August 6, 1945 is one of the most important ethics days of all, and among the most controversial. The United States bomber Enola Gay—now on exhibit in a hangar near Dulles Airport, dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people were killed in seconds, and another 35,000 were injured. More than 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout. Was the launching of the nuclear age by the United States ethically justified to save American lives (an invasion of the Japanese mainland had been estimated to risk a million U.S. casualties) and end the war? Was President Harry Truman guilty of a war crime, as non-combatants, including children, constituted most of the deaths? Did the horrible results of the new weapon prevent World War III, or make it more likely? These are still intensely debated questions by scholars, historians, theologians, military strategists, philosophers and peace activists.
1. Well, I’ve been spoiling for a fight, shopping around Northern Virginia and fining myself one of the few unmasked. So far, nobody’s said a word, but anyone who does is in for it. I’ve been vaccinated twice and probably had a mild, symptom-free infection before that. I have always been unusually resistant to viruses. Mask fog up my glasses and make me miserable. If you have chosen not to get your shots, swell, that’s your choice, but your exercise of personal liberty is not going to restrict mine without a fight. And don’t tell me I have to wear a mask so phobics feel “safe.” That’s not my problem either. I am not inclined to “social distance,” either. The mask fetish is going to strangle community, society and the joy of life unless we draw some hard lines. I’m drawing.
2. And while I’m feeling pugnacious, that commenter I banned yesterday took offense when I called his dishonest and deliberately misleading claim that Critical Race Theory was “only taught in law schools” a game, which it is, in the same category as progressives arguing that none of their number has advocated defunding the police, open borders or guns confiscation. Today, coincidentally, in my figurative backyard, the watchdog group Parents Defending Education. revealed that Fairfax County Public Schools includes links to video readings from a YouTube channel called “Woke Kindergarten” in its 2021 “Summer Learning Guide” for second graders.
In the first linked video, “Safe,” there is a series of slides showing young blacks, some of them displaying Black Lives Matter signs. “We all deserve to feel safe,” the narration begins. Later it says, “I feel safe when there are no police. And it’s no one’s job to tell me how I feel. But it’s everyone’s job to make sure that people who are being treated unfairly feel safe too.”
The second video, “Good Trouble,” instructs 7-year-olds the value of civil disobedience as exemplified by the late Democratic Congressman John Lewis. “Sometimes it’s good to get into trouble,” the narrator says. “John Lewis was a freedom fighter who got in a lot of good trouble … He knew that getting into good trouble would create unnecessary change, and necessary change has to happen in order for black and indigenous people to be free.”
This isn’t technical Critical Race Theory, but it is the offshoot of the CRT-based false narrative that holds that blacks in the United States are not “free,” and that police, being the institutional enforcement arm of an oppressive white society determined to keep blacks from fully participating in the Republic, make blacks unsafe. Fairfax is where a County official recently attacked parents opposing critical race theory last month, saying, “Let them die. Don’t let these uncomfortable people, don’t let these uncomfortable people deter us from our bold march forward.”
3. Let’s play “Who’s the Asshole?”! The elderly proprietor of a Star Wars fan shop in Aberdeen, Washington posted this sign in his window:
A trans individual of some undetermined variety (Dick? No dick?) and who also is on the city council took offense, and confronted the owner in the store. Naturally, someone recorded it. Now the thing has gone viral.
Who’s the asshole? Ethically, this is an easy call. The owner is the asshole. A good and ethical member of the community should never intentionally set out to offend, insult or annoy other members of the community. Nor does an ethical store owner post vulgar signs. He has no excuse. None.
4. To stay with a theme…The Gotham Awards, which I had not previously heard of as awards generally bore me stiff, has announced that beginning with its November 2021 ceremony, prizes for acting would no longer be divided by gender. The Gothams will replace its best actress and best actor categories with a single category for outstanding lead performance. Oh, fine. Go ahead. I’ve listed to this silly debate for decades. It means fewer awards, and pits the sexes against each other. I guess this means that there won’t be any more special awards for black performers and Hispanic performers? No? I don’t understand. What’s the principle at work here? If men and women are “the same,” then why do we have gender segregated sports?
“There are so many talented nonbinary individuals, and it’s not fair to force them into male and female boxes,” said Jeffrey Sharp, the executive director of the Gotham Film and Media Institute in New York. “We have a really proud history of inclusivity. It’s part of our DNA. But it was time for us to evolve, too.”
Oh, that’s what’s happening. Virtue-signaling and mindless “inclusivity.” Why not just add a third category, “Other”? Has any tiny minority ever provoked so much ferment as the ambiguously sexed?