilizations decide is right and wrong, good and bad, admirable and deplorable, what conduct should be encouraged, and what must be discouraged. Cultures can’t be “different” without one being able to measure those differences.

          Is slavery inferior as a value to universal freedom? Is educating women superior to forbidding it? How about child marriages and female circumcision? Why debate ethics, if it’s just “different strokes”? I repeat: you may believe that there is something wrong with saying out loud what is unfortunate but true, but it is still true, and I’d advise embracing it. There are good cultures and bad ones, which means there are inferior and superior cultures unless you think good=bad. And I know you don’t.

    • The more I think about it, the more I think: Oh, come ON. Why has North America so far outstripped South America in all accompolishments, standards of living, stability of governnments and economic success, even though the lower continent has better weather and resources? It’s culture, Charles. South was dominated by oppressive, authoritarian, Spanish and Porugese Catholic culture; North was settled and molded by English culture and philosophical values. Why are all the illegal immigrants coming in THIS direction, if those cultures work just as well? Is it unreasonable to say that illness, unemployment and poverty resulting from a culture proves that the culture is inferior? Of course not.

        • Give CG credit for being consistent, but holy cats. How anyone can deny the influence of culture on, well, everything boggles the mind. It really is an example of refusal to accept a fact that undermines comfortable but false beliefs.

      • A very slippery slope, Jack. Take the US South and North in the 1860s. At the same point in history, one culture supported slavery and one didn’t. By your logic, that would make one culture “inferior.” That of course would the South.

        And what are we make of that? Does it suggest we should replace statues of Confederate heroes in Alabama with statues of Lincoln? How would it go down in Tuscaloosa to have you justify such a thing on the grounds that their culture was inferior?

        What, seriously, is the purpose of claiming that one culture is “inferior” or “superior” to another? If it is to be used in arguments as trivial as the symbolism of statues, it strikes me as unnecessarily inflammatory – the equivalent of using a .45 to kill a mosquito. An un-winnable debate with all kinds of collateral ill-will guaranteed to result.

        And let me ask again, because it hasn’t been answered: How is this different from claiming that one gender, art form, or language is “superior” or “inferior” to another? What useful comes from making such inflammatory and unprovable assertions?

        • 1. I don’t see the statue argument at all. The fact that a culture is fatally flawed doesn’t mean every aspect of it is without worth or should be erased from memory and history. That’s what the political correctness zealots argue when they want to stop showings of “Gone With The Wind. Communist Russia had Prokofiev and Nabakov. that doesn’t validate the whole culture.

          2. “What, seriously, is the purpose of claiming that one culture is “inferior” or “superior” to another?” The purpose is identifying “best practices.” I know you know the difference between good and bad corporate cultures. Why is this different? The Apple culture is superior to the Enron culture. The legal profession’s culture is superior to the Hollywood culture. We make those value judgments—-they aren’t claims, they are facts—because they make better behavior possible, why else? I was in Africa at an international bar conference, and the African lawyers and judges unanimously identified the continent-wide culture that accepts bribery and corruption as acceptable and traditional is the #1 reason the nations, all of them can not meet their potential or achieve stability. What’s the point of calling such a culture inferior rather than “different”? 1. Because it is. and 2. Saying so is the first step in fixing it.

          3. Gender, art forms and language are apples, oranges and pineapples, and Culture is unlike any of them. A gender tends to be better at some things and not at others. Women are better at breast-feeding, men are better at pissing up a rope. Art forms are a matter of taste and utility. Language has a function:the best language allows the most accurate communication. English is a superior language, and we know this because it has become the most used language, internationally, by far. Speaking of language, cultures that have one language spoken by everyone are superior to those that have 50 dialects, divided by class and region. Why? Because everything works better that way. It’s pretty simple.

          Cultures that encourage unstable families and communities, discourage innovation and initiative, seed bad habits, cruelty, disrespect for law, learning and life are bad cultures, and inferior to many, including ours. You know it. What are you afraid of, hurting people’s feelings?

          • Jack, your own examples undercut your point.

            “The legal profession’s culture is superior to the Hollywood culture.” According to whom? You must be aware of the annual Gallup and Pew Research polls which routinely rank lawyers in the bottom half of honesty and trustworthiness, so your assertion is at the very least suspect. Unless you can show me a poll of Hollywood folks who assert that lawyers have the superior culture.

            “English is a superior language.” That is a howler. First of all, your justification for that statement is knee-jerk right back to “might makes right,” because you say “it is the most used language.” Let’s start with – it’s not. There are more native Mandarin and Spanish speakers than English.

            Second, regarding English as the global language of trade and business, do you think for a moment that might have to do with the two most recent global economic powerhouse imperialistic cultures, i.e. Great Britain and the US?

            Third, no one who studies languages would EVER choose English as the most efficient or effective language – look at the ridiculous rules of pronunciation. It got there because to do business in the world you have to speak the language of money and power – which for the past century or two has been English. Nothing to do with ethical superiority – nothing.

            Finally, try saying, “English is a superior language” in Paris.

            The simple, simple truth about all these things is what you said about gender: some things work better in one [category] than another. Men are better at some things, women at others; English is more efficient than French (though less so than Latin]; French is great for poetry, German for chemistry. American culture is great for pop and slang and business; Japanese for forming harmonious groups and collaboration.

            How can you say in one breath that one culture is “superior” to another, and then in the next breath assert that the purpose is to identify “best practices?” If a culture has a few best practices, then it’s certainly got a number of practices that ARE NOT best. What about them?

            What if another culture has ITS OWN best practices? By what measure, and by whose standard, are we to weigh those “best practices” to determine the overall champion of “superiority?”

            You know the old jokes about national identity:

            –Heaven is where the cooks are French, the police are British, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and everything is organized by the Swiss.
            –Hell is where the cooks are British, the police are German, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and everything is organized by the Italians.

            The point is simple and obvious: every culture is a mishmash of good and bad. To reduce everything to one label is all kinds of wrong. It reminds me of those ugly Americans who show up at every global sporting event boorishly shouting “We’re number one” at every opportunity – have a little grace, y’all.

            • Just to begin, it really puzzles me that you continue to make this desperate and doomed argument, and I wonder why. I know you don’t tell corporations, “Well, now, Enron’s culture and Dewey LeBoef’s and Arthur Andersen’s cultures had some good things about them too! They were just different, not inferior!” Why do you make an equally fanciful argument about national cultures? My best guess is that you are unconsciously twisting your brain into pretzel shapes to avoid accepting the fact that the American black culture is a basket case, and that’s why African Americans continue to frustrate educators, law enforcement officials, sociologists and policy-makers with the glacial rate of their progress in the US. But that’s just a guess.

              1. You can’t seriously use public polls about professions the public relentlessly doesn’t understand as an accuarte or fair measure of culture. I have written about public misunderstandings on that score too often: yes, the public thinks thte fact that lawyers defend guilty people is a sign of corruption—so what? That’s ignorance, and no reflection on the actual culture at all. Moreover, I have never seen a poll of the perceived trustworthiness of professions that included show business. If there were one, I would bet that Hollywood falls well below lawyers. In the last Gallup poll I could find quickly—it doesn’t change much–lawyers were low but more or less equal with bankers, TV and print journalists, local officials, business executives, and way ahead of members of Congress, lobbyists, ad execs, and, of course, car salesman. Yet I have a hard time believing that any of these occupations would publicly support and defend the likes of Roman Polanski, a child rapist, in their midst. Hollywood literally has no ethics in its culture at all. Journalists, Congress, state and local officials, and business executive and especially lawyers have codes of ethics and compliance codes that they can be judged against and held accountable to. Not Hollywood. Not anywhere in show business; I know: I offered to the DC theater community gratis supervision of creating one. They laughed. Of course the culture of the law is superior to that of show business. Ask Corey Feldman. Ask Paul Petersen. Ask SMP.

              2. Yes, Charles, Mandarin is a superior language to English because so many people have been born into communities that speak it. Do point me to the literary products of Mandarin speakers that have been deemed worthy by world culture of translation into every other language, like, say, the works of Shakespeare.

              3. French citizens sued the US for damages to their property occasioned by our liberation of their pathetic country from the Nazis. I don’t give a franc what the French say, think or do at this point.

              4. “The point is simple and obvious: every culture is a mishmash of good and bad. To reduce everything to one label is all kinds of wrong. It reminds me of those ugly Americans who show up at every global sporting event boorishly shouting “We’re number one” at every opportunity – have a little grace, y’all.”

              Yes, and serial killers love puppies, and Bernie Madoff provided for his family, and Charlie Bird and Richard Wagner were great musicians, and Richard Nixon was a foreign policy ace, and Mussilini made teh trains ran on time. That’s no argument. Saying a culture is superior doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and saying one is inferior doesn’t mean it is worthless or without redemption. Straw man. I love my Persian rugs…that is irrelevant to the overwhelming evil of current Iranian culture, which is a toxic one, and thus objectively inferior.

              If you are talking about manners, sure: it’s bad manners to tell the truth lots of times. It’s bad manners to call an idiot an idiot, though eventually it’s best if he or she knows, as well as everyone else, so there’s no mistaking what an idiot sounds and acts like.

              • Just checked: Gallup’s 2014 version of that poll, which came out in December, showed essentially no relative change, except that lawyers were the only occupation that improved its positive standing over the previous year. Every other one declined. Make of that what you will: I make nothing of it at all.

              • Jack,
                You’re picking extreme cases – Iran, Polanski, Enron, Madoff, serial killers. No argument. But your original point was about native americans – I submit, a vastly different and more complex kettle of fish.

                If you want to demonize Madoff or Charles Manson, hey I’m there with you – the world needs to talk about Hitlers from time to time lest we forget.

                But an entire race?

                You theorize that I am “unconsciously twisting your brain into pretzel shapes to avoid accepting the fact that the American black culture is a basket case.”

                This is an important point. There are plenty of African Americans who will all-too-painfully admit that black american culture is seriously dysfunctional on many dimensions: not just out of wedlock births and hoodlum worship, but deeper afflictions like black on black racism, self-hatred, male-female relationships, and of course father issues.

                You seem to think there’s a resistance on the part of black people to “admit” this, and the lack of admission is a barrier to change. So here’s some interesting data:
                —–
                “Racial bias begins astonishingly early: Even infants often show a preference for their own racial group. In one study, 3-month-old white infants were shown photos of faces of white adults and black adults; they preferred the faces of whites. For 3-month-old black infants living in Africa, it was the reverse.

                “Many of these experiments on in-group bias have been conducted around the world, and almost every ethnic group shows a bias favoring its own. One exception: African-Americans.

                “Researchers find that in contrast to other groups, African-Americans do not have an unconscious bias toward their own. From young children to adults, they are essentially neutral and favor neither whites nor blacks.

                Banaji and other scholars suggest that this is because even young African-American children somehow absorb the social construct that white skin is prestigious and that black skin isn’t. In one respect, that is unspeakably sad; in another, it’s a model of unconscious race neutrality.
                ————

                [This is from some research published in Psychological Science, at
                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2566511/
                the above extracted from a column by Nick Kristof.]

                Not only does this give the lie to your accusations about the Ohio legislator in that “racist baby” post of a few months ago (the lady was right, as I suggested), but more importantly, it shows that you’ve already “won” the battle to make black people think their culture is inferior. They’ve internalized it to a frightening degree – it’s the only culture whose youngsters don’t have an outsized sense of pride.

                So I suggest you stop screaming “Inferior” at entire cultures – it truly doesn’t do any good, and it’s already achieved a lot of harm.

                There are ways to be very constructive and very critical : they have to do with being specific and prescriptive, rather than categorical and judgmental. As you point out, it’s a target rich environment; just use a rifle, instead of a howitzer.

                • Still don’t get your point, Charles. I didn’t say the race was inferior. I didn’t say anything about the race at all. Races have all sorts of cultures over time, good, bad, fatally flawed. Nor have I suggested that the N-A culture(s) were unethical, although there were some pretty awful ones, like the Aztecs. I said they were doomed to fail, and a culture that doesn’t work and can’t work—won’t last, or keep its population happy and thriving—is an inferior culture. By definition. Res Ipsa Loqitur. There isn’t a single such culture anywhere in the world that has thrived as the rest of civilization has advanced. The proof is in the pudding.

                  • If you want to disagree over whether a particular culture is inferior, that’s legit. But you originally, I thought, were disputing that cultures CAN be superior to each other.

                  • Which is a point I mentioned. Charles’ left-wing thinking has him stuck on race=culture.

                    Until he is disabused of that and disabused of the strawman that “When I say good, I mean 100% good and when I say bad, I mean 100% bad”, then he won’t see.

                    • Which by the way, the last point is compounded even further over time. Some cultures change. And to be very precise, it’s not the cultures that change, rather the people change which culture they adhere to. They scrap old cultures and adopt new ones over time (though the new ones often possess many of the values of the old ones while adapting new ones).

                      Which is why it is worthy to note:

                      Until recently (that is to say until the Left forced the chimera of “multiculturalism as a value” down our throats) America had AN EXTREMELY effective penchant for scrapping that which does not work and adopting that which does when encountering different cultures – and vice versa, keeping what was better in American culture and not adopting that which wasn’t from the different culture.

                      American cowboys VERY quickly dumped their English/northern European derived horseback skills for the horseback skills of the Spanish vaqueros in the Southwest.

                      American colonists VERY quickly dumped their European derived warfighting skills for the ranging/ambushing tactics of native americans while not adopting native american warfighting technology.

              • This is probably going to strike you as strange, but I have the greatest respect for attorneys possible. Theirs (and yours) is a profession laced by it’s nature with contradictions, and yet they (and presumably, you) navigate the minefield almost daily. In addition, this profession has taken the time and considerable effort to compose and refine a set of ethics rules that are fair to both the public, whom we all serve, and the individuals who have gotten crossways to the rules set up, more-or-less, by that public. If I had been charged with that task, I think it likely I would have eaten my pistol (it ain’t chocolate). My kudos to you and your profession.

            • English IS a superior language precisely because it is so variegated. As an English teacher once told me, English is one third Germanic, one third Romantic and one third everything else! Sure, that makes it a hard language to learn, as it’s highly inflected and contains many obsolete facets. However, for those same reasons, it is also the most flexible and expressive major language going. The “purer” tongues may be easier, but they likewise are skewed to a particular nation’s point of cultural view and cannot express the nuances of meaning as well as English. It’s not by accident that English is the principle language of the arts and entertainment category and has been since the days of Shakespeare.

          • “1. I don’t see the statue argument at all. The fact that a culture is fatally flawed doesn’t mean every aspect of it is without worth or should be erased from memory and history.”

            Because Charles’ argument CANNOT allow for the nuanced view that “All good things are not 100% good and All bad things are not 100% bad”

            That kind of intricate and discerning thinking simply does not exist within the average Leftist’s strawmen that they invent…

    • “Let’s start with “meaningless.” By what possible definition is one culture “superior” to another?”

      Erm, one simple definition is one that more readily creates the conditions necessary for individuals to maximize their happiness with no impediment, while creating a minimum of barriers to ensure individuals don’t arbitrarily impede others for no good reason.

      Something tells me that “rape cultures” are inferior to “non-rape cultures”. Something tells me that slave owning cultures are inferior to non-slave owning cultures. Something tells me that suicide-bomb-encouraging cultures are inferior to non-suicide-bomb-encouraging cultures.

      “Can you similarly tell me why one gender is superior to another?”

      False analogy.

      “Why one language is superior to another?”

      Yes: some languages lack the words that convey the meanings that which other languages possess. Most languages, in fact, lack words that other languages have which capture entire, nuanced and useful meanings. I would submit, therefore, that a SUPERIOR language would have MORE words conveying as many necessary and useful meanings as possible than another language.

      “Why one skin color is superior to another?”

      False analogy.

      Though understandable to jump to this when you view the world through the racist lenses of a Left Winger’s glasses. Though you be born to skin color which cannot readily change without artificial processes, and though you may be born *into* a specific culture, unlike skin color which won’t readily change, your particular culture can change if you so, through your own volition, choose to do so, with no *artificial* means.

      “Why one art form is superior to another?”

      On a macro scale, “art forms” are not “culture”. Though a particular culture may have a particular art form it is known for producing, when we discuss culture, in this instance, we are discussing values not products.

      Now, find me a product that actually communicates a value or a lack thereof, then we can discuss whether or not a particular art form is superior. But that is micro scale. On the macro, art is a matter of taste, not of value.

      False analogy as you use it.

      “Why classical music is “superior” to jazz?”

      See above.

      False analogy.

      “Why one age is superior to another?”

      False analogy.

      “Why Presbyterianism is superior to Catholicism?”

      Aha, now we are getting somewhere, as religion/philosophy is a key component of culture, we CAN use certain values that certain religions promote to evaluate specific cultures. Death-cults and/or suicide-inducing-cults are undoubtedly inferior to Life-cults or Charity-cults.

      ”These are all similar, I believe, to the claim that one culture is superior to another.

      No, not at all. And if you think so, we have a ponderous task ahead of us in educating you.

      “There is only one meaningful definition, and it’s the one you gave – might makes right. The Darwinian solution. Adapt or die, and he who dies is inferior. Winner take all. Last one standing wins.”

      That is, in no way, the conclusion you can derive from Jack’s commentary. That is simply bug-eyed hysteria. Try again.

      Though, when you have no arguments, poisoning the well is a great fall back position.

      “The problem is – this is supposed to be about ethics, right? I cannot imagine a less ethically tinged definition of culture than one based on the power to overwhelm other cultures.”

      Strawman. Well-poisoning. Keep it up…

      “By that definition, ISIS is the up and coming superior culture, just as were the English when they trumped up charges in the Opium Wars to overcome the “inferior” Chinese culture. (I assure you the Chinese are laughing now at the obviously “inferior” British culture, as measured by military and economic power).”

      Zzzzzzzzzzz. Wake me up when something relevant can be found (that is to say, something that isn’t built entirely off of the strawman you composed above to obfuscate the fact that you are incredibly confused on this topic)

      “How bizarre is it to claim that because Europeans took over native American lands and effectively decimated their populations that this act of brutal force itself constitutes proof of a ‘superior’ culture?”

      As a matter of fact, he didn’t claim that because Europeans edged out Indians the culture is superior, but rather that Europeans edged out Indians because the culture was superior.

      Now here takes a discerning eye and a very very adept one at that. Nothing I will assume you possess.

      Take one of the top ten rules for evaluating people or peoples:
      Good people are not 100% good. Bad people are not 100% bad.

      When European culture (not people) wiped out Indian culture (not people), THAT WAS INEVITABLE…and it was because the culture was superior. Not the other way around, as you assert that because Indian culture was wiped out European culture was superior. That’s the logical fallacy of Asserting or Affirming the Consequent.

      Nay. The people that adhered to European culture had embraced more effective food production techniques, more effective societal organization, more effective war-fighting tech, more effective communications and transportation tech as part of European culture. The people that adhered to Indian culture did not.

      You are conflating the people with the culture. This is an error.

      Now, apply the rule I stated above…did European culture clearly flub along the way and engage aggressively when not necessary? Sure.

      ”The point is, “superior” and “inferior,” when applied to groupings of people, are almost always self-applied.”

      So? The Indians applied it to themselves also. Though self-descriptors are subjective, they all reach for an objectively definable standard.

      ”The Japanese – especially the traditionalist, right-wing, royalist factions– feel their culture is superior, that westerners are ignorant and rude and that they smell. The British invented the term ‘White man’s burden,’ and have an extraordinary history of arrogance and disdain for various forms of ‘natives.’”

      Yeah, ok… that doesn’t undo the notion that there is an Objective and Transcendent standard of “Perfect Culture” to which everyone seeks to attain, though many fall grossly short and few, though falling short, come closer to.

      ”This notion of cultural superiority and inferiority is, I’ll suggest, generally shouted out by nations who have, for some period of time, been “on top” in terms of economic and military might.”

      Yeah, those “on top” certainly may crow about it, but everyone feels it about themselves or they change. Who thinks themselves inferior that don’t also try to change? Gads…do you even think about what you posit?

      ”And it’s largely the province of the right wing, whether it’s Germany, Japan, Britain, the US, or Barbados.”

      Lumping the American “right wing” with the Old-World “right wing” is about the most ignorant thing a human being can do. They are very different creatures.

      However, the Left, no doubt believes their “culture” is superior also. They just have invented a culture that pretends to be trans-national, when in reality it is a self-serving culture also.

      Which leads to where you stumble into abject confusion on this topic:

      ”As for “racist,” I think it’s self-evident.”
      It isn’t necessarily racist.

      You cannot choose your race, but you can, though being born into one, choose your culture.

      Conflating the two, though easy and generally accurate (especially in the Old World you Lefties extol), is utterly inept.

      If, in 1845, you said Southern Culture is inferior, you’d be right, though saying that John Shmedlap, from Atlanta is inferior, you’d very easily be wrong. John Shmedlap may be the most ardent abolitionist in his town.

      ” In Germany, the belief in their superior culture led, and still leads to, xenophobia and belief in things “aryan.” In France, cultural arrogance shows up in bizarre attempts to exclude ‘foreign’ words. In Japan, it shows up in weird laws about import tariffs, because “foreign” goods are obviously inferior.”

      Yeah, this, however, isn’t an argument against identifying particular cultures as “superior” or “inferior”. This is an argument against what you choose to do towards those cultures once you identify them as “superior” or “inferior”. It is safe to say, that once you identify a culture as “inferior”, that doesn’t authorize unjust treatment of individuals who come from or adhere to that culture.

      Which rounds us out to your earlier objections about what happened to the Indians.

      ”If history shows anything, it’s that cultural hegemony is transitory. Look at the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Spanish, the British, the Japanese. All have been “overcome” by other cultures. Were the Barbarians superior because they sacked Rome? Was Genghis Khan superior? Do you really want to claim the culture of Walmart is superior because it contributes to overwhelming the culture of small mom-and-pop stores?

      This argument just makes no sense; it is short-sighted, and its effects are racist. The belief that a culture is “inferior” to another doesn’t belong in here.”

      I’m glad you rounded out your argument by reiterating your well-poisoning strawman. It makes my sign off easier:

      Your argument is rife with fallacy and poorly thought out premises.

        • “Let’s start with “meaningless.” By what possible definition is one culture “superior” to another?”

          Erm, one simple definition is one that more readily creates the conditions necessary for individuals to maximize their happiness with no impediment, while creating a minimum of barriers to ensure individuals don’t arbitrarily impede others for no good reason.

          Something tells me that “rape cultures” are inferior to “non-rape cultures”. Something tells me that slave owning cultures are inferior to non-slave owning cultures. Something tells me that suicide-bomb-encouraging cultures are inferior to non-suicide-bomb-encouraging cultures.

          “Can you similarly tell me why one gender is superior to another?”

          False analogy.

          “Why one language is superior to another?”

          Yes: some languages lack the words that convey the meanings that which other languages possess. Most languages, in fact, lack words that other languages have which capture entire, nuanced and useful meanings. I would submit, therefore, that a SUPERIOR language would have MORE words conveying as many necessary and useful meanings as possible than another language.

          “Why one skin color is superior to another?”

          False analogy.

          Though understandable to jump to this when you view the world through the racist lenses of a Left Winger’s glasses. Though you be born to skin color which cannot readily change without artificial processes, and though you may be born *into* a specific culture, unlike skin color which won’t readily change, your particular culture can change if you so, through your own volition, choose to do so, with no *artificial* means.

          “Why one art form is superior to another?”

          On a macro scale, “art forms” are not “culture”. Though a particular culture may have a particular art form it is known for producing, when we discuss culture, in this instance, we are discussing values not products.

          Now, find me a product that actually communicates a value or a lack thereof, then we can discuss whether or not a particular art form is superior. But that is micro scale. On the macro, art is a matter of taste, not of value.

          False analogy as you use it.

          “Why classical music is “superior” to jazz?”

          See above.

          False analogy.

          “Why one age is superior to another?”

          False analogy.

          “Why Presbyterianism is superior to Catholicism?”

          Aha, now we are getting somewhere, as religion/philosophy is a key component of culture, we CAN use certain values that certain religions promote to evaluate specific cultures. Death-cults and/or suicide-inducing-cults are undoubtedly inferior to Life-cults or Charity-cults.

          ”These are all similar, I believe, to the claim that one culture is superior to another.

          No, not at all. And if you think so, we have a ponderous task ahead of us in educating you.

          “There is only one meaningful definition, and it’s the one you gave – might makes right. The Darwinian solution. Adapt or die, and he who dies is inferior. Winner take all. Last one standing wins.”

          That is, in no way, the conclusion you can derive from Jack’s commentary. That is simply bug-eyed hysteria. Try again.

          Though, when you have no arguments, poisoning the well is a great fall back position.

          “The problem is – this is supposed to be about ethics, right? I cannot imagine a less ethically tinged definition of culture than one based on the power to overwhelm other cultures.”

          Strawman. Well-poisoning. Keep it up…

          “By that definition, ISIS is the up and coming superior culture, just as were the English when they trumped up charges in the Opium Wars to overcome the “inferior” Chinese culture. (I assure you the Chinese are laughing now at the obviously “inferior” British culture, as measured by military and economic power).”

          Zzzzzzzzzzz. Wake me up when something relevant can be found (that is to say, something that isn’t built entirely off of the strawman you composed above to obfuscate the fact that you are incredibly confused on this topic)

          “How bizarre is it to claim that because Europeans took over native American lands and effectively decimated their populations that this act of brutal force itself constitutes proof of a ‘superior’ culture?”

          As a matter of fact, he didn’t claim that because Europeans edged out Indians the culture is superior, but rather that Europeans edged out Indians because the culture was superior.

          Now here takes a discerning eye and a very very adept one at that. Nothing I will assume you possess.

          Take one of the top ten rules for evaluating people or peoples:
          Good people are not 100% good. Bad people are not 100% bad.

          When European culture (not people) wiped out Indian culture (not people), THAT WAS INEVITABLE…and it was because the culture was superior. Not the other way around, as you assert that because Indian culture was wiped out European culture was superior. That’s the logical fallacy of Asserting or Affirming the Consequent.

          Nay. The people that adhered to European culture had embraced more effective food production techniques, more effective societal organization, more effective war-fighting tech, more effective communications and transportation tech as part of European culture. The people that adhered to Indian culture did not.

          You are conflating the people with the culture. This is an error.

          Now, apply the rule I stated above…did European culture clearly flub along the way and engage aggressively when not necessary? Sure.

          ”The point is, “superior” and “inferior,” when applied to groupings of people, are almost always self-applied.”

          So? The Indians applied it to themselves also. Though self-descriptors are subjective, they all reach for an objectively definable standard.

          ”The Japanese – especially the traditionalist, right-wing, royalist factions– feel their culture is superior, that westerners are ignorant and rude and that they smell. The British invented the term ‘White man’s burden,’ and have an extraordinary history of arrogance and disdain for various forms of ‘natives.’”

          Yeah, ok… that doesn’t undo the notion that there is an Objective and Transcendent standard of “Perfect Culture” to which everyone seeks to attain, though many fall grossly short and few, though falling short, come closer to.

          ”This notion of cultural superiority and inferiority is, I’ll suggest, generally shouted out by nations who have, for some period of time, been “on top” in terms of economic and military might.”

          Yeah, those “on top” certainly may crow about it, but everyone feels it about themselves or they change. Who thinks themselves inferior that don’t also try to change? Gads…do you even think about what you posit?

          ”And it’s largely the province of the right wing, whether it’s Germany, Japan, Britain, the US, or Barbados.”

          Lumping the American “right wing” with the Old-World “right wing” is about the most ignorant thing a human being can do. They are very different creatures.

          However, the Left, no doubt believes their “culture” is superior also. They just have invented a culture that pretends to be trans-national, when in reality it is a self-serving culture also.

          Which leads to where you stumble into abject confusion on this topic:

          ”As for “racist,” I think it’s self-evident.”
          It isn’t necessarily racist.

          You cannot choose your race, but you can, though being born into one, choose your culture.

          Conflating the two, though easy and generally accurate (especially in the Old World you Lefties extol), is utterly inept.

          If, in 1845, you said Southern Culture is inferior, you’d be right, though saying that John Shmedlap, from Atlanta is inferior, you’d very easily be wrong. John Shmedlap may be the most ardent abolitionist in his town.

          ” In Germany, the belief in their superior culture led, and still leads to, xenophobia and belief in things “aryan.” In France, cultural arrogance shows up in bizarre attempts to exclude ‘foreign’ words. In Japan, it shows up in weird laws about import tariffs, because “foreign” goods are obviously inferior.”

          Yeah, this, however, isn’t an argument against identifying particular cultures as “superior” or “inferior”. This is an argument against what you choose to do towards those cultures once you identify them as “superior” or “inferior”. It is safe to say, that once you identify a culture as “inferior”, that doesn’t authorize unjust treatment of individuals who come from or adhere to that culture.

          Which rounds us out to your earlier objections about what happened to the Indians.

          ”If history shows anything, it’s that cultural hegemony is transitory. Look at the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Spanish, the British, the Japanese. All have been “overcome” by other cultures. Were the Barbarians superior because they sacked Rome? Was Genghis Khan superior? Do you really want to claim the culture of Walmart is superior because it contributes to overwhelming the culture of small mom-and-pop stores?

          This argument just makes no sense; it is short-sighted, and its effects are racist. The belief that a culture is “inferior” to another doesn’t belong in here.”

          I’m glad you rounded out your argument by reiterating your well-poisoning strawman. It makes my sign off easier:

          Your argument is rife with fallacy and poorly thought out premises.

          • One of the best lessons I learned from consulting happened in my mid-30s. I was vigorously arguing in the lunchroom with another young VP the merits of centralization vs. decentralization as a corporate form. I forget who was on which side.

            A passing SVP eavesdropped for a minute, then looked at us with disgust and said, “You guys are completely wasting your time on a metaphysical, quasi-religious debate that can never be resolved. Both your clients should kick you out if you try that crap.”

            We looked at him blankly, and he explained, “You’ll never help or convince a client with that argument; you’ve got to ground it in reality, make it specific. You have to say centralization or decentralization is better WITH RESPECT TO SOMETHING. You want to claim one is better for innovation? Then you can have a discussion. You want to claim one is better for cost savings? Communication? Production facilities? R&D? Then you can actually say something. But you guys are blathering about angels on the head of a pin – nothing at all. It’s a waste of time – and it’s annoying on top of that.”

            He was right, and I’ve found it very useful ever since to ask, what problem are we trying to solve, and for what issue is this advice to be tailored?

            Which is how I look at the idea of one culture being “superior” to another. (Never mind that ‘culture’ itself is so vastly more complex than decentralization for starters). It’s a supremely un-useful concept unless you anchor it in something specific.

            And “superior with respect to the advancement of humankind” or some such isn’t much better, it’s just more vagueness piled on vagueness.

            There’s nobody on the other side of the slavery argument these days, and I doubt anyone reading this blog wants to argue for a culture of beheadings. Denouncing those cultures is a strawman precisely because nobody in this discussion is going to take the other side. That’s shooting fish in a barrel – try something a little more contentious and specific to be meaningful and useful.

            You want to talk about a culture that is superior at creating a healthcare system? That would be meaningful. A culture that is superior at creating capitalist innovation – that’s meaningful. So are things like showing a respect for elders; organizing efficient supply chains; achieving respected legal systems; establishing a connection with the environment; respecting religious diversity; solving the free-rider problem; achieving a low crime rate; facilitating inter-‘tribal’ relationships.

            Those are all examples of where it would be meaningful and useful to talk about a superior or inferior culture. You yourself touched on one about cultures open and not open to new agricultural insights – and then flotched by immediately jumping to “superior culture because” rather than leaving it at the perfectly reasonable “superior culture with respect to.”

            There are only two exceptions I can think of: if you’re willing to define superiority purely in terms of force – survival of the fittest, i.e. survival becomes ex post facto evidence of superiority (e.g. superiority with respect to war-making technology and tactics), then you get to count genocide as values-defining. (A less contentious version of this would be, “Who’s the greatest major league baseball team of all time?” Clearly it’s the Yankees, because they’ve won more titles. End of argument.)

            [An aside about the Pilgrims example: if you visit Plimoth Plantation, you’ll learn that the Pilgrims had right at hand a plentiful supply of fresh protein – lobsters. But their culture was such that they despised them as fit only for pigs and for fertilizer. Fortunately, Squanto gave them a second chance with alternatives. Does that mean the Pilgrims had an inferior culture and just dodged a bullet? I’d suggest it means they had a culture with a potentially fatal flaw, and lucked out.]

            The other exception is if your objective is to gratuitously insult people and throw red meat to the home town lions. Telling people they shouldn’t resist a statue because, after all, their culture is inferior, may be meaningless, but it’s also inflammatory. It’s roughly on par with “Jews are animals” and “your mother sucks.”

            Like my SVP said: if you’ve got something of substance to say, say it, and don’t pull punches. But if it’s gratuitous, meaningless and just pisses people off, maybe you shouldn’t say it. (Or maybe it was my mother who said that…)

      • Thanks for clarifying, even tardily, some things that I was less precise about than I should have been, especially given the importance of the topic. As an aside, and as I said to Charles, his stubbornness on this issue mystifies me. Mainly, I am thrilled that you clarified this:

        “When European culture (not people) wiped out Indian culture (not people), THAT WAS INEVITABLE…and it was because the culture was superior. Not the other way around, as you assert that because Indian culture was wiped out European culture was superior. That’s the logical fallacy of Asserting or Affirming the Consequent. Nay. The people that adhered to European culture had embraced more effective food production techniques, more effective societal organization, more effective war-fighting tech, more effective communications and transportation tech as part of European culture. The people that adhered to Indian culture did not.”

        Thanks. I gave Charles an opening when I wrote that the fact that European culture succeeded by thriving and surviving and Native American showed its inferiority by doing neither as soon as a superior culture was evidence of why I said that Native American culture was inferior. I also said that the survival of the fittest applies to cultures, which is true, but as you say, the fact that they prevail isn’t what makes them superior, the superiority makes them prevail.

        I don’t see how Charles, or anyone, can rebut that. How can someone say that a culture isn’t inferior if the only way it could have survived is if it was isolated from any alternative or different culture that had a progressive, productive, expansive, adaptive, technological world view? Or when a hypothetical world where Native Americans still controlled the Americas would have doomed the entire world over time? It’s the Natural Man fallacy, which is a tautology: Nature is good, ergo the Natural Man culture is good. Why? Because it’s natural. What’s natural? Why, the Natural Man, living with nature. But it is the nature of man to reach beyond the bounds of nature. The self-restriction of the Natural Man was unnatural in a crucial and fatal way.

        Great post.

        • I’ve just read over Tex’s essay and it was indeed excellent. It illustrates that a prime factor in a culture’s viability is its adaptability to changing conditions, while retaining the basic values that made that culture superior from the onset. Often enough, that HAS involved borrowing words and concepts from lesser creeds that simply work.

          The Pilgrims were stymied in their attempts to farm in the cold, rocky soil of Massachusetts using methods that worked in England. Their Indian allies showed them how to place fish heads in the soil to increase the fertility. Without that simple, effective procedure, the colony would have likely perished.

          Much has been said about the inferiority of a slave holding culture. Aside from the moral aspect, every such culture must live in perpetual fear of a slave revolt. Indeed, it was the the John Brown raid on Harper’s Ferry that sparked off the War Between the States. In the South’s case, however, the bulk of the slaves were owned by either large landholders or warehousing concerns, where mass cheap labor was an advantage. Ironically, it was the war itself that served to change that concept of racial superiority that existed on both sides. Southern black men served unofficially in the Confederate Army from the very onset. Later, they served officially, even while technically still slaves. Had the South prevailed, slavery’s end would have followed soon afterward. There would have been too many veteran freedmen around! The average Southern citizen was no fool… just stubborn about outsiders telling them what to do.

          Just two points. but there are a plenthora of others. Why do otherwise successful cultures fall? They lose faith in themselves when they allow their core, defining values to lapse. One symptom of that debilitating moral disease is what we now refer to as “political correctness” and “multiculturalism”.

  5. Fascinating. Obviously, these young students are totally ignorant of most historical, sociological, psychological and anthropological aspects of Native American (as Patrice noted, they are no more native than the average white guy is) culture as it is humanly possible to be. Also ignorant of the history of their own religion.

  6. An interesting short documentary that just showed up on my FB news feed. It’s about Red Cloud High School, a Jesuit Lakota school:

  7. Here’s the crux of the matter. Why shouldn’t a Jesuit sponsored school have a statue to the most famous Jesuit of that locality who accomplished so much for his faith and calling? Why should any administrators remove such a statue at the demands of people who are actively hostile to the Christian faith and, thereby, to all that the school supposedly represents? This is insanity! If those so-called educators have any integrity at all (doubtful) then they should withdraw from Jesuit sponsorship. Maybe they should likewise proclaim Allah as their God and seek funds from Mecca. I’m sure they’d be forthcoming!

  8. And look at the take of Media Matters, which never met a progressive cause that it didn’t think was beyond reproach or question. This is the web equivalent of Paul Begala, Lanny Davis or Debby Wasserman Schultz, but with less integrity, honesty and fairness. And it is wholly part of the Hillary army—which would be enough to oppose her even if she was otherwise as honest as Abe.

  9. I am saddened by the fact that the Jesuits caved into this p.c. nonsense. “I am offended. . .” seems to be a powerful weapon in the hands of the secular left. I guess the statue brings back memories of The Spanish Inquisition or Cortez or something else. I am not a Catholic although I occasionally give money to an Indian School in South Dakota. Maybe the secular left should consider doing that!!!

  10. Having missed the sweet spot timing for this discussion I will still contribute later this evening.

    Charles’ initial foray into trying to sound logical left too many open and uncorrected errors.

  11. So yes, the media is likely talking about Tim Tebow. But shouldn’t we be at liberty that helpful ideas dog enrolled in college Football is Tim Tebow, the ultimate leader, the fifa 16 hack ultimate team player and operating nice guy and not the poisonous T.O? Shouldn’t we be very glad that Tim Tebow doesn’t drink and drive, abuse anybody, get in fights or shoot himself in the shin bone? I mean come on, during spring break when most college kids are getting drunk and doing God knows what Tim Tebow was at the Philippines performing surgeries and preaching to orphans.
    fifa 16 hack http://creditsfut.com/

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