Tag Archives: Al Sharpton

The Ethics Of Threatening To Leave The Country…And Leaving It

leaving

Leaving the U.S. just because of the result of an election is an anti-American move for a citizen, a per se demonstration of poor character, ignorance, and a lack of understanding of history and how the government works. Primarily, it is an insult to everyone  in the country, the nation itself, and a rejection of the social compact.

We live in a republic where everyone agrees to participate in the process of government, and that means accepting the benefits, privileges, rights and the responsibilities flowing from that citizenship. Certainly anyone here has a right to try to live where they want to live. However, the nation is no different before an election than immediately after it.  If one doesn’t like living in American, I think you’re nuts, and obviously you don’t crave my association very much, but okay, bon voyage! The attitude of the post-election refugees, however, is “Democracy is only a good thing when I get my way.” Nope, that is not the deal.

If you are willing to accept what you think are the benefits of winning, then you are obligated to accept the results if you lose, and keep working to make your nation and society better as you and your like-minded citizens see it. Leaving after the votes are counted flunks the Kantian test: what would happen if everyone acted like that? It would make democracies unworkable, and ultimately extinct.

The ethical time to leave is before the election. Stupid, but ethical.

Speaking of stupidity, the current freakouts by people—including some of my close friends and relatives—demonstrate the ravages of civic ignorance. They are embarrassing. No, the election doesn’t mean “the end of legal abortions.” No, it doesn’t mean “the suspension of civil rights.” No it doesn’t mean that “Muslims will be put in camps,” or that there will be “mass deportations.” These kinds of wild apocalyptic claims are irresponsible, but mostly show a lack of comprehension of the law, the Presidency, the legislative process and the courts. Now, Donald Trump, who is similarly ignorant of our government and our legal system, may want to do some of these things, just as he may want to make the national language Swedish. But he can’t. If you think he can, your focus should be on improving the educational system, because it failed you mightily. As Barack Obama discovered to his chagrin, legislation is hard, takes skill and perseverance, and requires process,  moderation, compromise and broad consensus.

So the citizens who actually leave aren’t committed to democracy, have little pride in the culture and history of the United States, and when they don’t get what they want,  they pick up their marbles and quit. Good riddance. The nation is stronger and healthier without them. As for their less wealthy but more stout-hearted soulmates, those currently engaged in protesting the results of the election, the equivalent of a public hissy fit, they may have some societal value, eventually.

Maybe they’ll grow up.

And maybe not. “Not our President”Not our President”??? You see, children, that’s the bargain. He is your President, because that’s the deal you make with a democracy: you agree to accept the results of the election, whether you voted for the winner or not. Wait, wait, I’m so confused! Wasn’t one of the reasons you and your Party and your candidate’s media mouthpeices were saying that Trump was a Nazi was that he suggested that he might not “accept the results of the election”? Bill Maher, Professional Asshole, apologized to Bush, McCain and Romney last week for calling them fascists, because it was unfair—rump, he said, Trump is the real fascist!

I think I recognize who are acting like fascists, and the behavior fits the tactics of the party and the candidate they supported.

Yet I digress. For this post is not about those wan and selfish souls who do export themselves, but the rich and famous who threaten—promise, actually— to leave if their candidate doesn’t win. What’s going on with them? Continue reading

51 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Childhood and children, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Popular Culture, U.S. Society

Ethics Observations On The Academy’s Pro-Diversity “Fix”

Chris-Rock-Backstage-at-Oscars

Apparently panicked by the negative reaction to its all-white 2016 Oscar nominations,  and determined not to give MC Chris Rock more ammunition than he already has, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists has rushed into place new voter qualifications for next year’s awards. Under the new rules, members who have not worked over the past 30 years  will lose the right to cast Oscar ballots unless they have been nominated for an Oscar themselves.

What’s going on here?

1. Is this substituting real bias for unfairly assumed bias?

Sure it is.

As one soon to be disenfranchised voter told the Hollywood Reporter, “The Motion Picture Academy, in the spirit of Affirmative Action (which has worked so well in our universities), is determined to take the Oscar vote away from the Old White Guys…Personally, I wish they’d examine their complex preferential ballot procedure which clearly isn’t working right. But no, blame the Old White Guys.” Others noted that to assume older voters, many who were at their peak during the rebellious Sixties and the Civil Rights Era, weren’t voting for black artists was foolish. The new rules seem to be an obvious attempt to stigmatize and penalize older voters.  The seniors, said one dissenting Academy member, are often “perfectly vibrant and very much with it and, while they may be retired, it doesn’t mean they aren’t functioning on all cylinders. They have earned the privilege of being in the Academy through their work and just because they’re no longer active doesn’t mean that they can’t be a good judge of what they’re looking at.” Former actress Delores Hart, who gave Elvis Presley his first screen kiss and who was the top-billed star of “Where the Boys Are?,” was direct, saying,  “It’s age discrimination.”

Of course, Hollywood has long-accepted age-discrimination, and Saturday Night Live would never skewer the Oscars for that. Continue reading

38 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Marketing and Advertising, Popular Culture, Professions, Race

Diversity vs. Integrity: The 2016 Oscar Nominations

All white Oscars

When I began to watch the televised announcement of the Oscar nominations, I was prepared for a wave of minority nominations. After all, the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was lambasted last year for the absence of African American nominees, and with the Academy stuffed with knee-jerk, left-wing, Democratic donors, I assumed that last year’s criticism would prompt the voters to place an affirmative action thumb hard on every scale. To my amazement, I was wrong! For the second year in a row, all 20 nominees in the acting category were white. The only  nonwhite nominee was for Best Director (Alejandro G. Iñárritu).

This tells me that the Academy Awards, though they may be influenced by so many biases that the final awards—except in rare cases where a performance was so outstanding that nobody could argue with the choice without looking silly—are meaningless as credible determinations of merit, have integrity. They are not “fixed.” The Academy, whose chair is a black woman, would have loved to have a large, or even a small group of black nominees to be able to show more  diversity. The awards, however, are supposed to be based on artistic merit, not EEOC targets. It looks like the Academy’s members voted that way. Good for them.

Oh, naturally, Chris Rock (the Oscar night host—do you really think the Academy would have engaged his services if it didn’t want and assume plenty of black nominees?) has been launching verbal grenades, and Al Sharpton, the renowned film auteur, is calling for a boycott (“when the only tool you have is a hammer…”).  In the end, however, the complaint of black activists is self-defeating and hypocritical Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Race

The Nurturing Of Race Hate And The News Media’s Complicity, Part One: The False Lessons of Nick Kristof

alison-parker-vester-flanagan-adam-ward-640x480

When it was reported that Vester Lee Flanagan II had accused one of his victims, Alison Parker, of making racist statements,  Baltimore BlackLivesMatter activist Kwame Rose tweeted that he hoped the accusation would be investigated, because it is white racism that causes blacks like Flanagan to turn against society. Now we have Rose’s answer (not that he’ll accept it, being a professional race-baiter): the shooter had been offended when the white reporter had talked about “going out into the field,” taking it as a reference to cotton fields. When a watermelon was bought by a TV station exec for the staff to share on a summer day, Flanagan thought it was a racist gesture aimed at him.The race hate that many in the black and progressive community have been working overtime to embed in the nation—brings out the base to vote, you know—bore deadly fruit in Vester Lee Flanagan. And he will not be the last.

A man with a successful and famous father who could never find success, Flanagan had absorbed the false assertion being aggressively pushed by political leaders and activists in the black community that the United States is so hostile to African Americans that none of his failures were due o his own choices, problems or conduct. His expanding racial paranoia made it impossible for him to keep a job, and ultimately led to murder and suicide.

Well done Continue reading

43 Comments

Filed under U.S. Society

Ethics Observations On The Selma Celebration “Gotcha’s!”

Selma redux

1. The big controversy as of this morning involved the New York Times front page photo, which managed to be cropped exactly at the point where former President Bush could have been seen. Given the Times’ proclivities, conservative blogs and Fox News presumed the snub was intentional. If it had been intentional, that would have indeed been disrespectful and unethical photojournalism. The Times explanation, however, seems reasonable. It tells us something, though, that nobody at the Times saw this coming. I think it’s incompetence born of bias. “Where’s Bush?” “He was too far down the line, so the photo looks lousy if he’s included.” “Damn. Well, put a note in explaining that.” Bias makes us stupid, and the fact that no Times editor had this conversation is, in fact, stupid.

2. If the NAACP was setting the place cards, and I assume they were, then Bush should have been second row center, and not an MSNBC demagogue and race-hustler who owes the U.S. back taxes. Talk about biased and stupid. The NAACP claims it wants to be a unifying force in the country, but it doesn’t. It promotes divisiveness,and intentionally. It’s good for business.

3. A graceful, fair, respectful and competent President of the United States would have insisted that his immediate predecessor be in a position of prominence, as part of the message that this event was an important part of the history of America and all Americans. It would have been the right thing to do. Bush would have done the same for him. But we do not have a graceful, fair, respectful and competent President. We have an arrogant, petty, self-absorbed and divisive one.

4. …who can, on occasion, rise to give an excellent speech, which he did. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Race

.5 Cheers For The Justice Department Deciding To Be No More Biased, Divisive And Unethical Regarding Michael Brown’s Shooting Than It Already Has Been

one cheer

The Justice Department has reportedly decided not to bring civil rights violations charges against former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. This is not exactly a surprise, since there was no justification, based on known evidence, for opening an investigation in the first place. Still, the decision does show that there are unethical depths to which Eric Holder’s race-obsessed, partisan and untrustworthy regime won’t sink to.

It was obvious to all objective observers that the original announcement, in the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson, that the Justice Department was investigating possible civil rights violations was pure race identification politics at its worst. The Justice Department is supposed to be non partisan. It is supposed to build trust in the system, not undermine it. It is supposed to be objective and fair, and not prejudge or take sides until the facts are known. Never mind: all of that and more was thrown aside, openly and with fanfare, in the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck.

Holder met with Brown’s parents. He consulted openly with Al Sharpton, who was, and is, claiming that Brown was gunned down for being black. Holder’s department sent representatives to Brown’s funeral. Holder’s decision to investigate whether to seek a civil rights violation indictment was interpreted as a statement that the Ferguson grand jury that refused to prosecute Wilson was itself racially biased, though the evidence released proved that was not the case. The investigation sent a cynical, divisive message that a black President and a black Attorney General were going to stand with “their” people, and the conclusions of a “mostly white” grand jury be damned. The decision seemed to validate, as it was fully intended to, the protests, the anger, the riots, and the “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” lie.

However, as we knew, and know, and as Holder’s attorneys knew, the evidence was never there, and never was going to be there. Thus Justice is finally doing the right thing, after intentionally doing the wrong thing to show beyond any shadow of a doubt what side they are on, as an agency of all the people that is pledged to only be on one side, that of blind and color blind justice. Instead, Holder’s minions chose to subject Wilson, and by extension his profession, the police, months of injustice to demonstrate politically useful solidarity with Brown’s parents, who accused their country of racism before the United Nations, and Al Sharpton, whose bar for proving racism is set low enough to call the Academy Awards bigoted for not nominating the actors he would nominate. It was not willing, apparently, to go so far as to hold a trial in which the United States would be thoroughly embarrassed, because it had nothing to prosecute on.

Yes, I’ll compliment Holder and the Justice Department for doing the right thing that they made necessary by months of unethical conduct. Good for them. They were not as unprofessional and atrocious as they might have been.

With this Justice Department, that qualifies as progress.

13 Comments

Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, Rights

The Destructive, Useful, Unethical Presumption of Bigotry, Part 2: The Oscar “Snub”

selma-4

For the second time in nearly two decades, and for the first time since 1998, the Oscars will be awarded to only white acting nominees. This, then, if you listen to the caterwauling race-baiters, is because Hollywood is racist. The Academy’s voters just hid it well since 1998, that’s all. Does that make any sense to you?

There are few more infuriating and transparently illogical examples of an unfair slapping down of the race card than looking for bigotry in the notoriously arbitrary, bias-soaked, essentially meaningless choices for “best” in the various Academy Award movie-making categories. Yet the race card sharks were up to the task.  Naturally, the authority on the subject was Al Sharpton, he whose own performance quality on his MSNBC TV show is so amateurish that it would be shut out in any community theater awards.

“In the time of Staten Island and Ferguson, to have one of the most shutout Oscar nights in recent memory is something that is incongruous,” Sharpton told The Daily News. Wait, what??? Incongruous is the assertion that the nominations for film-making excellence should be influenced in any way by how many blacks are killed resisting arrest. Anyone who finds that to be a logical argument for why more black actors should have been nominated for Oscars is useless to any rational discussion of the issue. I want a show of hands. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, History, Popular Culture, Professions, Race