Comment Of The Day: “Now THIS Is Racism…But It’s Joe Biden, So Never Mind.”

[Talented social justice warrior cartoonist Barry Deutch, aka. Ampersand, once would have been lurking to make the point of his cartoon above on Ethics Alarms, in the days before he self-exiled. I miss his reliable and articulate contributions, so I thought his cartoon would give him a free comment for nostalgia purposes. If he objects to it being used here, and he well might, I’ll take it down. (And, of course, the fact that one group benefited from racism in some respect is not a valid argument for others to benefit from racism against that group in response.)]

I was thrilled to see Comment of the Day auteur—we have several here—Humble Talent train his sites on  a long-time annoyance of mine in the culture wars, the intellectually indefensible claim that racism only can exist in one direction, with whites being prejudiced against blacks. This is one of the great fallacies of the race-relations debates, and until it’s banished forever to the Land of Self-Serving Lies,  I don’t see much progress being made. ‘It’s bad when YOU do it, but OK when I do it’ is, or should be, self-evidently hypocritical. When a group or individual tries to slip that one by, they lose all credibility, and worse, they endorse racism while condemning it. This has become epidemic in the dark days of the George Floyd Freakout, and just because a stunning number of whites, in the grip of  fear, apathy or cognitive disability, are temporarily submitting to it doesn’t make the concept any more valid.

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Now THIS Is Racism…But It’s Joe Biden, So Never Mind.”

“Racism = Prejudice + Power” isn’t, and was never, actually functional. I think they used “prejudice” because of the alliteration. “Racism = Discrimination + Power” just doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way. Their point was, I believe, and if anyone holding that view wants to correct me, I’ll be willing to listen, that Racism without power isn’t damaging the same way racism with power is, and so it shouldn’t be treated the same way.

There’s perhaps some truth to that; While I don’t particularly like it when people say hurtful things to me based on my race, I don’t think mean words have the same teeth as a two-tiered justice system. I’m not saying that’s what America has. It isn’t (at least not racially, laws are for little people, as the political elite love to showcase, and that’s not a racial divide). But hypothetically, a law that reinforced slavery, as an example, would be a whole lot more damaging to a person than mean words.

I don’t like that description, because it excuses a whole lot of bad behavior. Even if following someone down the street calling them racial slurs is *less* hurtful than actually enslaving them, it’s still not good, reasonable, or acceptable. It’s still something, and whatever that thing is, it’s bad. If “Racism = Prejudice + Power” then what do we call unempowered prejudice?

That said, I’ve always liked it when someone uses “Racism = Prejudice + Power” because I think it’s an example of the mask slipping. Progressives don’t care about prejudice, or discrimination, or whatever the word bridging the = and + are, they care about the power.

Regardless, “Racism = Prejudice + Power” is unworkable now because they’ve further expanded the definition. Prejudice or discrimination is nolonger required… All that’s necessary is a disparate outcome. The power requirement hasn’t changed though; Hockey being comprised almost entirely of white players is racist, because it’s a disparate impact that disenfranchises a disenfranchised group, Basketball being very disproportionately black however, is not racism, because the dis-proportioned minority is disenfranchised.

At some point the mask will entirely slip, I think we’ve started to see this already to an extent, where progressives are going to stop looking for an excuse, and they’re just going to shorten the equation to what they really think, which is “Racism = Power”. The problem won’t be when a white person is doing something particularly bad, the problem will be that they’re white. The fact that this is deeply racist by conventional standards because it assumes power on behalf of every white person based on the color of their skin either won’t occur to them, or won’t matter, because again…. Progressives don’t have a problem with prejudice, they have a problem with power.

Actually… They don’t have a problem with power, even…. They have a problem with other people having power. Their entire ideology is anthropomorphized avarice.

12 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Now THIS Is Racism…But It’s Joe Biden, So Never Mind.”

  1. That cartoon is utter bullshit. Let me tell you something. My great-grandparents on my father’s side arrived here from Italy and only one of the four could read or write in any language. They worked hard at backbreaking work because it was all they could do to make a life. My grandfather got lucky, he was gifted some item he was able to sell and start a business, the dirty but well-paying business of supplying coal and then oil to people. My dad was the first to go to college, the first to be a military officer, the first of a lot of things. He got to get his MBA on the G.I. Bill after serving in Vietnam. Yes, my grandfather made him a deal on a house that he already owned, bought as an investment after busting his ass for years. I’m the first to go to law school, and it didn’t come easy or cheap. I’ve spent 15 years as a public official in a city that’s becoming decidedly hostile to my ilk trying to build up some kind of retirement, and I’ll probably have to spend at least five more. Where’s the privilege? Where’s the benefit from racism?

    • So here are my thoughts on the comic. First, on immigration, I don’t recall immigration laws that specifically restricted African nations (but I could well be wrong here). What I do recall is that some of the earlier immigration laws were aimed squarely at the Chinese, who I believe were forbidden to become citizens. That was later extended to Japanese and we all know how that ended up during WWII. I guess that is why Asian Americans are so downtrodden, with low academic achievements, low test scores, etc.

      The later wave of immigration laws — which came after untold millions had already arrived — was directed, if memory serves, at Eastern Europeans. But if you look back throughout our history, you see one group of immigrants after another being persecuted, but then assimilating and gaining acceptance. It’s kind of what we have done here. It’s one of the things that make us special.

      Secondly, regarding Bob’s grandparents getting their mortgage: OK, after doing some research, mortgages in the first third of the 20th century were more common that I thought but still, even in 1940 fewer than half of non-farm homes were mortgaged. Mortgages were significantly less common across the South west to the Mountain states. During the Depression, the feds stepped in and really changed the industry.

      Restrictive covenants have been banned for a good fair while. Doesn’t mean you get rid of them just by making them illegal (can we say Prohibition?), but it does make it tougher to practice systemic racism, it seems to me.

  2. “…that Racism without power isn’t damaging the same way racism with power is, and so it shouldn’t be treated the same way.

    It is good, proper, ethical and necessary, or perhaps I should say that it was good, proper, ethical and necessary that America, prior to 1965, define itself through racialist terms. To have understood that it is, or was, a nation built by essentially English culture and English people, and with an Anglo-Saxon temperament. To understand the Constitution, and the purpose of creating the union of the colonies and states, as a specific social and political agreement for a specific people with, may I say, specific parameters. To think in these terms, and many other direct and defined terms, is entirely good and entirely normal.

    Another perspective, another way of analyzing the coercive ideology now operating so exceedingly strongly in our present — that which vilifies the understanding that I outlined above — needs to be presented. It amounts to a counter-presentation, a counter-assertion. But before one can do that one has to analyze, dissect and uncover the ‘operative ideology’ in the present anti-racism movement and what is now revealing itself to be, essentially, an anti-whiteness movement. Without wishing to repeat a meaningless trope, or to use a generalism, the essence of the anti-racism movement, the motive that stands behind it, and the outcome that results from it, derives from a Marxian praxis.

    I suggest that most can recognize, certainly at this point, that Marxism attacks any and all *solidities*. Because they are quite easy to identify, hierarchical structures can quickly and rather brutally be described as ‘oppressive’. The Marxist ‘analysis’ as they call it is reductive, obviously, but reduction is a powerful tool insofar as it simplifies things. For this reason — this seems fairly obvious — in our present social situation, in this ‘uprising’ — activists channel their focus and thus the focus of the mob against any and all hierarchy or symbol of hierarchy and seek to pull it down. I would not say that the Marxian analysis is devoid of sense, it isn’t. But I definitely would say that it tends to be used by people who have very simplistic minds and who are capable of thoughtless destruction. There is something important here: the easiness by which things are destroyed. The symbol of Burning Cities is a very good one. Anything they put in their sights they pull down, they destroy. Once this power is given to them, and once enough of them have it, and when it is not opposed by social consensus, it simply continues on with its processes.

    Now, the key here, the *essence* as I say, really is — unless I am very wrong indeed — to be located in the Marxian weaponization of anti-whiteness.

    But here I suggest — for the sake of dynamic and interesting conversation — that Humble Talent himself as a radical progressive Canadian, is himself the *outcome* of Marxian operatives and operations. He may be slightly to the center and slightly to the right of basic progressivism, but he is essentially a progressive. This is not an unfair assertion on my part.

    The reason I say this is because he [and of course many who write here] have, essentially, no counter-argument to the anti-whiteness movement. Your progressivism is absolute in this sense. You have been *coopted* as the saying goes. You really have integrated it into the very fibres of yourselves. You defend essential progressivism against the outrageousness of those who are well to the radical left of it!

    If anyone among you were ever to say anything that seemed racialist or *identitarian* you would — you as a group — would attack that assertion and that person. When you see it, a reaction of ‘moral repugnance’ rises up in you. And that is what goes on within American Conservatism. It is rather *Pavlovian*. The symbol of that stance and activism is found in William Buckley. The purge of American Conservatism of identitarians and racialists (racialism is not the best term for the complex identitarianism that is needed to combat Marxist anti-whiteness, but it will have to do) has a specific date. It is the Postwar Era.And in the Postwar Era an entire foundation was laid upon which this radical present has been and is being constructed.

    Yet you cannot see that! Amazing!

    So, you will find that whatever Humble Talent’s ultimate discourse is [I never really get what he is trying to assert myself] it is in the end a flaccid doctrine with all the force of a humid fart, if I can put it in such a bold way.

    At some point the mask will entirely slip…

    My assertion is that though that may be true, it is far more important here that you clearly see your own mask. That is what *turning the lens of examination around* results in. Understanding your own compromised ideological position. Understanding your own complicity.

    Slowly and surely — day by day in fact — this is become clearer and clearer though. You are the larger part of the problem to the degree that you set your will against this self-understanding and self-analysis.

  3. HT wrote: That said, I’ve always liked it when someone uses “Racism = Prejudice + Power” because I think it’s an example of the mask slipping. Progressives don’t care about prejudice, or discrimination, or whatever the word bridging the = and + are, they care about the power.

    It is always quite easy to see the power-striving of ‘the other’. We clearly see and identify power-striving in our enemies. We see their nefarious intentions with tremendous — illuminated! — clarity. Like a glowing flare over a battlefield. It is true that the Democrats have formed themselves into a *pointed spear* as they set their sight on Power. But I doubt that you (esteemed Humble Talent) actually have much of a grasp on what power is, and how it is needed in our present. By that I mean that *we* have to recover our power. We have to take power and we have to assert power. Our power has to crush, or perhaps I should say ‘marginalize’, their power. Once this is seen, I suggest, our own ‘mask’ can also drop. Or be thrown to the ground rather.

    But let’s talk about *their power*. This is an important and a crucial conversation. Because this power is uniquely and definitely tied to American Power and to whole structures within America. The ‘power’ I refer to is part of the PostWar Liberal American creation. It has to do with the way America administered the world (quite literally) in the Postwar. What I am trying to point out — I think this is a fair and a necessary observation — is that the essential ideology of Americanism, and American progressivism, is completely bound up with American power. This is what is being fought over really. Who will direct America. What is America. And in a very real sense who owns it.

    I guarantee you that that conversation will be a difficult and a lengthy one!

    Additionally, and if the phrase demography is destiny has truth in it, it is essential to see and understand Democrat Party power not as an aberration in the moment, but as a sign of where American Power is choosing to go. The Republican resistance may not hold for very long. Today, Youth & Radical Progressivism are showing their power-design. And within that nexus of systems I refer to economic and manufacturing systems, banking, education, and also military power. This is where the term ‘globalism’ has relevancy. And the entire dynamic of American postwar power must be understood.

    To understand this present, one requires meta-political analysis. One has to gain some height from which one can look over the entire sweep of 20th century processes. And this is why, as I often suggest, the Dissident Right gets heavily involved in political philosophy and in ideas. In order to understand *what happened* one has to gain perspective. The only way to change anything about the directions visible and operative in our present will be through the introduction of ideas.

    Once one has the ideas in place — once the logic has been laid down — then and only then can people be *roused* in an emotional and sentimental sense to defense of what is theirs.

  4. Cartoons that generalize about whites are as demeaning and detrimental to society as cartoons that generalize against blacks or Latinos or any other ethnic group if it designed to portray that group in a disparaging light.

    Much of what is encapsulated in that cartoon is urban myth. I will not deny redlining occured prior to 1971 but such practices were limited to only the most exclusive neighborhoods such as Guilford, Homeland in Baltimore, Georgetown in DC or Chevy Chase in Montgomery County. References to the right people does not mean only white Europeans. The right people means those with the same values or pedigree. In the 70’s when “white flight” was occurring blacks were getting mortgages to buy homes in cities like Baltimore. You cannot move to the burbs because blacks are moving in if blacks were not getting purchase money mortgages. Sure there were some renters but most were buyers. Ironically, black home ownership was far higher before the civil rights act of 1964 than it is today, More often than not, blacks lived in what would be considered a traditional nuclear family albeit an extended one where the grandmother was present. This was not terribly different than that occuring in white homes.

    The common thread in the decay of the black family is active government support with its usual encyclopedia of regulations and stipulations. The Democrats in government act as if they are benovolent plantation owners. Just listen to them whine that Americans need help right now. Here is how they can help – stop trying to keep everything shut down. Much of this is a power play. They do not see Americans, black, white, red or brown as capable of living without their guidance and assistance. HT nails it when he calls out their avarice for power. The real gaslighting that has occurred comes to us from the massiver government combine that tells us all we need them or we will all perish from this Earth.

  5. Anthropomorphized avarice. Tremendous insight packed into just two words. Also, Alliteration of the Year!

    My take on “disparate impact” and “systemic racism” is that the sixty year, twenty trillion dollar, three generation-long failure of the black underclass to thrive following the declaration of the war on poverty has caused most social scientists to go nuts and come up with some explanation, any explanation, for the black underclass’s failure to thrive. Ironically, whatever the explanation, it may not allocate any aspect of the failure to the behavior of the black underclass. It’s all “look over there” all the time. Eg., if the black underclass can not thrive in a capitalist society, don’t encourage them to change their behavior so they can succeed, change the system to one that does not require competition but instead allows a group of elites to parcel out everything to everyone. The black underclass can’t speak or write proper, serviceable English? Not a problem. Make whatever they speak or write acceptable. Black guys and black women can’t stand each other and live together and rear their children? No problem, abandon the nuclear family, that will fix the problem. Black underclass young men have a problem making a living in a legal manner? No problem. Stop arresting them for illegality and let them out of jail. The fact they’re in jail derives from the fact that jails exist. No jails, no prisoners. Presto change-o!

    These social theorists have simply lost their minds. Unfortunately, if people don’t wake up to what they’re selling, U.S. society will be remade along the Marxist model and the result will be the return of the Soviet Union. Won’t that be great!

  6. If Bob’s parents are stereotypical boomers, Bob never got a dime from them anyway, and Bob’s parents RV’d across the country and went on cruises while Bob took out student loans for college which he is still paying off.

    Ergo, Bob hasn’t benefited from racism. In fact, if Bob were a person of color, he probably would have qualified for some scholarships and his resumes would get extra attention.

    What’s more, if Bob is either fat, short, or just generally unattractive (pick one) he will be quietly discriminated against his entire life to a degree far surpassing any subtle racism that a tall, thin, or attractive person or color would experience. Except that no one will care, probably not even Bob.

  7. Hi, Jack!

    As long as the cartoon is unedited and includes the credit sidebar, I don’t object at all to my cartoons being posted on a personal blog like this one. No worries about that – feel free to post my cartoons anytime you want.

    I hope that you’re well and staying safe!

    • Barry Deutsch,
      Here is the description of how I see what the political left is doing in the United States of America since November 2016…

      The political left trying to get rid of President Trump is like to a person using the same atomic bomb (propaganda equivalent) that destroyed Nagasaki, Japan to rid their home (United States equivalent) of a single spider (President Trump). I bet a good political cartoonist like you could create a cartoon from that description.

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