Well, I feel like scum and I am scum. Today is my younger sister’s birthday, and I whiffed, even though we had talked earlier this week about me taking her out to dinner. I never forget her birthday—everyone else’s, but never hers, because it’s the day before Halloween. Not only did I disappoint her, but she’s in a house with no TV or internet after a big storm here. Now she doesn’t want to do anything. It was just a terrible, disrupting week on too many fronts to count, and I lost track of times, dates, and space. I’m working all weekend, and worked late into the night the last two days, but that’s no excuse. I can’t believe I did it. Both my son and wife refuse to celebrate their birthdays for philosophical reasons, and I haven’t wanted to think about mine since my father dropped dead on the date in 2009. But my sister really needed some attention this year, and I failed her.
1. What describes this situation? “Live by the sword, die by the sword”? “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”? “Assholes gotta asshole”? Ashlee Marie Preston, the transgender activist who was among the leaders of the protests against Dave Chappelle for his routines on “The Closer” about trans people, and who helped trigger the protest at Netflix, was subjected to a deep Twitter dive, and guess what? She has tweeted nasty things about Asians and Hispanics. Like, for example, “Asian hoes act like they wont get karate chopped in they muthafuckin throat. What is this hoe staring at? Mind ya beeswax #Bitch”. Now, I could not possibly care less about the opinions of any activist about anything who expresses themselves like that, but apparently some people are calling Preston a hypocrite. No, she appears to be pretty typical: an trans African American who is offended when anyone jokes about her own “tribes” but who feels perfectly justified in denigrating groups she doesn’t belong to. It’s exactly like Democrats, progressives and their media allies in the Axis of Unethical Conduct having the gall to complain about the “Let’s go Brandon!” gag after denigrating President Trump without restraint for four years.
2. The contrived offense that refuses to die. Ugh, THIS again. The Atlanta Braves are in the World Series, so now the nation has to watch Atlanta fans go through their idiotic ritual of miming a tomahawk chop while they sing a fake, generic Indian war chant. Now, it’s no more idiotic than “the Wave,” or chanting “Yankees suck!,” but political correctness activists have been calling such silliness “racist” for as long as they have been trying to eliminate Native American-inspired team names, mascots, and logos. See, there are two objectives: move up the power hierarchy by making others do what they want even in an area they don’t care about, and make sure American culture has no references to Native Americans at all. I’m not sure why Native Americans would want that, but these activists seem to think so.
There is no question in my mind that baseball fans in Atlanta, like the former Redskins fans in Washington who sang, also to a fake war chant tune, called “Hail to the Redskins!” neither intend any disrespect to the tribes nor express any. Who says “Hail!’ to anyone they don’t like and respect? Braves fans love their team, thus love their Braves, thus only express affection and admiration when they do “the Chop.” How could this be racist? It’s not. But the contrived controversy does give fake-sportswriter Kurt Streeter, who only writes about woke controversies involving gender and race because that’s all he’s interested in, something to write about. “When the Houston Astros play Atlanta in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night, racist iconography will be on full display,” Kurt writes. “We will see a field full of athletes playing for an Atlanta team named after people who suffered through genocide and land theft, and still sit at the margins of society today.”
3. Oh oh. Is Dave Chappelle going to be sued by Canadian transexuals? In 2010, popular Quebec comic Mike Ward told jokes about child singer Jeremy Gabriel, who has Treacher Collins Syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting facial bone structure and often, as in his case causes deafness. The singer’s family filed a human rights complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, and the comedian lost. Ward appealed, and lost again when in a 2019 split decision the Court of Appeal upheld the equivilent of a $27, 500 damages award for Ward to pay. Then Ward appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that it “shouldn’t be up to a judge to decide what constitutes a joke on stage.” Finally, in a close 5-4 ruling, Ward was vindicated.
What Ward had said would not be defamation in the U.S., and such a case would never get to trial. That is because we have the First Amendment. An ordeal like Ward endured—and hurrah to him for not apologizing, settling, and being a weenie—will inevitably chill free expression, and that’s exactly what those who want to ban “hate speech” like Chappelle’s routines aspire to.
You can’t “punch down” more despicably then mocking a child celebrity’s disabilities, but as Clarence Darrow said, “In order to have enough liberty, it is necessary to have too much.”
4. Come to think of it, let’s help Darrow get the credit he deserves. If you google that quote, only Ethics Alarms comes up. That’s because I’m the only one who ever uses it. It’s a genuine Darrow quote, no question about that: it turned up in one of his recently published letters., but somehow has missed all of the quote collections, like the excellent Yale Book of Quotes. I think it’s Darrow’s best, and definitely the one of the most relevant to today’s controversies, though Darrow, who had a knack for catchy phrasings, has many memorable ones. Help Darrow’s legacy by using that quote whenever you can: those of you who have blogs can really assist in getting the line into the popular lexicon.
You’ll have to explain it to your progressive friends, of course. Good luck with that.
5. Good. For the first time since the 2000 election litigation in Bush v. Gore, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered an accelerated schedule for briefing and arguments in two cases, Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson and United States v. Texas,challenging Texas’s creative but restrictive abortion law, signed two months ago. On Monday, the court will hear arguments in two challenges to the law, this bypassing the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which would normally rule first. The result of these cases will almost certainly only concern the novel enforcement method of the abortion ban, which hands the power over to “citizen prosecutors.” They appear unlikely to resolve the future of the constitutional right to abortion created in Roe. That’s later on, in a separate abortion case, involving Mississippi, scheduled for argument on December 1 (MY birthday).