1. Mainstream media journalism, 2020. I thank Tim Levier for this classic, from NBC News:
Fake news. First, the Court did NOT rule that Trump cannot end DACA. The opinion by Chief Justice Roberts said explicitly that he can. Second, “Dreamers” were not legal immigrants so they cannot magically become legal immigrants. At best, they will be illegal immigrants who have been given a pass for their violation. The tweet is deceptive, misleading, and incompetent.
2. Cancellations, Resignations and Topplings Update! The current list of entertainment celebrities and politicians who have been documented as wearing blackface for one reason or another is long, and if one falls to the mob, the rest might start feeling awfully nervous.
The list includes Justin Trudeau, Ralph Northam, Howard Stern, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Joy Behar, Sarah Silverman, Ted Danson, Gigi Hadid, Julianne Hough and Billy Crystal. Right now rumors are swirling around the irredeemable Jimmy Kimmel, who has suddenly announced a hiatus, with many speculating that he is holding on to his job by a thread…and if he goes, the innocuous Fallon may be next. Though Stern, Kimmel and Behar are blights on the culture whose professional demise I would cheer, long past blackface dabbling should not be used to punish any of these people now….except perhaps the Virginia Governor. Northam is a special case, because his party is wildly hypocritical to allow him to escape accountability when it is cheering on the mobs. However, again, a law school costume has no relevance to the Governor today.
As for Trudeau–I don’t care.
3. Cancellations, Resignations and Topplings Update, Literary Division. At the Poetry Foundation earlier this month, leadership was forced to resign because its official grovel to Black Lives Matter and the George Floyd mob was deemed not abject enough. The Foundation had issued a brief, four-sentence statement on June 3, expressing “solidarity with the Black community” and declaring faith in “the strength and power of poetry to uplift in times of despair.” This prompted a critical uproar from the progressive poets, with another letter from members calling the statement “worse than the bare minimum” and an insult to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African-American victims of police violence. The foundation’s president and board chairman then quit, because, I suppose, poets are lovers, not fighters.
“As poets, we recognize a piece of writing that meets the urgency of its time with the appropriate fire when we see it — and this is not it,” the letter said. “Given the stakes, which equate to no less than genocide against Black people, the watery vagaries of this statement are, ultimately, a violence.”
Genocide! Talk about poetic license.
4. Cancellations, Resignations and Topplings , Maoists at Work. In San Francisco, rioters and activists went on a cultural bulldozing orgy last night, defacing and toppling monuments to Union general and former President Ulysses S. Grant, the Catholic saint Junipero Serra, “Don Quixote” author Miguel de Cervantes, and “Star Spangled Banner” author Francis Scott Key.
The attack on Grant’s honor shows that the anti-American motives of this mob has little to do with civil rights, or history, or logic. Grant defeated the Confederacy, which has supposedly been the boogie man justifying most of the statue toppling until recently. Ron Chernow, author of the recent biography “Grant,” has explained that Grant “was the single most important figure behind the Reconstruction process in the South and presided over the Fifteenth Amendment, which gave blacks the right to vote, and landmark civil rights legislation outlawing discrimination in public accommodation. The imperishable story of Grant’s presidency was his campaign to crush the Ku Klux Klan, which tried to overturn the Civil War’s outcome and restore the prior status quo.”
My son is named after Grant, incidentally.
5. Cancellations, Resignations and Topplings, continued…Not quite as Maoist, but close—perhaps more Soviet-style?—was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who ordered the portraits of four previous House Speakers removed from the U.S. Capitol Building . The justification is that all four men later joined the Confederacy. The four are Robert Hunter of Virginia, who served as speaker from 1839 to 1841, Howell Cobb of Georgia (1849 to 1851), James Orr of South Carolina (1857 to 1859), and Charles Crisp of Georgia (1891 to 1895).
All were Democrats. Pelosi’s statement was characteristically fatuous:
“This Juneteenth must be a day of reflection that moves our nation to finally confront and combat its long and shameful history of systemic racial injustice targeted at communities of color. That is why, this week, I have ordered the removal of portraits of Confederate leaders from the U.S. Capitol and, earlier this month, renewed my call for the removal of statues of Confederate soldiers and officials displayed in this hallowed space. The halls of Congress are the heart of our democracy and should reflect our highest ideals, not memorialize men who embody racism, bigotry and hatred.”
No, the Capital represents the entire history of the United States and Congress, in all its complexities, and must not have large chunks hidden from the public because censors like Pelosi fear facts. And I vow to defend her statue, when a future movement tries to topple statues and monuments of toxic assholes in our history.
The U.S.’s tenth President, John Tyler, joined the Confederate Cabinet. I’m waiting for Disney to announce that his audio-animatron is being banished from the Hall of Presidents.
6. I saw this one coming! As soon as I read the book review of “Cult of Glory,
The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers” by Doug J. Swanson, I thought, “Uh-oh. How long before the mob demands that MLB’s Texas Rangers changes its name?”
The book apparently documents how, contrary to myth, legend, and the Lone Ranger, in the course of their nearly 200-year history “Rangers burned peasant villages, slaughtered innocents, busted unions and committed war crimes. …They were as feared on the United States-Mexico border as the Ku Klux Klan was in the Deep South. They hunted runaway slaves for bounty, and violated international laws with impunity. They sometimes moved through Texas towns like a rampaging gang of thugs.”
So far, the MLB Rangers are refusing to cave.
7. And yet, there is hope! Apparently even the Washington Post’s progressive readership recognized how unethical the paper’s decision was to make a satirical Halloween costume at a private party two years ago “news” to shame its wearer (and the Post’s own editorial cartoonist), and enable the vendetta of two obsessed social justice warriors “of color.” (The EA post is here.)
John Sexton of Hot Air summed up the response so I didn’t have to read more of the Post than would be good for me. “The comments section is overwhelmingly full of people who think the article was a mistake,” he writes. Among his highlighted responses:
- “An appropriate Post followup to this personal attack might be an apology on page 1, above the fold, in the Washington Post print edition together with a job offer at a salary 10% or so above that of the job the article cost her.”
- “A manufactured witchhunt on stale news. Free pub!”
- “Black Lives Matter … Blackface a party two years ago with an explanation of the character does not matter.”
- “What a terrible thing to do to a private person, for no discernible reason. Awful lapse in judgment by the Post.”
- “I have to admit, the more I let this article sink in, the more disgusted I become with it. My comments were fairly mellow at first in the sense of ‘people make mistakes…move on’. Now, I’m really actually very angry at these two women and the WaPo for publishing this as news as opposed to a gossip column. Dear Editors of the WaPo, please print an apology or retraction. This is TERRIBLE journalism.”
- “To have some random woman dragged in your pages over a 2-year old insensitive action at a party, then lose her job (so casually mentioned in the article) is not the mission of this, or any, news organization. Examine not only the last step in this path (the publishing), but also all the previous steps that led to so many people at your company thinking this was a good idea.”
- “I am black. This article is cruel. A big mistake. I don’t care if some private person made an ill attempt at satire by wearing black face to a Halloween party. This was a private incident between private people who have little to no power. Shame on the Washington Post for publishing this.”
- “If the point of the story is too demonstrate insufferable self righteousness, it was a success.”
- “Wow – have read probably hundreds of comments here and don’t ever remember seeing them as one-sided as this. Deservedly so.”
- “Blackface is bad, yet somehow this article is worse.”
- “Seeing the Post publish this ridiculous article is like watching someone you respected and admired stumble out of a door naked and drunk, to then defecate in the street.”
And so on.
I’d love to know why the author of the last comment admired and respected the Post after its performance over the past, oh, decade.