Comment of the Day (1): “Ethics Observations On Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 Halftime Performance”


Late last night produced not one but two clear-cut Comments of the Day. This is the first; another will be along any minute now.

Responding to the post about Beyonce’s use of the Super Bowl halftime show to glamorize black liberation politics, Isaac argued that while the violent and loud radicals and revolutionaries get all the headlines, it is the quiet, law abiding, dedicated “squares”—haven’t heard that word for a long time!—that get the job done. This is essentially the opposite of Clarence Darrow’s conviction that it is the law-breaking revolutionaries who cut through the Gordian Knot of the unacceptable status quo. The man he extolled in a speech making that case was murderer and terrorist John Brown—who would have loved the Black Panthers. [I was just now trying to give you a link to Darrow’s amazing speech about Brown, and can’t find one. Shame on you, Internet! It’s in my book, though…you can get a used one for less than 3 bucks…]

Here is Isaac’s Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics Observations On Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 Halftime Performance:

The bogus assumption often made is that the hippy/counterculture movement somehow brought about civil rights, since those two things happened at roughly the same time. This is wrong and those people should feel bad. It was decades of hard work by a whole lot of “squares” and a lot of stoically religious people, and the type of nonviolent and extremely effective form of resistance and racial healing preached by Dr. King that got the job done, at great personal cost. The stoner crowd and the violent, revolutionary factions like the Black Panthers were almost entirely counterproductive, but a lot sexier. So they are the ones romanticized today. Beyonce isn’t going to do a nostalgic dance number with Black women dressed as Baptists in flowery hats.

You can say the exact same thing about women’s lib, with the counterproductive and recklessly violent Suffragettes now being immortalized by a feature film, when in reality they set back the cause and mostly made fools of themselves while a whole lot of less angry, less showy, but more inwardly-powerful suffragists quietly labored for decades doing the hard work that actually paid off.

In both cases the ones who did all of the work have been forgotten in favor of the poseurs with cool costumes and catchphrases; the hangers-on and the attention-seekers, the SJWs of their time. Even the most famously effective of civil rights leaders, MLK himself, has fallen out of favor with today’s progressives, since his “judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” doesn’t square with the new Black Lives Matter/progressive mantra that minorities can’t be racist. Now we’re back to race wars for some reason. Women and minorities whose parents are worth millions, who attend elite schools, who have never known anything but privilege, are erasing the decades of progress that made their sheltered lives possible, for the most selfish reason imaginable: to feel cool and important.

Revolutions and culture wars are sexy; working hard and doing the right thing with good motives and an eye towards reconciliation and healing are not.


5 thoughts on “Comment of the Day (1): “Ethics Observations On Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 Halftime Performance”

  1. “For some reason”…that’s either kind, obtuse, or tongue in cheek, and I’m guessing the latter. The decline of race relations is 100% the doing of President Obama, Eric Holder and the Democrats’ disgraceful use of race-baiting to try to squelch legitimate criticism of the obvious incompetence of the Obama presidency. The damage to racial trust and accord is the single most devastating legacy of this President, and I can’t imagine a worse development for the country.

    • Amen. But they continue to pursue it because it’s worked very, very well for them over the last half century. They’ll keep right on until the political well runs dry. There’s little sign that is has.

  2. Thank you for the recognition!

    Another example occurred to me after posting that…William Wilburforce was one of the key figures responsible for the abolition of slavery worldwide, and was also kind of a huge nerd. There was an attempt at a movie about him, “Amazing Grace”, and I liked it, but it was undeniably boring. There’s only so much you can do to make years of endless Parliment debates cinematically thrilling. When I think of the kind of people who made a real difference in the world on that scale, like Wilburforce or my personal hero Norman Borlaug, what really impresses is their willingness to get up and do thankless, dull, repetitive work day after day for decades.

    • Thank you for reminding me that there are good people out there. Now that I think about it. I can name many people who daily do essential, thankless, ultimately powerful but unsexy work. They are the greatest defense we have against both political and personal evil.

  3. Excellent comment. You’re right, the people who have the least idea what they’re doing are the ones who are easily recognized and tend to be most heralded, because what they’re doing is simple and aggressive. That’s what most people can relate to, because they don’t have any idea what it takes to make a real difference either. Thanks for putting the Civil Rights Movement back in perspective.

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