1 There is another one of those hybrid ethics stories coming out of Oregon. Cross oppressive political correctness with racial-offense hypersensitivity with Lena Dunham-like totalitarian-minded progressives itching to report “wrong-thinkers” to authorities with organizations punishing individuals for private speech they did not intend to make public and what monstrosity do you get?
This: a white conductor and festival artistic director fired by a music festival after he was overheard talking to a black friend in a fake Southern accent and saying, “Do you want some grits?” or words to that effect.
A white woman standing nearby reported to Oregon Bach Festival officials that British conductor Matthew Halls had made a racist to his black American friend, classical singer Reginald Mobley, who grew up south of the Mason-Dixon line.
The festival immediately fired Halls, despite the fact that Mobley protested that there was nothing racist in the exchange (grits aren’t racist, Southern accents aren’t racist, joking between friends isn’t racist…) that the two frequently mocked each other’s accents, that Halls was not a racist and didn’t intend the remark as a racist slur, and that Mobley didn’t take it as such. Never mind! Halls’ four-year contract with the festival as its artistic director was terminated, with a spokesman saying in part,
“The University considers many factors when deciding whether to continue a contract. Regarding Reggie Mobley, it doesn’t appear he was involved in the University’s decision. Having said that, it would be inappropriate for the University to disclose details about a personnel matter.”
I’m not going to explain in any detail what and who are unethical in this fiasco, because I shouldn’t have to. Halls is a victim. The woman who reported him after eavesdropping is worse than merely unethical: she is an evil-doer, someone who sets out to hurt other people to feel powerful. She either never heard of the Golden Rule or doesn’t accept it. (Maybe she IS Lena Dunham!) The festival’s conduct is unfair, uncaring, cowardly and irresponsible. It deserves to have its artists boycott the festival in support for Halls, but since artists tend to be leftists of the knee-jerk variety, addicted to virtue-signaling and with the depth of analysis exhibited by the typical dachshund, I wouldn’t expect any colleagial support if I were the conductor.
If you have functioning ethics alarms, it will be obvious that the episode was disgusting and unjust, and why. If the festival’s conduct makes sense to you, then I’m afraid you’re hopelessly corrupted.
2. Morning Warm-Up may yet morph into “stories that are so irritating I can’t stand writing full posts about them.” Take this one, for example: at small liberal arts school Reed College, a mandatory humanities course on ancient Mediterranean civilizations was canceled after student protesters kept interrupting the class to protest “Eurocentrism.” Western culture has been, like it or accept it or not, the beacon of world civilization, and even those who (idiotically) choose to deride or reject it need to understand the history and forces that brought us to where we are today—where we are today being a time when weak and incompetent college administers refuse to assert the indispensable fact that students are there to learn, not dictate to their elders.
My favorite part of this story: to accommodate protesters, the Reed administration agreed to allow adverse students to stand surrounding lecturers in the course. “The general understanding was that the protesters would be allowed to continue as long as they didn’t interfere in the lecture period”…as if forcing lecturers to teach under such circumstances isn’t inherently interfering, as well as intimidating to the teachers and other students.
Colleges and universities that cannot respond more effectively and professionally to such unethical bullying by extremists don’t deserve to exist at all. If you don’t want to learn about Western civilization, go to another school, probably in California. If you disrupt the learning experience of other students, you should be expelled.
3. Someone signed me up for e-mails from the Democratic National Committee. It’s the worst junk-mail imaginable, but occasionally receiving it is enlightening, as in “Wow! The party has sunk to even more depraved levels than I imagined possible.” From my mailbox (NOTE: This is actually the version from Powerline, because I can’t seem to transfer mine, being inept at screenshots)…
It’s difficult to lie much more blatantly than this in an e-mail:
a) The Supreme Court is not in session, and thus not issuing “rulings.”
b) The Court issued an order yesterday in Abbott v. Perez, a case involving Texas redistricting, saying only this:
The application for stay presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is granted, and it is ordered that the order of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, case No. SA-11-CV-360, entered August 24, 2017, is stayed pending the timely filing and disposition of an appeal to this Court.
c) In other words, the Court isn’t ruling on the merits of the case in any way. As is the usual course, it is staying a lower courts order that is being appealed to SCOTUS, pending the Supreme Court’s disposition of the case.
d) Justice Gorsuch is no more the deciding vote than any other justice who voted for the stay. Justice Alito is the logical one to hold accountable, since he proposed the stay to the court. Calling him and the President “bigots” is just gutter politics.
d) Misidentifying the stay, and worse, informing gullible party members that it is “allowing racial gerrymandering in Texas” is beyond irresponsible, dishonest and incompetent, it is intentionally inflammatory.
When I checked around the web to research this despicable “alert,” I discovered that lawyer John Hinderaker had received the same e-mail, and was properly incensed. He concluded his post on the subject thusly:
“It has been a long time since I have been a fan of the Democratic Party. But the hate speech to which the Democrats–not a few renegade party members, but the Democratic Party itself–now resort, is utterly beyond the pale. The leaders of the Democratic Party must understand that the wild charges they fling against people like Neil Gorsuch are not just false, but crazy. But they don’t care: power is their sole object. We are living through a sad epoch in the history of our republic.”
4. Most protests, I’d say more than 90%, are pokes in the eye or primal screams that use bumper-sticker generalities and half-truths at best, reducing civic discourse to its lowed and crudest denominators. Exhibit A: Colin Kaepernick. Exhibit B: the protesters at Fenway Park last night who dropped this over the Green Monster in the 4th inning of yesterday’s game:
To be fair, it should be observed that Red Sox owner John Henry begged for such a disruption by calling for former Sox owner—and savior of the franchise—Tom Yawkey to be dis-honored because he wasn’t as enlightened about race as today’s social justice warriors who had the benefit of an extra forty years of enlightenment, experience and history. The approximately 36,000 fans who paid to see a baseball game and not be assaulted by grandstanding jerks (technically they were in the Monster seats, not the grandstands) did not ask for incoherent political lectures, however.
The fans and their banner were ejected from the park. Good.
5. Yesterday the New York Times ran a front page story about how U.S. government responses to major storms had improves greatly, based on the evidence of Harvey and Irma. Guess whose name didn’t appear anywhere in the 1600 word story. Come on, guess. Trump. When Katrina caused death and chaos, the news media flayed President Bush, though it was clear even then that the main culprits were New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. When the response to Superstorm Sandy was botched, criticism of President Obama was muted and nearly non-existent. Now the response to not one but two major hurricanes has been rapid and competent, but the President of the United States is deemed not worthy of mention, much less praise.
Got that? If a storm response is inadequate, the Republican President is to blame, but the Democratic President isn’t. If the storm response is effective, then the Republican President had nothing to do with it. Requiring a bit more clarification: would the latter be true of any Republican, or just Donald Trump? Recall that his wearing a “USA” hat while visiting the Houston was deemed worthy of attack in the Times, but the fact that few people dies than expected had nothing to do with his administration at all.