JutGory and Steve-O-In NJ gave us a spontaneous call and response Comment of the Day on the topic of “white supremacy,” which has seemingly taken over for “racist” as the progressive/Democrat/mainstream reflex term to demonize conservatives, Republicans, patriots, anyone who believes in the Constitution, or anyone who opposes in good faith the Black Lives Matter agenda.
Few read Ethics Alarms on weekends (I guess I should write, “even fewer”), and I may start Mondays with more comment highlights from the Dead Zone past. This weekend was unusually lively. This Comment of the Day by Null Pointer took off from item number #2 of yesterday’s warm-up, regarding the GOP’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar speaking at white nationalist event, in which I quoted The National Review’s David Harsanyi:
“ On social media, conservatives grouse that there’s a double standard. Democrats, they say, never condemn their extremists, they celebrate them. That’s a double standard worth living with. After all, any denunciation of Omar, Tlaib, or any other Squad member lacks credibility if House Republicans can’t publicly take the position that hanging out with (actual) white supremacists is deplorable.”
White supremacy is bad. All forms of racial supremacy are bad. All forms of supremacy are bad.
Republicans need to jump on the “all forms of supremacy are bad” principle, hard. Otherwise you will see white supremacy taking off again.
No, you cannot have a double standard. If you have a double standard, you do not have a fair principle that addresses the problem equally across the entire spectrum of the problem. If you don’t have a fair principle, no one is going to listen to you. People will not agree to operate by unfair principles. Continue reading →
A blog that has been out there much longer than mine (and which conveniently leaves the blogger’s identity mysterious) argues that “implementing vaccine passports would be a white supremacist measure.” The Biden administration is encouraging such documentation, and the ultra-woke state of Oregon has announced that these will be required for its citizens to go unmasked in any indoor, public-access gathering. I am not concerned here with the wisdom of the policy. I want to know how anyone can have a rational conversation with someone who is convinced such a measure is evidence of “white supremacy.”
“[P]oor people are much less likely to be vaccinated than higher-income persons…According to the long-set standards of Black Lives Matter and other critical-theory advocates, whether racial disparities like this are intended or not is irrelevant. These disparities are the results of racial discrimination and white privilege baked into the social-legal-medical networks for centuries. Therefore, it does not matter that this gap in immunization is not intended. It does not matter that the men and women managing the vaccine program and distribution, or administering it to the public, do not discriminate at the vaccine sites by the race of persons who come for the shots. Lack of deliberate intent does not excuse systemic racism. The fact that matters is this: “Black and Latino people are far more likely to live in poverty than white people, and despite having died at higher rates throughout the pandemic, they are receiving fewer vaccines than white people.”
The argument is instructive, which is why I am bothering to publish it. If any disparity exists in any area where blacks and other non-white groups have statistically less positive outcomes than whites, it is per se proof of “white supremacy.” The fact of statistical variation is the proof, and reasons don’t matter. This is an especially useful example, because there is no reason at all for poor people or minorities not to be vaccinated. The vaccinations are free and ubiquitous. The greatest cost imaginable would be a cab ride. One doesn’t need online access to get one.
Minorities and poorer populations—they are not the same thing—are lagging behind in getting the shots, and by choice. Now, in the case of African Americans, an argument could be made that systemic flaws in the school system, or systemically rooted inadequacies in nutrition leading to cognitive damage, or pockets of African American culture crippled by paranoia and superstition as an outgrowth of centuries of abuse from slavery, are examples of harm from past white supremacy. However, a policy that only confers a disadvantage on a group because that group chooses to be disadvantaged cannot be condemned as an expression of hostility toward that group, or as a means of keeping that group disadvantaged.
And, to make the day perfect, WordPress is forcing me to use its damn new “block” system, which I do not have the time of patience to fool with. In the immortal words of Basil Fawlty,
1. JAMA says that it’s important to help people with dementia vote.
Nearly 6 million people in the US have some form of the condition, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, and they represent almost 2.5% of the 253.8 million US residents who are of voting age. The oldest voters, those aged 60 years or older, are more likely to vote than younger age groups, according to the United States Elections Project; the lion’s share of people with dementia fall into that demographic….having dementia doesn’t revoke a person’s fundamental right to cast a ballot.
“Alzheimer’s disease is progressive, and it evolves over many years. A person in the early stages, and even into the more moderate stages, still has the capacity to vote,” Beth Kallmyer, MSW, vice president of care and support for the Alzheimer Association, said in an interview.
They may have the capacity, but it unethical for them to exploit that capacity if their cognitive functions are impaired. Anyone with diagnosed dementia should voluntarily decline to vote. Such individuals are, of course, invitations for voter manipulation and fraud.
It should go without saying that it is also unethical to run for office when one is suffering from dementia,
2. I don’t understand this at all. The Commission on Presidential Debates has chosen Steve Scully, C-SPAN political editor and host of the network’s “Washington Journal” call-in program, to moderate the second presidential debate on October 15 in Miami. The puzzling part: When he was in college, Scully worked as an intern for Joe Biden in the Senate. Later, he was as a staff assistant in the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s communications office.
The background doesn’t mean Scully is necessarily biased, but how hard can if be to identify a qualified moderator who has no ties at all to either candidate? Continue reading →
1. This may not be the most trustworthy advocate for the President’s favorite Wuhan virus medicine…President Trump’s supporters among the punditry and conservative bloggers briefly celebrated the endorsement of hydroxychloroquine, despite recent studies questioning its effectiveness and safety, by Dr. Stella Immanuel. Support for her was redoubled after her posts were taken down by both Facebook and Twitter as “misinformation.” That’s censorship, of course, and arguably partisan. Immanuel has an opinion. However, her response to the censoring of her posts does not enhance her credibility. She tweeted,
2. I see…he shouldn’t be honored because he was white, right? I have reached the point where I have to conclude that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez just isn’t very bright, and those who support her passionate—but stupid!—pronouncements have a similar basic competence problem. Take this example: AOC complained in a video,
Even when we select figures to tell the stories of colonized places, it is the colonizers and settlers whose stories are told — and virtually no one else. Check out Hawaii’s statue. It’s not Queen Lili’uokalani of Hawaii, the only Queen Regnant of Hawaii, who is immortalized and whose story is told. It is Father Damien. This isn’t to litigate each and every individual statue, but to point out the patterns that have emerged among the totality of them in who we are taught to deify in our nation’s Capitol: virtually all men, all white, and mostly both. This is what patriarchy and white supremacist culture looks like! It’s not radical or crazy to understand the influence white supremacist culture has historically had in our overall culture & how it impacts the present day.
I’ll have to do a full post on the entire “white supremacy” canard, which is basically linguistic game-playing. Culture, everywhere, is primarily determined by the majority. In a majority white population, white people, their habits, preferences, interests and values, have the strongest effect on the culture. Because there are more of the majority than other groups, they also will tend to have the greatest visibility and participation in that area’s history. Framing this rather obvious and universal situation as something sinister is silly as an argument, and evidence of impaired critical thinking skills if one is persuaded by it. Continue reading →
Facts don’t matter to a mob. This is why indulging mobs–ever and at all—is foolish and dangerous. It is also why the current push to remove the Emancipation Statue, also known as the Freedman’s Memorial, has to be resisted, and successfully.
I know a slippery slope when I see one; I think I’ve established that since I saw this particular slippery slope being greased five years ago. I saw that it would slide right into the Founders and an attempt to separate the United States from its origins and the brave and brilliant patriots who risked everything to attempt this experiment in liberty.
If any statute of Lincoln is allowed to satisfy the mob’s lust for vengeance and power, any memorials and honors to Jefferson and Washington are doomed, including the Washington Monument. As with the less violent and more dignified—but no less dangerous— mobs that destroyed lives and reputations during the Red Scare and McCarthy era, politically motivated mobs like the Black Lives Matter-catalyzed demonstrators will treat each victory as a green light for escalation. It is astounding that so many supposedly educated people in government, academia, business and the arts have somehow forgotten this fact in their rush to grovel and submit, hoping, as Winston Churchill observed of appeasers, that the crocodile would eat them last.
The attack on America escalated when NFL players began “taking a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem, one of the main symbols of our nation and its values. The players and their spiritual leader, Colin Kaepernick, made incoherent efforts to explain why their disrespect during the Anthem wasn’t aimed at the melody, but at the nation it—well, the racism that—well, they never could manage to explain their logic. That’s because the protest was really aimed at the United States itself. Continue reading →
Let’s start with this false headline from the Times: “West Point Strips Racist Motto From Its Football Team Flag.” The motto is ” “God Forgives, Brothers Don’t.” There is nothing racist about that motto, in meaning, history or intent. The Times implies that West point has been flying a racist motto since the line was added, about 25 years ago. Wrong. Fake news. Dumb reporters.
But that’s not all. Do you see any motto on that flag above? No? Perhaps it’s because there is no motto on it, just the initials of the motto. Is “I.G.W.T” a motto? How about “L.F.O.D”? Here, look closely at where the skull’s lip would be, if it weren’t a skull:
When the academy discovered that slogan that those initials represented was now being used by the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, a violent white supremacist prison gang where male members refer to one another as “brothers” and call their female associates “sisters,” it became all scared and stuff about being criticized by race-baiters and mean people, so it removed the words. Yes, this is how a venerable military academy thinks now. I know I feel safer.
The Chicago Cubs ridiculous virtue signaling and capitulation to political correctness bullying is metaphorically coming home to roost.
In May, as I wrote about here, the Cubs banned a fan for life because he made the ubiquitous “OK” sign behind a black broadcaster. Nobody had any basis to say with certainty what the fan meant, but after the Twitter mob demanded the fans head, the Cubs meekly complied. You see, the OK gesture might have meant, “My race is better than your race,” because a rumor was circulated online that “OK” is a white power symbol. It might have been trolling by someone who knew that the symbol would trigger social justice warriors. Or, you know, OK might have just meant “OK” as it as for almost 200 years.
“I really will not allow the simplegesture to belong to the moronic dogwhistling catfishing foghorning frogmarching pigsticking dickwaving few who attempt to appropriate it for their own fatuous fantasies.”
—–British actor, writer, wit and all-around smart person Stephen Fry upon being warned that some people may think that he’s a white supremacist because he flashed the “OK” sign on Twitter.
Good for him. He didn’t grovel. He didn’t apologize. He simply said, in essence, “Oh, sod off, you fools,” and that was that. He rejected the right-wing trolls and the leftist speech police simultaneously, with open contempt. And that’s how to deal with political correctness bullying. Someone put him in touch with Harvard College.
(I have already made up my mind about this one, but I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise…hence the quiz.)
At the start of the bottom of the third inning of the May 7th Marlins-Cubs game, the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast went to analyst Doug Glanville for some “in the stands” commentary. Behind Glanville, , a fan in a hoodie waved hello to the camera, flashed a peace sign, then made an upside-down OK hand gesture with his fingers.
Always looking for outrages and ways to hype racial tension, sharp-eyed activists flooded the Cubs with tweets like this:
@cubs @dan_bernstein What say you about this racist fan flashing a white power sign behind Mr. Glanville at tonight’s game? pic.twitter.com/zR7DqYWgQv
— Marc Lipkin (@Flipkin) May 8, 2019
Whether or not that gesture is “racist” is a matter of opinion, debate, and context. Annoyingly and self-consciously “woke” lawyer-NBC sports blogger Craig Calcaterra explains:Continue reading →