Tolerating The New Racism

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How long will it be before fair social critics, principled elected officials and ethical Americans firmly and decisively say “enough”?

Freed from the restraints of common sense, fear of hypocrisy and language by the George Floyd Freakout as well as the resulting Black Lives Matter Great Terror, writers, educators and politicians are openly engaging in racist speech and assertions without, apparently, fear of condemnation. After all, it is easy to tar any critics as racists themselves, because the new, acceptable racism is targeting whites. They think being characterized as monsters, murderers and habitual oppressors by virtue of the color of their skin is cruel and dehumanizing, the fools! Don’t they know it’s true?

I reached my limit regarding this Orwellian farce even before the ugly death in Minnesota of a career criminal from a likely drug overdose was exploited to justify riots, property destruction and the demonization (or intimidation) of anyone who couldn’t claim to be “of color.” Surely others unjustly vilified are reaching their limits as well. I hope so. History’s record of what happend to groups that meekly accept denigration and blame-casting in the vain hope that it will all “blow over” is not encouraging.

Continue reading

“White Lives Matter” Is Racist, Black Lives Matter Is Benign” You Say? Prove It.

I know this is “It’s okay to be white” all over again, but its still amazing that anyone can argue that “Black Lives Matter” is a benign motto, but that clever line, “All Lives Matter” or now, “White Lives Matter” is a racist expression and look at themselves in the mirror afterwards and not blush.

Someone painted “White Lives Matter” on Kent State University’s “front-campus rock,” where students traditionally paint graffiti. It was immediately condemned as a “direct threat” to black students. Kent State President Todd Diacon issued a statement claiming  the incident (together with some recent police-involved deaths of blacks, most of which have not been credibly attributed to racism)  “serve as glaring evidence that this university and our country need to do better when addressing racism and violence against Black Americans.” He also said the university would establish an Anti-Racism Task Force which will “explore all facets of racism at Kent State.” Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Day: Samuel Kronen

“As defined by bestselling author Ibram X Kendi, anti-racism involves supporting policies and ideas that level racial disparities of outcome, while racism refers to any explanation of disparity that points toward black responsibility rather than white racism. This redefinition of racism from identifiable prejudice to disparity of outcomes represents the expansion of a propriety into what Antonio Gramsci calls a cultural hegemony: a power construct that cuts reality down to size and squashes any voice that questions its moral authority. While suggesting that black Americans bear some responsibility for their own outcomes was once considered merely in poor taste, it is now considered racist and therefore utterly beyond the pale in progressive circles.…If we are truly concerned with remedying the tragedy of racism and taking steps toward a society that views our racial identities as insignificant, we need to let the past be past. We can accept the reality of historical racism without creating an identity out of it that keeps us eternally suspicious of each other. We cannot change our past, but we can change how we make sense of it as we move towards an increasingly multi-ethnic future.”

—Samuel Kronen, in an essay titled, “Modern Anti-Racism Is a Historical Overcorrection.” Continue reading

Ingratitude, Racism And Statue Toppling At The Asian Art Museum

I’ll begin with the ethics conclusion, and show how we get there.

If your organization, institution, or nation owes its existence to an individual that hindsight-wielding critics want to erase, your choice is to tell them to get lost while continuing to officially recognize the debt such organization, institution, or nation  owes to that individual, or to dissolve the entity. Recognizing in some form the fact that a founder has blemishes on his or her past may be justified and practical. Continuing to benefit from that founder’s actions while metaphorically kicking him or her in the teeth, however, is unethical and, in fact, despicable.

Thus we arrive at the current controversy at the Asian Art Museum  in San Francisco. The focus of the mess is the bust of Adrian Brundage you see above. Brundage is most remembered as the long-time (twenty years) President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and most reviled for his decision not to cancel the Munich Games in 1972 after the terrorist attack on the Israeli team in 1972. (I agreed with him then, incidentally, and still believe that he was correct, and courageous, in his decision.) Brundage also, however, created the Asian Art Museum, which is the centerpiece of San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, and which Brundage gave to the city in 1966 to house his fabulous personal collection of approximately 8,000 art pieces.

The New York Times story about the emerging controversy at the museum begins, “For 48 years, visitors to this city’s Asian Art Museum have had to pass the bust of Avery Brundage.” That’s right, they “had” to pass that bust because what they were coming to see belonged to Avery Brundage, the museum’s collection was his gift, and it was and is appropriate for that to be respected and acknowledged.

Given an opportunity by the zeitgeist of the George Floyd Freakout, however, the museum’s director and chief executive, Jay Xu, announced to a meeting of the board and commissioners in June that he was having Brundage’s bust  removed. There are two reasons given in the article. One is that Brundage was accused of being a Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semitic (with the decision not to stop the 1972 Olympics being cited as a prime piece of evidence for the latter), and that the museum he created “presents Asian art from a mostly white perspective.”

As for the last complaint, I will characterize it this way: it’s racism, pure and straight.

The George Floyd Freakout is being used to justify a national effort to “Get whitey,” and this disgusting outbreak of anti-white hatred (that so many white Americans are accepting with the meek submission and hollowed out character of post rats-in-his-face Winston Smith) will not end until sufficient numbers of the rational label it what it is: opportunistic hate and racism.

The museum presents Asian art from a “mostly white perspective”  because the museum’s collection was originally created by a  collector of Asian Art who was white. That does not justify an indictment of the collection, and if an Asian-American wants to establish a museum that reflects Asian art from a mostly Asian-American  perspective—not an Asian perspective now, be consistent, you racists!—then that Asian-American is welcome to spend millions on his or her own collection,  give it to the city, and see if anybody wants to see it. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Gary Garrels

The carnage of the George Floyd Terror, aka George Floyd Freakout, aka George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck, claimed another victim yesterday, and Ethics Alarms is designating him the Ethics Dunce. We really need a new category for people like Gary Gerrels, the now ex-senior curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Placed in a position where he could take a strong  position against unhinged woke bullying, when every element of common sense, integrity, fairness and reality was aligned in his favor, he prostrated himself to the mob. “Ethics Coward,” perhaps? “Ethics Weenie”? “Ethics Fool”? “Useful Ethics Idiot”?

Garrels  triggered the process of his cancellation by concluding a presentation on how to diversify the museum’s holdings by saying, “don’t worry, we will definitely still continue to collect white artists.” In a ZOOM meeting of museum employees, Garrels  voiced a similar position, saying  that the museum could not avoid collecting the work of white men, which he described as “reverse discrimination.” Shortly thereafter employees created and began signing an online petition demanding that he leave the museum.
Continue reading

The Ethics Mess That Is U.S. Race Relations, Chapter IV: Prof. Henry Louis Gates Has Learned Nothing

A recent interview in the New York Times Magazine reminded me once again of what an arrogant, race-baiting, self-deluded and toxic presence Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates is on the American society landscape. It was Professor Gates, you will recall, who provoked a  racial incident with a white Cambridge , Massachusetts police officer who was investigating a report that an African American male  had broken into Gates’ home. The  African American male was Gates himself, who had returned from a trip to find his door jammed, and jimmied his own front door.  When Cambridge  police Sgt. James Crowley arrived at Gates’ abode to investigate a 911 call that said that two African American men had broken into the house,  Gates answered the door and immediately accused the officer of racially profiling him. He eventually flashed his Harvard ID, then demanded the officers name and ID number as well. The officer asked him to come outside for that information, and Gates came out onto his porch, again accused him of racial bias, shouted over his words and insulted him. The officer, who was a trainer in the area of avoiding racial prejudice, asked the professor to calm down Gates continued to shout, and a crowd was  gathering. After warning Gates that he was disturbing the peace, and would be arrested if he didn’t go inside—Gates kept saying it was his porch and he’d stay outside if he chose to—Crowley took the Harvard professor into custody.

Charges were quickly dropped, but Barack Obama, in a pattern that continued throughout his Presidency, weighed in on an event he know little about, and pronounced the white officer the villain of the  episode. (Gates was a friend of the President’s, and, of course, the African American.) Obama was properly criticized for his knee-jerk reaction by many, including me. (My multiple articles about this mess are still trapped on the old Ethics Scoreboard, currently off line because the hosting company messed up.) Embarrassed, as he deserved to be, Obama pulled a transparent public relations stunt of inviting the white cop and the black scholar to the White House for a so-called “beer summit.”

In a word, “Yecchh.” Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: University Of Virginia Student “Aunty Ezine”

The full quote is heard in the video above.

What student “Auntie Ezine” said—that’s her Twitter handle; her real name is unknown so far—was this:

“If y’all didn’t know this is the [Multicultural Student Center], and frankly there’s just too many white people in here, and this is a space for people of color. So just be really cognizant of the space that you’re taking up. Because it does make some of us [people of color] uncomfortable when we see too many white people in here. It’s only been open for four days, and frankly there’s the whole university for a lot of y’all to be at, and there’s very few spaces for us. So keep that in mind. Thank-you.”

You can hear the scattered cheering on the video.

Observations: Continue reading

Thank God It’s The Friday Ethics Warm-Up, 2/7/2020: What A Week! [ CORRECTED, After I Mixed Up Joe Walsh With Joe Wilson For The Hundredth Time]

Whew!

This has been more ethics drama than I could stand every week; I sure hope the rest of the year isn’t like this. First the Superbowl is won by an NFL team whose fans do the tomahawk chop. Then the Iowa Caususes self-destruct in an orgy of incompetence and finger-pointing as the Democrats blame white people and Trump. Nancy Pelosi makes Joe “You lie!” Wilson look civil, the Left has a conniption over  Rush Limbaugh being honored, the Senate acquits the President, and most notable of all, the Boston Red Sox named Alex Cora’s bench coach, Ron Roenicke, its new manager.

Since the Sox are under investigation for their own alleged cheating scandal, this was a fascinating choice. The team must have done its due diligence, questioning Cora, Roenicke and others to be 100% sure that Roenicke had no hand in whatever it was the Red Sox were doing to steal signs in 2018, if they were. If they didn’t, they are, to be blunt, morons with a death wish.

1. OK, I’m getting paranoid now, but what the heck is up with the new voice of Tony the Tiger? After decades of the startling bass of voice artist Thurl Ravenscroft growling “They’re GRRRRREAT!” (Ravenscoft is the one who sings “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch!” in “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”), Tony now sounds like an accountant. If they wanted to find a tiger-like voice, or even a Ravenscoft imitator, Kelloggs easily could have, just as Warner Bros. has been able to find passable (though inferior) replacements for Mel Blanc.  Am I being conspiratorial to think this is more woke cultural indoctrination by Madison Avenue, with the kinder, gentler, wimpier Tony avoiding toxic male aggressiveness? In the new Life cereal commercials, you know, “Mikey” is now a girl.

2. “Yet” arrives. In a post a couple of days ago, I wrote that the Democrats and news media hadn’t blamed the President for the Iowa Caucus implosion “yet.” Long time commenter Neil Doerr helpfully passed this along:

Supporters of President Donald Trump inundated a hotline used by Iowa caucus precinct leaders to report their tallies, contributing to significant delays in the final tally, Iowa Democratic Party officials said….NBC News reported on Thursday that the party’s hotline number was repeatedly posted on the online message board 4chan as voting took place on Monday night. Its users, who are anonymous and have trolled and harassed the president’s political opponents, urged others to call in. “Uh oh how unfortunate it would be for a bunch of mischief makers to start clogging the lines,” one user wrote, according to NBC.

4Chan is a pro-trolling progressives group. It is wants to promote chaos, not  Trump. The callers were anonymous; they cannot be called “Trump supporters” just because they wish the Democrats ill. (Nobody knows this mind set better than I.) Moreover, the phone lines appear to have been the least of the Iowa Democrats problems. The DNC has even called for a do-over, and it is beginning to look like there will never be definitive and reliable results. This is the fault of the Democratic Party. Nobody else.

Meanwhile, Nicole Fleetwood, a Rutgers American studies and Art History professor, tweeted on the Night They Tore The Caucus Down,  “Watching the Iowa Caucus is a sickening display of the over-representation of whiteness.”

That’s a irremediably racist statement. If the country is going to get proactive about eliminating ideological poisoning in our institutions of higher learning, insisting on the removal of unapologetic racists from faculties is a modest but necessary start. Continue reading

Insomnia Ethics Dump, 8/19/2019 (at 3:16 am): What Keeps Me Up At Night

Hi.

So depressing to observe the reactions of the Facebook Borg to my post about Elizabeth Warren’s self-outing as a lying demagogue. They couldn’t process it; they put their metaphorical fingers in their ears and hummed; they attacked the messenger (me); they channeled the generally-derided Politifact whitewashing of the “Mike Brown was murdered” lie. One lawyer friend apparent deep-dived Ethics Alarms to try to  find a post that would contradict my position regarding Warren (and Kamala Harris). She couldn’t, but pretended she had by metaphorically waving an essay in which I applauded a man acquitted of murder by reason of insanity who later admitted to others that he had killed someone when he was younger and insane. (I can’t find the damn thing myself.)  She then called me a liar and a hypocrite, because I had described the man as a murderer when he was innocent in the eyes of the law. A lawyer made this argument, mind you. I explained, not too nicely, that her analogy was idiotic, since there was no murder and no crime in the Brown case, so law prof Warren’s calling it either was dishonest and indefensible, while in the case of the recovered madman, there was a murder, a crime, and a murder victim. Though the acknowledged killer he was fortunate enough to have committed his crime in a state that holds the insane unaccountable, that fact didn’t change the act or the  crime.

I don’t know why I bothered. Warren fans, like Bernie Bros, appear to be completely immune to facts and reality.

1.  Why is there such a compulsion to corrupt the innocent, even the fictional innocent? I was hardly an admirer of those late 60s and 70s Sid and Marty Kroft Saturday Morning TV shows with people dressed in huge, garish thing-costumes and being relentlessly cheery. You know the ones: “H.R. Puffnstuff,” “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour,” “Lidsville”—those. In addition to being assaultive and unfunny, they also inspired Barney, for which the Krofts should never be forgiven.

Still, lots of kids loved the shows and characters, and they should be able to cherish those memories. Hollywood, however, seems determined to debase everything it can, especially fond memories, either by sexualizing them or making them dark, or both. (The re-boot of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Riverdale,” the series based on the “Archie” comics, are cases in point.) Now we have the new in which are re-imagined as murderous psychopaths.

Nice. Continue reading

Fairness Conundrum In Rochester: What Do You Do With The Racist-Sounding Gaffe? [UPDATED]

Keep smiling, Jeremy: you’re probably ruined, and may have done nothing wrong, but it’s all for the greater good…

Go to this link, and listen (the video won’t embed).

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While reporting on the air  Friday about an ice rink at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, WHEC (in Rochester, New York) meteorologist Jeremy Kappell fumbled King’s name and uttered something that sounds like “coon” in the course of trying to get it out. Viewers, convinced that he had uttered a racial slur on the air, demanded that Kappell be fired, and, astoundingly,  the mayor of Rochester issued a demand of her own.

Mayor Lovely Warren, blatantly abusing her power and position,  issued press release  saying…

“It is wrong, hurtful and infuriating that WHEC Channel 10 broadcast a racial slur in reference to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during its Friday News broadcast. It is beyond unacceptable that this occurred. There must be real consequences for the news personality involved and also for the management team that failed to immediately apologize and address the slur.”

Piling on, the Rochester Association of Black Journalists issued a statement condemning the “clearly racist language” and asking for a “complete explanation” from WHEC.

Although Kappell tweeted Monday that he has “never uttered those words,” he was indeed fired.

Is that fair? Continue reading