Comment of the Day: Signature Significance: President Obama’s Farewell Speech Jumbo


I woke up this morning to not one but three Comment of the Day-worthy posts from readers, and there was already one waiting in the queue. We have to begin with this lovely post by Pennagain, in the discussion about President Obama’s remarkable conviction that U.S. race relations have improved on his watch, in defiance of all apparent evidence. ( Adding to the evidence countering the President’s self-serving delusion, a new Pew survey shows (among a lot of other things) that 75% of police officers report “increased tension between cops and the black community.” )

Here is the first Comment of the Day Of The Day, on the post, Signature Significance: President Obama’s Farewell Speech Jumbo:

My experience over the last four years – in my half-baked melting pot of a city – has been that the economic status has improved for self-identified non-whites who were already educated and on career paths. As far as social status goes, however, there has grown up a new “separate but equal” world mandated as Black which does not welcome non-melaninated visitors. This is not the Harlem of the 20s! It has a presence in nearly every neighborhood and does not require white financial investment, advertisement nor approval. It speaks its own language (particularly body language) that eschews the obviousness of Ebonics but has instead a sly, wry, deliberate anti-Establishment pronunciation to it that isn’t heard in the weekday workplace. Black people I did not previously so designate, those whom I have worked with for decades in many different jobs and at least three different professions, are not unfriendly; if anything, they are better comrades and easier bosses than ever before. But there is no longer any doubt that we will not be discussing Travon or Trump. The gates are closed.

There is a disconcerting barrier between us, one that has grown thicker and climbed out of sight into the clouds like that beanstalk. I just recently realized what it reminded me of: the subtly altered attitude of my schoolmates and their families after several Hungarian Jewish refugees came to stay with us. They were uncomfortable: we all were. The more our friends tried to admire us for taking in the “huddled masses” and be curious and generous and so very nice to the visitors — too thin, too serious, too correct, with bad teeth and halting English — the more our guests took on the airs and graces of equality in spite of all their needs. There was nothing defensive or superior about it; it was quite genuine: they saw themselves as immutably different, forever incomprehensible to everyone who was not them.

Meanwhile, back in the ghetto, Black Lives Matter gets a firm grip on the larger – and ever-growing larger – black underclass, those who couldn’t “discuss” their beliefs if they wanted to. And meanwhile, back in the Democratic clubs, the members plan their next demo and overthrow of their government, while giving lip service to all black demands: free black prisoners, block arrests of black drivers, black people can only be tried before all-black juries; pay a few thousand to each as reparations for their (automatic, if not genetic) slave ancestry; shore up the parity whether as affirmative action or freedom to cut into line at the movies (with compulsory 25% black-made films being given Oscars); and provide all the free services they already have but do not access because the givers are not … black…enough — free food, health care, education — and make sure there’s enough for the new immigrants, too.

No, I have not seen an improvement in “race relations.” On the contrary, I have seen everything black and white folks have ever tried to make work, separately or together, torn apart by selfish, stupid (educated stupid, which is the most dangerous of stupid), short-sighted, arrogant, cowardly, careless, intentionally deaf and demagogue-led lemmings and it makes me sick.

16 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: Signature Significance: President Obama’s Farewell Speech Jumbo

  1. Thanks, Jack. Having the honor of COTD is a welcome validation of thoughts and feelings near to my heart. In this case it is a spur to keep trying to climb that beanstalk.

  2. Agreed, PA. I’m convinced the intractable problem of the black underclass has driven any number of politicians and academics and “social activists” literally nuts. Since the declaration of the war on poverty in the ’60s, nothing has worked. Now people are coming up with all sorts of goofy theories to make the problem go away by saying its the fault of a million other things: disparate impact, over incarceration, the war on drugs, Jim Crow, lack of reparations, charter schools, the KKK, murderous cops, voter suppression, white privilege, lack of diversity, you name it. And it’s not a good trend.

    • Check out “The 13th” on Netflix. It’s a serious argument that the clause in the 13th Amendment (about forced labor and lack of freedom only being acceptable if you’re in prison for a crime) is in fact a “loophole” put in by racists so that slavery could continue in the form of mass, purposeful incarceration of Black people. I’m serious, it’s a legitimate, celebrated documentary; Alex Jones isn’t in it.

  3. “Meanwhile, back in the ghetto, Black Lives Matter gets a firm grip on the larger – and ever-growing larger – black underclass, those who couldn’t “discuss” their beliefs if they wanted to.”

    That’s actually a very salient point, one that isn’t unique to any particular demographic, and that I think needs addressing.

    I won’t even hazard a statistic, but I believe it to be likely that the vast majority of Americans (And Canadians, we aren’t immune) don’t actually understand politics, economics, or the law in much more than a cursory manner. I don’t think the average person at any protest would be able to with even a bird-taking-its-first-flight bumbling grace put into words the feelings that have them attending their event.

    The language, I think, of Joe Protester is that of fear. Fear of authority, fear of corruption, fear of lethal forces, fear of economic hardship… They don’t know what the answer is, hell, they might not even know what the problem is, they might not even identify their feelings as fear. They just have feelings, and feel a need to do something about them.

    It’s their right to do so, and I’d never say otherwise. But there’s a danger here… I find myself often drawn to the corrupting influence of having people agree with me. This might sound ridiculous, but it isn’t… If these people around me are those fearful people that don’t know what the answer is, don’t know what the problem is, and have feelings that just so happen to align with mine, it’s… hard…. to resist getting caught up in the tide and carried on to other positions those people have, just as ill informed, that I might not have come to on my own.

    While the possibility of this is absolutely prolific on both sides of the argument, I think (and I’m sure I’ll get disagreement on this) that this kind of thought permeates the left more frequently than the right… I think that for two reasons:

    First: The left often bribes their voters. Year over year, study after study shows that financial problems top people’s anxiety lists. More than terrorism, More than discrimination, More than death (sometimes, death usually wins.). And both of the parties have an answer for that! From the right, they say that reducing taxes will create jobs, and throttling immigration will reduce competition for those jobs. From the left, they say that they’ll do things like increase the minimum wage, regulate companies to pay better benefits, and lower welfare requirements. The reason I think that the left has a more appealing (if less convincing) case is because people are biased towards laziness and entitlements are much easier to collect than work is to earn.

    Second: It’s the logical following of an assumption. I assume that people who vote disproportionately have a deeper understanding of politics, economics and the law, because they understand the importance of those things and the effect voting has on them. The flipside of this is that people who don’t vote will disproportionately not understand politics, economics, or law, because they don’t understand the importance of them, and choose not to participate. The reason I think this proves that the prevalence of low-information voters is more prevalent on the left is the simple fact that the left tends to do better when voter turnout is higher: The logic applied being that means that when voter turnout is low, it’s because the left stayed home, and the assumption is that people that stay home probably tend to be less informed than people who show up. This is reinforced by phenomena such as how there’s a real trend for right-leaning politicians to underpoll their left-leaning counterparts in relation to votes cast (The assumption being the non-voter didn’t mind answering the phone, but couldn’t be bothered to vote).

    This is actually not a negative outcome, by the way… On the contrary. While some might say that the majority of the people want the left leaning candidate, and they’d be right, I’d argue that they don’t want it enough to actually show up to vote, and that’s good, because their vote is probably disproportionately the product of ignorance. It follows that I think mandatory voting is generally a bad idea, voluntary voting naturally self-selects against populations that don’t add depth to the process, without infringing on their rights.

    TLDR: People far too often are far too noisy about things they don’t understand, but at least we can take solace in the fact that their lack of understanding will tend to push them out of the process where their ignorance could effect me.

    • I killed some paragraphs for length and this ties up less succinctly for it. The intoxicating danger of being agreed with probably should have been a separate post from the joys of idiot voter-self removal, and they might have made more sense.

      • I, for one, would’ve loved to have read the longer version. I know lengthy posts turn off some, and this is a very subjective comment to make, but when the writer is clearly talented at defining their point as you are, even if it takes a few extra words to get there, the read still very satisfying for others to consume.

        It’s posts like this, along with Pennagain’s, posts that allow me to sit and chew on them for a while, and compare/contrast against my previously held thoughts, that keep me coming back every day.

        • They’d both be novels by the time I’d followed all the rabbits down the holes… The voter turnout topic especially. It’s one of those truths we don’t really like to talk about with but both sides have their treatment for. The right, hoping to discourage the cusp voters from showing up, makes it slightly harder to vote, hoping the additional hoops discourage them, and the left, hoping to pull in as many rubes as possible, have come up with creative and (call a spade a spade) ingenious way to try to pave the way for not just easy voting, but effortless. I don’t know about America, but up here in Canada, parties will literally pick you up from your house and drive you to a voting station.

          There are problems with both approaches… On the right, it’s impossible to deny that they’ll sometimes blatantly and purposefully target demographics that historically vote for their opponents, and sometimes stoop to actual infringement of rights. On the left, they take a more “vote early, vote often” approach to the problem, sometimes going so far as to not require a pulse to vote, never mind trivialities like citizenship. Which by the way has led to some of the stupidest positions on voter ID I’ve ever seen. Canada has voter ID laws, Mexico has voter idea laws (for fucks sake) This position that requiring prospective voters to prove they are in fact eligible to vote and not, you know, foreign, underage, dead or there for the fourth time that day is deranged (And while I’m at it, further proof that the left relies on people who would choose not to vote if only it was a little bit harder.).

  4. “This position that requiring prospective voters to prove they are in fact eligible to vote and not, you know, foreign, underage, dead or there for the fourth time that day damages democracy is deranged.

    I have no excuse. Mea culpa.

    • Humble Talent wrote, ““This position that requiring prospective voters to prove they are in fact eligible to vote and not, you know, foreign, underage, dead or there for the fourth time that day damages democracy is deranged.

      I have no excuse. Mea culpa.”

      Be it ever so humble (my education); I actually don’t understand the purpose of this comment.

      • It’s a reply to myself that didn’t nest properly. Or I fucked up. Either is possible. I missed the bolded words in my first iteration of it, and it completely changes the meaning of the sentence.

        • Thanks.

          I hadn’t read your comment above that one to make the connection yet that this comment was in the wrong spot and should have been a reply under your comment January 13, 2017 at 3:40 pm.

          Thanks for the clarification, I get it now.

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