Waning Thursday Ethics Afterthoughts, 7/8/21: Liberty Bell Crack Edition

Liberty Bell

The Fourth of July and the Declaration of Independence have taken undeserved (and ignorant) abuse and disrespect this year, so I’ll extend the celebration a bit with the recognition of this date in 1776, when the 2,000-pound copper-and-tin “Liberty Bell” rang out from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, so citizens could come and hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, and know that their new nation had been conceived. Four days earlier, the Decalarationhad been adopted by the Continental Congress delegates, but the the public reading had to wait until the Declaration of Independence returned from the printer on July 8.

In April 1775, the bell had been rung to announce the battles of Lexington and Concord. After its most famous ringing on July 8, 1776, the British advanced on Philadelphia in the fall of 1777 caused the bell to be removed from the city and hidden to save it from being melted down by the British. After the British defeat in 1781, the bell was returned to Philadelphia, which served as the nation’s capital from 1790 to 1800. It was tolled annually to celebrate George Washington’s birthday on February 22 and the Fourth of July. The name “Liberty Bell” wasn’t used until an 1839 poem about abolishing slavery.

Contrary to public belief, the famous crack in the bell, rendering it useless except as a symbol, did not occur during its most famous swing and ring, but while tolling to mark the funeral of Chief Justice John Marshall, in 1835. Sounding a bit off but still used for another decade, the bell was still used until 1846 when the crack got worse while ringing out to mark George’s birthday that year. It was retired after that.

I learned about the crack when the Disneyland TV show’s “Ballad of Davy Crockett” epic reached the episode accompanied by the verse that went,

He went off to Congress an’ served a spell
Fixin’ up the Govern’ments an’ laws as well
Took over Washin’ton so we heered tell
An’ patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell
Davy, Davy Crockett, seein’ his duty clear
!

1. I just noticed that Tom Cruise violated the ethics rules in “The Firm.” In the film of John Grisham’s legal thriller, Tom Cruise’s character Mitch McDeere works mightily to avoid disbarment by solving his dilemma (his firm is a Mafia ally) without violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. But Mitch has already engaged in a serious ethics breach by engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. He gives legal advice [Notice of Correction: I erroneously wrote “ethics advice” by mistake when this was posted.] advice to a big client of his firm before he has passed the Tennessee Bar exam and been sworn in. That’s practicing law, and he can’t do that.

Maybe he hadn’t gotten to that part of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct while he was studying for the exam…

2. Head explosion warning! I lived just down the highway from Raytheon in Massachusetts, so this caught my attention, and exploded my head,from Christopher Rufo:

“Beginning last summer, Raytheon launched a critical race theory-inspired training program called Stronger Together, encouraging employees to “becom[e] an anti-racist today.” Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes supported the campaign by signing an Action for Diversity & Inclusion statement, promising to “promote diversity” and “cultivate meaningful change for our society,” then asking all Raytheon employees to sign the pledge and “check [their] own biases.”…Raytheon asks white employees to deconstruct their identities and “identify [their] privilege.” The company argues that white, straight, Christian, able-bodied, English-speaking men are at the top of the intersectional hierarchy—and must work on “recognizing [their] privilege” and “step aside” in favor of other identity groups. Whites, according to outside diversity consultant Michelle Saahene, “have the privilege of individuality,” while minorities “don’t have that privilege….Employees should “identify everyone’s race” during conversations, “including those who are White.” According to the document, white employees must “listen to the experiences” of “marginalized identities,” and should “give them the floor in meetings or on calls, even if it means silencing yourself to do so.” This process of voluntary racial silence is a “win-win,” because “you learn more when you listen than when you speak.”
Next, in a chart titled “What Not to Say to Your Black Colleagues Right Now,” Raytheon instructs white employees to never say that they “pray things change soon” or hope that social tensions “calm down,” which “says [their] comfort is more important than the message of anti-racism.” Whites should acknowledge that their own discomfort is only “a fraction” of the emotional distress of black employees, who are “exhausted, mentally drained, frustrated, stressed, barely sleeping, scared and overwhelmed.” In order to further operationalize intersectionality theory within the company, Raytheon executives have created race- and identity-segregated groups, called Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), for Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ, and other groups. Ostensibly, the goal is to “advance an inclusive culture,” but in practice, so-called “affinity groups” often serve to create division and suspicion in the workplace.

What kind of spineless, brainwashed, values-addled weenies does Raytheon hire who will put up with such racist and demeaning garbage?

3. And speaking of weenies, white Americans who quietly submit to punitive racial discrimination are incompetent citizens and irresponsible Americans…also cowards who are enabling racism. Tyler Fischer, a white comic best known for his impressions of Dr. Anthony Fauci, actor Owen Wilson and others, finally spoke up on a podcast after seeing his business, comedy, increasingly discriminate against straight white men over the past few years in the name of diversity. The 2020 death of George Floyd, he says, caused the anti-white discrimination to be open and overt. Well, you can’t be surprised: after all, a single act of police brutality in Minnesota that was not related to race at all obviously mandates new hiring practices for stand-up comedians.

Christian Toto, who appears to be the lone conservative reporter on the show biz beat, relates that afteran agency that had sought Fischer as a client suddenly stopped contacting him, its explanation was an email reading, “Tough out there for white dudes.” Next he learned that he had been removed from the agency’s roster without a warning or explanation, but presumably because he was the wrong race. Fischer told Toto that the discrimination “was so normalized within standup and acting that nobody was challenging it,” with straight white male artists , including Fischer, kepping quite to avoid conflict. After Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, Fischer started losing guest appearances on popular podcasts, and was told by one host, “We’re no longer willing to have a white man on the podcast.” Recently, another management company began negotiating with Fischer, promising to get him an audition for HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and other possible gigs. When discussions abruptly stopped, an agency representative told Fischer that being a white man made him a poor fit for the company.

10 thoughts on “Waning Thursday Ethics Afterthoughts, 7/8/21: Liberty Bell Crack Edition

  1. “ Whites, according to outside diversity consultant Michelle Saahene, “have the privilege of individuality,” while minorities “don’t have that privilege….”

    That’s because you keep insisting on lumping everyone into groups!!!!!

    -Jut

  2. Te: No. 2; Raytheon’s Guided Awakening.

    Raytheon makes guided missile systems, right? They might consider making guided missile capable of killing only white heterosexual Christian males. A kind of racially sensitive neutron bomb.

    jvb

  3. So sad when our beloved childhood songs are found to have false info….such as when just a few years ago a friend and I discovered Davy Crockett wasn’t “born on a mountain top in Tennessee” but rather on flat land along the banks of the Nolichucky River in an area that wasn’t even part of Tennessee at the time. Sigh.

    #2 and #3….It’s really very simple…just switch “white” with “black” in all the CRT and diversity mandated programs and people will finally see how such is simply racism in a different cloak.

  4. I used to work for one of the Raytheon companies. We got some of the CRT stuff in emails, mostly from Greg Hayes. The biggest part I saw was advertising the ERGs, all the donations the company had made to various organizations, the pledge that executives had signed to be more inclusive, and reminders to practice diversity, inclusion, equity in everyday activities.

    The managers were required to take various training courses, the ones described were part of the course. Regular employees weren’t required to take them.

    Along with everything described above, Greg Hayes stated that the Raytheon board of directors would be exactly 50/50 male/female, and that all hiring for the company would be done with a racial lens.

    These aren’t the only reasons I quit the company, but they’re a large part of it.

    • Isn’t Raytheon’s mission to, in the words of a neighbor couple who work at the company’s Tucson facility, “blow shit up?” Other than being skilled engineers, what are the criteria for Raytheon employees?

      • It depends on which part of Raytheon you’re talking about. Through several mergers, Raytheon owns quite a bit of the aerospace industry. Pratt and Whitney is probably the most well known subsidy. I was part of the other large company that merged with Raytheon, United Technologies Company, that gave the current name Raytheon Technologies.

        Regardless, the most important criteria should be the ability to make an airworthy product that doesn’t cause a plane to crash. As far as I can tell, that’s a skill that’s independent of race and sex.

  5. “He gives ethics advice to a big client of his firm before he has passed the Tennessee Bar exam and been sworn in.”

    Does it matter that his (IMO) rather pointed advice (Sonny experiencing some…um…discomfort were he to ignore their proposal) was offered in Grand Cayman?

    • 1. ARRRRRRRRGH!!! I thought I wrote LEGAL advice, which is what he gave. I just fixed it. No, “Mitch’ quite definitely gave Sonny Capps legal advice. I can’t believe I wrote “ethics”—I’m supposed to have Georgia on my mind.

      We are not told where Sonny hails from, but he’s a firm client. I assume that he’s not a permanent resident of the Caymans.Practicing law without a license anywhere violates the Tennessee Rules, so in Mitch’s case, since he has no law license at all, the vagaries of foreign practice don’t help him—he’s still holding himself out as a lawyer when he isn’t. This would quite possibly cause him to be rejected for bar membership even after he passes the bar.

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