Archive for the 'Race' Category

Bogus Civility

Finally someone said what I’ve been thinking about this constant call to civility:

Have we transformed into so brittle a citizenry that we are unable to handle a raucous debate over the future of the country? If things were quiet, subdued and “civil” in America today, as Pelosi surely wishes, it would only be proof that democracy wasn’t working. (Please read the whole article.)

Sure, Pelosi wishes that everyone would behave already, but it is also often conservatives and others arguing over the proper way of dissenting rather than just dissenting already. There seems to be a practical meltdown in areas of the conservative blogosphere over comportment… the theory seeming to be that passion is off-putting to the all-important center. In order to win, therefore, we need to be bland.

Frankly, I think that other than those in power who would rather not be bothered by opposition, it’s only people without ideas who are arguing over civility.


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Is Today “Historic?”

In one sense, today is an historic day. We’ve now sworn in our 44th President, in yet another peaceful transition of the leadership of our government.

But it seems to me that the only other way to see this day as historic is to view Obama based on his skin color. Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what MLK was getting at.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I think the celebration is over the top, both in cost, and extravagance. The liberal double-standard is in play, as President Bush spent less on his parties, and was derided more. But, such is neither here nor there.

I expect President Obama will not meet the rather high expectations of his supporters, nor the worst fears of his detractors.

May God keep President Obama and our country safe.

Some other interesting quotes that come to mind right now.

I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.

* Speech in Detroit, Michigan (1963-06-23)

Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy.

* The Measures of Man (1959)

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California on the Drina

You may have noticed there’s an ugly and unfortunate current developing in some of the protests against Proposition 8 in California. Namely white gays, blaming blacks for its passage. Even Andrew Sullivan, who has been blaming blacks for a couple of days now, has noticed that perhaps things are getting a little out of hand.

Altogether, as Mark Steyn puts it, this wasn’t quite the possibility for post-election civil discord people were anticipating:

The media were warning that if the election went the wrong way there’d be riots, but I didn’t realize they meant Klansmen in Abercrombie polos roaming West Hollywood itching for a rumble.

One of the most visible recurring problems here is the frustration many gay men and women are experiencing with the question of how blacks could “betray” the cause of universal civil rights, after such a long and noble struggle of their own to secure them. Confronting this matter directly in an opinion in the Los Angeles Times, Jasmyne Cannick raises several worthwhile points of explanation. Most notably, a misunderstanding on the part of white gays about both the origins and requirements of an appeal to the black community:

[T]he black civil rights movement was essentially born out of and driven by the black church; social justice and religion are inextricably intertwined in the black community. To many blacks, civil rights are grounded in Christianity — not something separate and apart from religion but synonymous with it. To the extent that the issue of gay marriage seemed to be pitted against the church, it was going to be a losing battle in my community.


Likewise, holding the occasional town-hall meeting in Leimert Park — the one part of the black community where they now feel safe thanks to gentrification — to tell black people how to vote on something gay isn’t effective outreach either.

In a consistent vein she adds on her site:

[G]ays are headed to Long Beach tonight to protest. I wonder though why they are moving from Westwood to Long Beach and skipping past Compton, Watts, and South L.A.?
(Jasmyne Cannick)

While fear and conceit are definitely in evidence, more pertinent is the matter of misdirection in the division between political friends and enemies. In ordinary times, the necessary accord for putting these two parties back into a grudging spiritual alignment would be to unify against the common enemy: the invidious conservative power structure.

Thus the real trouble is that simultaneous with the passage of Proposition 8, this conservative power structure and government has been quite visibly thrown down by the election of Barack Obama and the Democrats. The once titanic foe is now in pieces, scattered and preoccupied with internal reexamination and a painful reconsolidation project. It isn’t a party to this debate, it isn’t even a party with an agenda of any kind at the moment. So it is that without a Tito to oppose in common struggle, the Balkan coalition of Yugoslavian dissidents become Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians, almost eager to turn on each other. Head north to peaceful Slovenia says me. Call it Oregon.

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Poison from Austria

If the public outpouring of mourning for the loss of fascist sympathizer Jörg Haider were not enough to injure your esteem for contemporary Austrian public affairs, here’s another such moment. Klaus Emmerich, the highly esteemed former editor of Austria’s state television broadcaster, took the occasion of the election of Barack Obama to disgrace himself and embarrass his country:

“I do not want the western world being directed by a black man. And if you say this is a racist remark, I say you are damn right it is.”

“[Barack Obama's election is] a highly disturbing development [because] blacks are not as far advanced in the civilization process nor in their political progress.”
(Daily Mail)

He also described Obama as possessing a “devil-like talent” as well as being a man “branded” by his race. I think it goes without saying that we Americans should tolerate no lessons in the making of devils or the branding of human beings from Austria.

But there’s always hope for the salvation of the national reputation of course. As the tired old joke goes, Austria did convince the world that Hitler was German and Beethoven Austrian. Given such a “devil-like talent”, we might expect to hear Angela Merkel forced to apologize for Herr Emmerich’s remarks in coming days.

(HT: Foreign Dispatches)

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The Realism of Ward Connerly

Good Magazine takes a lengthy look at the always fascinating Ward Connerly, and his struggle to end Affirmative Action in the United States. While he continues to be vilified by the defenders of “positive discrimination” and as his ballot initiatives are fought vigorously in every state, it is increasingly a intellectually hollow resistance:

“The notion that we can use race as the entry point to solve social problems—that’s dead,” [Connerly] says, looking past me, his eyes fixed on the hotel’s patio. “And I’m not talking just race preferences. Race-based decision-making is dead.”
Good Magazine

Where once he was dismissed as a naive idealist, now even his bitterest critics must acknowledge within themselves that the above is so.

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The Wright Stuff

I haven’t had much time to grace the pages of ASHC lately, but I was skimming through Memeorandum and just couldn’t resist saying something about this little screed:

Wright issue will haunt conservative media elite

By Roland S. Martin
CNN Contributor

Now that Sen. Barack Obama has denounced his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, many of his critics, especially those who call themselves conservative, are happy he has put the dashiki-wearing, American-criticizing former Marine in his place.

See, these same voices, many that are allegedly Christian, have reacted with glee by calling Wright a prophet of hate and a race baiter.

They hold themselves up to be so concerned about their fellow brother and sister, yet if you looked at their personal lives, I doubt you’d find many with African-American friends and associates (and I doubt their staffs are the most diverse in the world, but that’s another story).

But be careful what you ask for.

Martin goes on in this vein for the entire spleen-spewing piece, and basically warns conservatives that because they “gleefully” targeted Obama’s association with his (now former) pastor, they should expect the exact same treatment from liberals.

Because the article is so target-rich with fiskable material it’s difficult to say just which bit is more absurd than another, but Martin’s good-for-the-gander warning is no doubt top five. Particularly since it completely ignores the fact that Hillary Clinton pushed this issue as much as any “conservative,” that Obama’s mercurial explanations for his choice of pastor created much fodder for the press (and wasn’t well received by the voters), and that kept the problem front and center. It also ignores the fact that liberals have been caterwauling about people like Hagee since McCain accepted his endorsement. In fact, Martin’s attempt to head his critics off at the pass completely undermines his point by tacitly acknowledging that liberals have already tried to tie the Hagee albatross around McCain’s neck:

Now that Wright has set the so-called standard for what isn’t acceptable for religious leaders, let’s see these same critics take their own kind to task for making absolutely outlandish comments.

But don’t stop there. Demand that candidates don’t seek counsel from them. Demand that Republican candidates not go to their churches and sit in their pews and accept their contributions. And if elected, make sure those same candidates don’t allow them access to the White House or halls of Congress. Turnabout is fair play, and that means guys like the Revs. Pat Robertson and John Hagee should not be sought out for their endorsements, and should be removed from any committees associated with a candidate or a political party.

Oh, I can’t wait to get the e-mails from folks who will say, “Yeah, but Obama was a member of the church.”

True, very true.

But if the marker is now saying anything unacceptable to the masses, then that should be the standard for any pastor: white, black, male, female, conservative or liberal. And any candidate, member or not.

I’ve read many of the columns and listened to the shows of these so-called conservative patriots, and few, if any, have said a word about conservative white pastors who have called for the overthrow of the government for not following Christian values (the late Francis Schaeffer, a little “g” God on the Religious Right), or who have called for the destruction of the Islamic religion of a number of Americans (Pastor Rod Parsley) and folks worldwide.

Martin’s analogy makes no sense, of course, which is why he simply waves his hand at the fact that Wright was Obama’s pastor for twenty-some years. That’s an inconvenient fact for his rant, so it’s mentioned without being addressed, and instead he tries to turn it into a racial issue. Martin is trying to set up the meme that Rev. Wright became an issue not because of his racist and anti-American utterings, but because he’s black. The problem, however, is that picking up an endorsement from a crazy, anti-Catholic preacher is just not the same as sitting in the church of a crazy, anti-American, white-hating, marxist-loving, Farrakhan-embracing preacher for over twenty years, not to mention personally choosing him as your spiritual mentor. The former says something about the state of politics for sure in that a candidate is essentially required to pick up such an endorsement in order to get the job. The latter says something about the candidate’s judgment and choice of company and nothing about the state of politics in general (although, I believe it does say something about being in politics in Chicago).

What’s really laughable about Martin’s, however, is his closing warning:

But to every politician, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican: Beware. The die has been cast. The repeated denunciations of Wright will now lead each and every single one of you to have your pastors’ oral and written words examined. If even one thing is said that can be construed as criticizing America or deemed hateful, then expect to see it on YouTube and replayed for millions to see. I suggest you go to your pastor now and say, “Please, watch what you say. I don’t want to have to denounce you on national television.”

To my media pals who are part of the conservative media elite, we’ll be watching. And listening. Let’s just see if you’re as willing to tear apart one of your own.

That’s like warning the seals that the sharks are out to get them. But Martin is a journalist so I guess something that’s been happening all along seems like news to him.

UPDATE: QandO links (thanks, McQ!) and in addition to displaying the many spelling errors in my post (now fixed) adds this admonition:

Watch for variations on this [racial] theme to continue to emerge from the left as the right continues to hammer the Wright/Obama connection.

McQ’s right that Obama backers will push this meme when convenient simply because of the general fear that people hold of being called a racist. On the one hand, it’s good that it has become so socially unacceptable to be a bigot, but on the other it is a shame how some people broadly employ the epithet, without regard for the consequences, simply to score cheap political points. In any case, expect the cry of racism to emerge whenever Wright is mentioned in the context of Obama’s lack of judgment.

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Potential interpretations…

This is the standard. (h/t Blackfive)

And considering the pins-and-needles environment that is the current political landscape, the comment has the potential of being interpreted as racially divisive.

What comment?

“Rest assured,” he told the crowd, “that men like Senator McCain will be the goal and the men that my two young boys will emulate and admire. You can have your Tiger Woods, we’ve got Senator McCain.”

The interpretation?

Sen. John McCain’s introductory speaker took a sharp and potentially sensitive swipe at Sen. Barack Obama,

Because it’s not possible that while talking about heroes that someone would contrast a war hero with a sports hero.

But considering the rate at which Tiger Woods is winning golf tournaments these days,

But Bellavia couldn’t have been talking about Tiger Woods because Woods is who he thinks of when he thinks of sports heroes. Oh, no. It’s CODE. Tiger Woods actually doesn’t mean Tiger Woods at all. Tiger Woods means OBAMA.

Thank you Huffington Post. Without your help I’d have never considered those “potential interpretations.”

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Let’s NOT talk about race

So I’m going down the page at Instapundit and find a link to this story about an Obama delegate that was asked to quit. Why?

On Saturday, two neighbor children were playing in the tree next-door to her house.

Ramirez-Sliwinski “came outside and told the children to quit playing in the tree like monkeys. The tree was not on Ramirez-Sliwinski’s property,”

The only problem with this demonstration of “it takes a village” is that the neighbor children were black.

These are the rules and don’t forget them. MY children can be called monkeys. YOUR children can be called monkeys. But black children must never be called monkeys. It does not matter that children scramble around and play and climb like monkeys. It does not matter if they are climbing like monkeys in a tree. If you or I are accustomed to calling small monkey-like children monkeys we must be on guard to avoid forgetting that children are not all children together but they are different colors and there are different rules.

Told of the incident Monday by the Sun-Times, Obama’s campaign called Ramirez-Sliwinski and persuaded her to step aside as a delegate because the campaign felt her remarks were “divisive and unacceptable.”

Mrs. Ramirez-Sliwinski is also a neighborhood trustee (I’m not entirely certain what sort) and does not plan to run for that office again although she’s the only Hispanic trustee (married Polish??) in a community 40% Hispanic.

I thought this put it in perspective.

“Frankly, I don’t see a law that was broken here,” Sarto said. “I think this entire thing has been blown out of proportion. She’s a good neighor. She went over to caution the children to be careful not to fall out of a tree.

She has never indicated to me any prejudice whatsoever. We have a trustee who has been convicted on four counts of domestic battery and refuses to resign from the board. He beat his wife with a baseball bat. This seems far less egregious to me.”

Update: Jeff at Protein Wisdom covers this, too, and rightly highlights the fact that this woman had to pay a fine for speech. Which pretty much makes speech not *free* doesn’t it.

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Tibet Simmers

Tibet seems to be ill at ease with the Chinese again. With good reason—the last five decades can be called nothing short of cultural rape. Some of this was partially sparked by an ill-timed outburst from Björk, of all people, who called for Tibetan freedom at a concert she performed in Shanghai.

Agitating for Tibetan freedom is one of those causes that bother me, but not for the reasons you might think. Sure, it sounds nice—and the Han Chinese brutality against the Tibetans is unquestioned, and absolutely immoral—but it also smacks of empty self-righteousness: most of the protesters we see in the media, in general, are white people holding signs in English. It does nothing to address the concerns of values of the Han themselves, the vast majority of whom truly believe they have the right to conquer Tibetan lands. That many couch this in terms of a moral equivalence with our own Manifest Destiny is immaterial: that, too, was a brutal act of cultural genocide, and were it happening today, I hope I would be man enough to resist that as well.

Moving beyond that, the actual question of to whom Tibet belongs also lends itself to obfuscation. True, over the past thousand years “ownership” has passed back and forth between the Han and the Lamas… with one crucial difference: all the previous Han attempts at suzerainty were executed under the banner of a common religion. Tibet existed as a separate land before the Mongol conquest of 700 AD. When the Mongolian Empire fell apart in the 14th century, Tibet again became an independent country, but was conquered by the Manchu Empire in 1720, only again becoming independent during the Republican Revolution in 1912. All of these transfers of sovereignty, however, existed under the common banner of Buddhism, and the deification of the Lamas was accepted in Beijing as much as in Lampo. The modern day Han Chinese government soundly rejects Buddhism, and especially the special status accorded the Lamas (the childhood abduction of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the supposed next Panchen Lama, which happened thirteen years ago next month, is a particularly grievous abuse, and his continued detention is one of the many reasons I was stunned and dismayed the State Department removed China from its list of human rights abusers this year).


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Take It Away, Shay

Two funerals in a week. Work commitments. Continuing education. Coverage of a junior bridge tournament.

Who has time to blog?

Fortunately, my (younger) friend Shay is like the U.S. Postal Service: come rain or shine, she does it!

Millions of words have been written about Michelle Obama’s statement the other day about being “proud”. As usual, few summarize and analyze the situation quite as well as Shay.

I can rattle off a bunch of things that, from her adult life, Mrs. Obama can point to with pride. Three words immediately came to my mind upon hearing her comments: Civil Rights Movement. How about a country that has provided many opportunities for her – coupled with her own hard work – to graduate from Princeton University, Harvard Law School, become a lawyer and have a successful career? To create the sort of life that she wants? Not to mention the middle-class upbringing that she had on Chicago’s South Side, prior to all of these achievements. Mrs. Obama ain’t starved a day in her life. Most of the world would love to be in her shoes! How about a country with the world’s lowest black poverty rate? A country that played a role in bringing down communism? Assistance to Africa? How the country came together after 9/11? The donations that were raised by Americans after the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina? Going old school, the abolitionist movement?

With her statement, Mrs. Obama not only did a slap in the face of America’s history, but a major slap in the face to the generations of black Americans who paved the way for her to be able to do what she does today. That was a key reason why my 63-year-old uncle was so ticked off at the 44-year-old Mrs. Obama, because my uncle actually lived in Jim Crow Alabama and has seen America’s growth and the road that was paved for Mrs. Obama and us. This is a growth that Mrs. Obama, in her implied victimology rhetoric, ignores until it involves her husband. The statement also made me wonder if Mrs. Obama has ever traveled abroad, and thus would be less apt to dismiss what she has here in America.

And when you’re done appreciating her efforts – you can see a few shots of part of what has kept me from much blogging: a high school bridge tourney!

P12 P18


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Good Intentions; Frightening Results


This morning, I read a column from the Wall Street Journal about race.

Just when we thought we’d heard everything from the diversity police, here they come trying to prescribe even the color of charity. The California Assembly last week passed a bill sponsored by state Representative Joe Coto to require foundations with assets of more than $250 million to disclose the race, gender and sexual orientation of their trustees, staff, and even grantees. Look for this to arrive in a legislature near you.

A Berkeley-based advocacy group called the Greenlining Institute hatched this idea because, allegedly, racial minorities aren’t well enough represented in California policy debates. John Gamboa, Greenlining’s executive director, blames foundations for failing to donate enough money to “minority-led” think tanks and community groups and businesses, and he hopes this legislation will “shame” them into giving more. What counts as a minority-led organization? According to Greenlining, the board and staff should both be more than 50% minority.

Obviously, some people find this to be a good idea; it would not have passed otherwise. I, however, find it frightening.

Not long after the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC opened, I visited. While some of the focus, obviously, of the museum is Europe’s Holocaust, much of the museum also highlights the varied offshoots of classifying human beings by their race and religion. Several of the exhibits are immensely powerful. One of those is a photographic explanation of how Nazis classified humans by race.

The exhibit shows photographs of people from all over the world – and describes how Nazis classified them. Measure the skull, look at how the eyes are spaced, judge the pigment of the skin …. That’s how they ultimately selected between people who were worthy of being part of their “Master Race” – and those who should be shunned, tortured – and/or murdered.

While I know that the intentions of those who pass a law such as the one above are intended to do good, I am confident it will achieve anything but. Ultimately, the simple classification of humans into these separate races creates a pernicious cloud above all of us.

Who is the ultimate judge of someone’s exact racial DNA? Why should that make a difference in the charitable work that those individuals are doing?

We are – every one of us – members of the human race. I implore these lawmakers to revisit their despicable law harkening back to the thoughts of the Nazi era and junk them. The shape of someone’s nose; the curl of their hair; the color of their skin. Absolutely none of it should have any bearing on their worth as a human being.

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Silk Purses and Sow’s Ears

(Cross Posted at What if?)

Moth We all know that you cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Similarly, an anti-racism conference that features Libya as its chair, with Cuba as its vice-chair, has virtually no chance of achieving any rational dialogue about combatting racism.

In the past, too much of the world has failed to recognize this simple truth. The U.S. and Israel (too often objects of derision from the worst offenders) had to go it alone. The Captain reports, however, that Canada is finally seeing the light.

Originally, Canada wanted to participate in an effort to keep the conference focused on real racism and intolerance. However, when the UN appointed Libya to chair the event, Cuba as the vice-chair, and put its problematic Human Rights Council in charge of oversight, Canada saw the writing on the wall. The HRC has followed the tradition of its predecessor Human Rights Committee in focusing all of its attention on Israel rather than nations that coincidentally sit on the HRC and systematically abuse human rights.

Of course, a few other warning signs have already appeared. The planning sessions got scheduled on Jewish high holy days, effectively ensuring that the Israelis would have no say in the event. However, Iran — whose leader called to have Israel wiped off the map and held a conference to imagine a world without Israel or the US — has been named to the organizing committee.

Canada has made the correct decision. This UN hate-fest only derogates anyone connected with it, as Durban I did. Obviously, the UN has not done anything to eliminate the influence of anti-Semites within its organization, even while staging events like Durban II to scold the world for racism. Perhaps the critics who lashed out at the Bush administration for its refusal to endorse such a despicable event will consider Canada’s rejection as evidence that the White House got this right in 2001.

Silk_moth A small ray of sunshine for the UN – but, we will take what we can get, no? Perhaps one day this organization will realize that you must use silk moths to create silk.

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Parade of Fools

Behold the band of idiots.

JENA, La. (Jan. 21) – The residents of this central Louisiana town, who watched their community turn into a battleground over the “Jena Six,” will watch out-of-towners doing most of the marching on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Nationalist Movement, a white supremacist group headquartered in Learned, Miss., planned what it called “Jena Justice Day” on Monday.

Organization spokesman Richard Barrett said the group wants to voice its opposition to the King holiday and to the Jena Six, a group of black teenagers accused of beating a white schoolmate shortly after a noose was hung on the campus of Jena High School.

“We want to see the holiday returned to Washington’s birthday, something that celebrates the people that made this country great,” Barrett said Sunday.

Barrett’s group planned a noon march from the LaSalle Parish Courthouse to the high school and back, and an afternoon of speeches. He did not say how many protesters were expected.

“We’ll have speakers and an open mike,” Barrett said. “The people of this town have still not had their say in all of this.”

Barrett is upset over the rally for the black teens held in September that drew over 20,000. That group was protesting charges of attempted second-degree murder against the six. Those charges have since been reduced to second-degree battery.

One might ask, quite reasonably, why are these idiots getting so much attention? If the white supremacist groups held a march and nobody came, wouldn’t that be the best of both worlds: free speech being accompanied by the consequences of speaking hate filled nonsense?

Yes. Yes it would. However, the problem here is not that these idiots are in the spotlight, but why they are there. To find the reason why, look no further than the bolded sentence above which is nothing more than a myth.

The myths started when a Jena High student asked a silly question about who could sit under a campus tree to extend a school assembly, writes Franklin, whose wife teaches at Jena High. Blacks and whites routinely sat under the tree.

The next day, three white students put nooses on the tree. They said it was a prank aimed at white friends on the school rodeo team. They’d got the idea from watching “Lonesome Dove.”

The committee further concluded that the three young teens had no knowledge that nooses symbolize the terrible legacy of the lynchings of countless blacks in American history. When informed of this history by school officials, they became visibly remorseful because they had many black friends.

Three months later, when six blacks ambushed a white student and beat him unconscious, nobody mentioned the noose incident as a reason for the attack. The victim had nothing to do with the nooses.

The “Jena 6″ became a cause célèbre because some seemingly unjustifiable charges were levied against six black students in what was a felonious enough assault to begin with. Then the usual race-baiters came along and turned the ordeal into a circus.

But the circus could have ended there if it were not for a media completely incapable of, and apparently uninterested in, doing its job. The “noose myth” survives to this day (much like the manifold Katrina myths) because the people who write, edit and distribute the news don’t care about getting it right. All they care about is producing a story that fits within their predominant world view where a noose equals racism in all cases, where white racism is the cause of every problem (especially in the South) not laid at the foot of free-wheelin’ capitalism, and where a high school student getting beaten by six thugs had it coming because he’s a white southerner and the thugs were black victims. In short, news reporters don’t report anything; they tell stories and expect us to accept them as fact.

When myths are presented as fact, the natural consequence is that the media creates space for idiots like the Nationalist Movement to stand firmly upon and shout their nonsense. Whites are being demonized in this instance for no good reason because that’s what the narrative tells the media to do. Just like with the Duke Lacrosse fiasco, the media saw an angle and ran with it, despite the copious evidence revealing just how wrong their narrative is. Now marchers will clash in Jena, the media will tell a new story conveniently equating all white people in Louisiana with the Nationalist Movement, and helpfully suggest that this is the underlying cause of the horrible injustice perpetrated upon those fine young citizens who shall forever be known as the “Jena 6.” And the biggest casualty of all will be the truth, which holds no court on this day in Louisiana.

I honestly don’t think this is what Dr. King had in mind when he wrote:

So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice–or will we be extremists for the cause of justice?

There is no justice when truth is murdered.

One last comment: few things bother me more than willful ignorance. Admittedly, I’m not one to suffer fools gladly, but simple ignorance is mostly curable while refusing to acknowledge reality in favor of a “narrative” borders on true evil. I say borders because, in my mind, true evil is the total absence of truth, the negation of rationality, and the tyrannical rule of myth. Where true evil reigns, your thoughts are not your own, but instead are the subject of an omnipresent authority that completely encompasses your reality. You can’t believe your lying eyes because it is illegal to do so, and you will be found out. So when the media actively creates, fosters and promotes myths as truth, they do so in support of evil.

With respect to the Jena 6, it is evil to blame others for their own problems, and to cast them with virtues they have not earned. It is evil to overshadow questionable prosecutorial practices with made-up racial hate crimes and thus deny the justice that was due in favor of myth creation. It is evil to perpetuate that myth when the truth is not just known, it is actively eschewed. It is evil to report myth as fact.

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Jindal sworn in as Louisiana’s governor

(cross posted at Risk and Return)

The most prominent Indian American politician in American history has now been sworn in as governor:

Bobby Jindal took the oath of office as Louisiana’s 55th governor at noon today, becoming the state’s first non-white governor since Reconstruction. Jindal, a 36-year-old Republican and Baton Rouge native, won the October 2007 primary outright against 11 opponents with 54% of the vote. He replaces Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat who chose not to run for a second term.

Here’s a roundup of Jindal’s big day:

—Festivities began at 10 a.m. with the House and Senate meeting in their respective chambers to swear in legislators and elect leaders. The day ends with the invitation-only inauguration ball at 7 p.m. at the River Center. Joel Chaisson, a Destrehan Democrat, was formally elected as Senate president. Jim Tucker, a Terrytown Republican, was elected as Speaker of the House, and Karen Carter Peterson, a New Orleans Democrat, was elected as speaker pro tempore.

—The inauguration is being televised live on Louisiana Public Broadcasting stations across the state, and live videos will be posted at and

—In an Inauguration Day editorial, The Daily Advertiser of Lafayette says that Jindal’s government experience will serve Louisiana well. “Jindal brings to the governor’s office broad experience, proven ability and a remarkable intellect. He has a record of success in every government position he has held. We expect that record to remain intact during his tenure as governor,” the newspaper says. Read the editorial here.

—New Delhi Television Limited, a private Indian station, has an article about how Jindal’s election is a giant step for Indian-Americans politically. There are more than 2.5 million Indian-Americans in the U.S., and many have broken through the glass ceiling and attained leadership roles in business and academics. The article notes how many Indian-Americans are proud of Jindal, but some are concerned about his politics and his backing of tough anti-immigration measures. Read the story here.

—CBS Sports announcer Tim Brando, a Shreveport native and former WAFB sports anchor, served master of ceremonies during the inauguration ceremony. Brando told USA Today why he thought he was selected for the honor. “I guess because I’m a rather verbose compassionate conservative—which Mr. Jindal is,” Brando said.

—A Times-Picayune story this weekend notes how Jindal’s inauguration comes at the perfect time. India is becoming a major economic power, with a growing number of companies looking to expand their operations and trade across the world. Outgoing Louisiana Economic Development secretary Mike Olivier says Jindal will “open up doors in a short period of time” for Indian businesses looking at establishing a presence in the U.S. Read the story here.

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The Glenn Greenwald Carnival of Fisking has some new entries

First, let us all go and see Eric Scheie delve into the sock drawer and how the moth eaten brain now, amongst all the other charges, believes Glenn Reynolds is a racist! The puppy blending, mass murder and nuclear holocaust desiring, homophobic racist known as Instapundit has an able defender in Eric, but let us please note Tom Maguire and Jon Henke stirring themselves as well.

Not that we should limit ourselves to the bizarre smears scraped from the lint screen of the netroot mind after a lengthy cycle, no, Greenwald is at his best (sic) in documenting the unending bloodlust of the present administration and any and all who deviate from his own deranged view of the world. The normally affable Kevin Sullivan (who seems to see our leading sock puppet as reliable domestically, uh, well I am stunned, but let us move on) notes the holes in Greenwalds argument about the recent incident in the straits of Hormuz with this bit of understatement:

This is, in sum, insane.

I am of the opinion much of what the man writes is insane, but unfortunately many people are gulled by the man when they don’t have the background to realize the smelly piece of footwear is as mendacious or deluded on every subject. They assume the issues they note are isolated rather than a pattern which suffuses everything that comes from the the man’s keyboard. In this instance Kevin you know what he is doing, please read back and realize he does this with everything. As we have long noted, and Eric does above, his evidence rarely exists. His links don’t support his argument. He twists, he turns, he debases. Kevin, please visit the incomparable archives of our Glenn Greenwald Carnival of Fisking for the sad details of a man who considers Glenn Reynolds a racist homophobe. Instapundit puts it nicely:

“GALL AND GULLIBILITY:” The combination is sort of a trademark, really. But — at the risk of sounding like Brit Hume to Ron Paul last night — it’s funny to me that folks on the left want so badly to create a Gulf of Tonkin out of an incident in which the U.S. Navy did nothing. Sixties nostalgia runs rampant.

UPDATE: Related item here.

Do follow the related link, but I also highly suggest McQ’s examination of the events that day and why it is important.

Can we lose this piece of laundry in the dryer? I have no match for him.

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Ron Paul on Racism

I don’t think Ron Paul is a racist, or rather I don’t claim to have any evidence he is, and that is enough to hold from suggesting he is. However, his view of racism and its history is rather bizarre and, dare I say it, wholly focused on “right wing” critiques of racial thinking in his recent statement. Of course some segments of the libertarian community have always focused on the federal governments role in racial thinking, and ignored or minimized the states and other entities role in our past and right up to the present. This is mixed in with a thick stew of southern delusion and fantasy about the Confederacy. Lincoln was the real devil in that old sorry tragedy.

Ron has never expressed his discomfort with that wing of libertarianism that I am aware of, and his recent statement on this gives one the impression he wishes to appear to condemn racism while expressing it purely as a problem of government action on behalf of the discriminated against. Certainly the issue of anti discrimination laws needs to be revisited as well as affirmative action, the racial identity politics of much of the left and more. However, focusing ones condemnation of racism almost solely on such policies, especially at the federal level; and acting as if that is the real issue not only now, but in the past; rather than centuries of discrimination, enslavement, brutal and dehumanizing violence and a host of other sins is disturbing to say the least.

Nor is condemning racial policies, whatever their intent, the same as condemning racism. If I were a racist I certainly wouldn’t find anything objectionable in his statement, and much to find comfort in. The problem isn’t me, it is the fault of those nasty collectivists who have subverted the rugged individualism of white people in favor of policies to protect minorities. If I were a racist that is just the kind of myth making and blaming I might find really attractive.

For a more detailed examination of the contradictions and blinkered thinking in this statement I suggest David Bernstein (who has several posts on Paul) and Dale Franks at QandO.

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Dale Franks and the YAF

Some things really tend to leave me with my mouth refusing to shut in astonishment. Now read this:

The Little Green Footballs blog decided to condemn MSU-YAF for hosting Nick Griffin. In case you do not read Little Green Footballs, the blog is pro-Muslim, left-wing, politically correct, and basically a front for neoconservative foreign policy (instead of defending their culture, they want to build schools in the Anbar province). They are basically a puppet of the multiculturalists and believe that Islam is not the enemy of Western civilization and Christendom.

LGF??? Now LGF is not what many of its critics claim it is, but this is so far from reality it makes the rantings of the Great Sock Puppet look reasoned. The Michigan State Chapter of Young Americans for Freedom is obviously lurching off the deep end. Anyway, Dale Franks has more on this chapters descent into racist nutter land.

Update: Classical Values has a few more thoughts worth pondering.

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Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later — Indoctrination

I hadn’t ever seen this series before, but I have to admit that I find this stuff pretty damn scary:

That’s just a snippet of what is apparently being taught to our kids of high school age. Not only are white kids being denigrated as being overprivileged and unappreciative of “what they have”, as the Principal puts it, but black kids are being enouraged to think that the deck is officially stacked against them:

That was a public high school teacher promoting the idea of segregation. Is this what we really want? Is this the progeny of the Civil Rights Movement? Somehow I think that Dr. King would disagree.

Honestly, when I see these sorts of things, I worry about how they legitmize the White Power movements among other racist organizations. If the goal is to categorize everyone according to race, and dole out government privileges according to such standards, then how is it possible that racism will ever die? The totally predictable result is that, like in prison, people line up in fealty to their skin color. If we teach our children that this is the optimal result, what advancement is even possible? The only realistic result is a race war. Is that what we want? More concretely, is that what we’re teaching our children? If “Little Rock: 50 Years Later” is any indication, then the answer is: “Yes. Yes we are.”

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The Disappointing Usefulness of Simple Stereotypes

A reporter for the local paper of Jena, LA is pretty disgusted with the coverage of the events surrounding the trials involving the “Jena Six.” We have expressed confusion and frustration over the coverage here, here and here. As I have continued to read about the case his description of events seems more and more to fit the facts. Go ahead and read the whole thing, but we of course cannot be surprised.

We have seen in the cases of the Duke lacrosse players, Haditha, Blackwater and many more instances the desire of people to rush to judgment with the media’s full throated encouragement as long as it fit a narrative people wanted to see garbed. Whatever the truth of these four incidents, the willingness of the media to report rumors and unfounded conjecture as fact and reasoned supposition has been appalling, and unsurprising in who the villains and victims of their narrative turn out to be. If one had asked ahead of the coverage which party would be chosen as the bad guy/guys in each case, resorting to stereotypes of liberals would have been far more predictive than any kind of more nuanced or reasoned approach.

The coverage of Katrina was similarly awful, and unfair to pretty much everyone involved (including even the pathetic Michael Brown.) While a flawed effort, it is in many ways one of the most remarkable rescue operations ever undertaken, and one of the most successful:

MYTH: “The aftermath of Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history.”–Aaron Broussard, president, Jefferson Parish, La., Meet the Press, NBC, Sept. 4, 2005

REALITY: Bumbling by top disaster-management officials fueled a perception of general inaction, one that was compounded by impassioned news anchors. In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest–and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm’s landfall.

Dozens of National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters flew rescue operations that first day–some just 2 hours after Katrina hit the coast. Hoistless Army helicopters improvised rescues, carefully hovering on rooftops to pick up survivors. On the ground, “guardsmen had to chop their way through, moving trees and recreating roadways,” says Jack Harrison of the National Guard. By the end of the week, 50,000 National Guard troops in the Gulf Coast region had saved 17,000 people; 4000 Coast Guard personnel saved more than 33,000.

These units had help from local, state and national responders, including five helicopters from the Navy ship Bataan and choppers from the Air Force and police. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries dispatched 250 agents in boats. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state police and sheriffs’ departments launched rescue flotillas. By Wednesday morning, volunteers and national teams joined the effort, including eight units from California’s Swift Water Rescue. By Sept. 8, the waterborne operation had rescued 20,000.

While the press focused on FEMA’s shortcomings, this broad array of local, state and national responders pulled off an extraordinary success–especially given the huge area devastated by the storm. Computer simulations of a Katrina-strength hurricane had estimated a worst-case-scenario death toll of more than 60,000 people in Louisiana. The actual number was 1077 in that state.

Yet most of America would laugh at that characterization. Why? Because that wasn’t the way it was portrayed, even if all those facts were present in the coverage, the narrative around them was of a whole different character.

Finally, we should not be surprised that a media which cannot get even close to an accurate rendering of a story involving a few people in a small town in Louisiana has, on the whole, trouble grasping an infinitely more complex event such as Iraq, nor that simple stereotypes are a better predictor of the majority of coverage than any rational calculation of what is or is not significant.

Hat tip: Instapundit

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The Disparities around Jena

A thoughtful look at the story of the Jena Six and the controversy surrounding the case by Steve Coll. The criticisms of Reed Walters are reasonable. Of more interest to me is his point about problems of incarceration rates in general:

It might be of some comfort to politicians, then, if the Jena case, like the disgraceful treatment of displaced African-American victims of Hurricane Katrina, could be rationalized as an isolated, swamp-inspired exception to a more temperate American norm.

The opposite is true, however. In July, the Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group, released a state-by-state study of prison populations that identified where blacks endured the highest rates of incarceration. The top four states were South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Vermont; the top ten included Utah, Montana, and Colorado—not places renowned for their African-American subcultures. In the United States today, driving while black—or shoplifting while black, or taking illegal drugs, or hitting schoolmates—often carries the greatest risk of incarceration, in comparison to the risk faced by whites, in states where people of color are rare, including a few states that are liberal, prosperous, and not a little self-satisfied. Ex-slave states that are relatively poor and have large African-American populations, such as Louisiana, display less racial disparity.

I have several times pointed out that the left-right, Democrat-Republican, red state-blue state, north-south narratives are incredibly misleading, whether it is on race, gender, or sexual preference. Louisiana actually displays these incongruities and simplified narratives on a regular basis.  Not to claim it is the party of liberal enlightenment on the issues surrounding race, but the most open and disturbing evidence of white racism in Louisiana does not manifest itself amongst Republicans, the same when it comes to sexual preference or gender. The steadiest support for Democrats in Louisiana comes from the African-American population, and it is the most “liberal” in many ways of the various voting blocs. Yet the voting group with the biggest issues and least tolerance for gays is that same group. Nor is it a bastion of what many people see as liberal views on gender. As we see, the results on sentencing above show results which are probably counterintuitive to many northern liberals.

I am making no broad claims of hypocrisy, or papering over difficulties liberals and libertarians should have with conservatives and Republicans on many issues, including in Louisiana. Nor am I denying I hear similar kinds of things from Republicans and conservatives about what conservatives supposedly hold dear, or liberals are guilty of. I am saying I hear a lot of smug, simplistic,  and flatly wrong generalizations about these various divides and it distorts our thinking about these kinds of issues.

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Justice in Jena-Updated

As a Louisiana native I probably should have weighed in on the “Jena Six.” Like Michael, and many others, my initial reluctance has been being unsure of what really happened due to sketchy and conflicting reporting. What I can say at this point is that the decisions from a legal perspective have in each aspect of the case been very reasonable. The reporting has obscured that fact at times by declining to mention the nature of the attack, that there is no evidence it was associated with the “nooses” incident or the criminal history of Mychal Bell and the other defendants.

That the legal decisions have been reasonable does not make them right, but any decision is likely to be seen as less than satisfactory by someone. They have all been defensible however, and in the end the “Jena Six” are being tried on an appropriate charge. I give you Reed Walters, the prosecutor, defending his conduct in the New York Times:

I cannot overemphasize how abhorrent and stupid I find the placing of the nooses on the schoolyard tree in late August 2006. If those who committed that act considered it a prank, their sense of humor is seriously distorted. It was mean-spirited and deserves the condemnation of all decent people.

But it broke no law. I searched the Louisiana criminal code for a crime that I could prosecute. There is none.

Similarly, the United States attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, who is African-American, found no federal law against what was done.

Was this a “schoolyard fight?”

Conjure the image of schoolboys fighting: they exchange words, clench fists, throw punches, wrestle in the dirt until classmates or teachers pull them apart. Of course that would not be aggravated second-degree battery, which is what the attackers are now charged with. (Five of the defendants were originally charged with attempted second-degree murder.) But that’s not what happened at Jena High School.

The victim in this crime, who has been all but forgotten amid the focus on the defendants, was a young man named Justin Barker, who was not involved in the nooses incident three months earlier. According to all the credible evidence I am aware of, after lunch, he walked to his next class. As he passed through the gymnasium door to the outside, he was blindsided and knocked unconscious by a vicious blow to the head thrown by Mychal Bell. While lying on the ground unaware of what was happening to him, he was brutally kicked by at least six people.

Imagine you were walking down a city street, and someone leapt from behind a tree and hit you so hard that you fell to the sidewalk unconscious. Would you later describe that as a fight?

Only the intervention of an uninvolved student protected Mr. Barker from severe injury or death. There was serious bodily harm inflicted with a dangerous weapon — the definition of aggravated second-degree battery.

Given the facts as best as I have been able to determine, this is a reasonable view of the case. Whatever else was going on at the time at Jena High School, it shouldn’t be allowed to obscure or justify a vicious assault on a student, especially when it has nothing or little to do with those other events.

Update: Brendan Nyhan and others have brought up the point that Mr. Reed is eliding past the point that they were originally charged with attempted second degree murder. That may have been inappropriate, though we don’t know that given that others stopped them before they finished whatever was being attempted, and some of the witness testimony certainly might support such a charge. However, It is hardly unususual for prosecutors to start with the most serious charge which might be warranted before settling on a lesser one. The point is that the actual charge is second degree aggravated battery.

It is also said Mr. Barker was a racist, which he may well be, and that racist websites are holding him up as a hero, which goes beyond irrelevant. Mychal Bell however hardly gets a pass as a potential racist given his conduct though, and more to the point Mr. Barker’s opinions on race are not the issue either.

As for the pistol grip shotgun incident, the problem there seems to be that the stories are conflicting and hard for the prosecutor to get a handle on. It also was earlier than the attack on Justin Barker when it seems the prosecutors office decided to crack down, and when the violence reached its most dangerous point. Still, if there is compelling evidence that the young man in question committed a crime, it in no way mitigates what happened to Mr. Barker. These comments from Bean at Lawyers, Guns and Money sums up the problem with the commentary I continue to hear (and bean is far more reasonable than most, but why pick on the deluded:)

Yes, “Free the Jena 6? has become a rallying cry around this whole sorry mess, but I’m not sure even the protesters believe the six should get out of jail free if they were involved in the attack on Justin Barker.

It’s just that so many others ought to be going to jail as well.

That certainly isn’t what we hear from the protesters. Many do feel they should get out of jail free, and the problem is why protest in his favor at all? He committed aggravated battery! The protests speak of freeing the Jena Six because that is the focus, not that others should go to jail. Sadly, they want to invert the injustice (assuming the others mentioned should go to jail) and give similar charges to them and free the “Jena Six.” No putting more reasonable aims in the protesters mouths will change that.

The reasoning behind the decision to charge Mychal Ball as an adult is flimsy at best. His attack was by surprise (so the DA says)? Still not enough to try to throw a high school kid in jail for double-digit years.

Michael Bell is in high school, but he was a star athlete of 17 years when he did this with a history of violence including 4 previous violent crimes, two committed while on probation for a previous battery conviction. Bell has had numerous chances and threw them and a Division I athletic scholarship away. He is no innocent naif caught up in an isolated incident. While it might be argued he shouldn’t be tried as an adult, the case for doing so is not in any way flimsy.

I’m not sure how it’s worded in the Louisiana code, admittedly, but the resort to “my black friend says so too” immediately makes me suspicious.

It doesn’t make me suspicious. Given the constant emphasis, including in his post, of the race of people involved on the prosecutorial side, the jury, the witnesses, etc., pointing out that not only white figures in the cases agreed is unfortunately quite necessary. You can’t have it both ways. Bean and others have made race central to every aspect of the case, not just where it is obviously relevant. Reed didn’t choose for it to be seen that way, the protesters and his critics have.

For a very reasonable view of the case I suggest Richard Thompson Ford, despite ignoring the students history of violence and accepting at face value some claims which may not be true (Was there really a “white tree?” Many claim there wasn’t.)

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Jena In A Bottle

I have been following this story for about a week now, and I still can’t figure out what happened. Most of the core facts seem to be in dispute, such as whether or not the nooses in the “White Tree” were meant to intimidate black students intending to sit under it, or as school spirit gesture in light of the football game that day against the Avoyelles Mustangs. Jena Six ProtestsParts of both explanations ring as true, while other parts of each don’t seem to add up. It’s a common theme in this saga thus far. The end result is that it really is difficult to figure where to stand on this story.

I tend to agree with Jeralyn Merritt that, in the very least, it looks like a case of overcharging on the part of the prosecutor:

While I still can’t make judgments as to much of the story, I have no problem declaring the case one of prosecutorial over-charging and abuse of a system that allows prosecutors discretion in charging juveniles as adults. I think the only reason the kids were charged with such serious felonies was to get Mychal Bell, then a juvenile, into adult court.

The only explanation I’ve found suggesting that the Jena Six were not mis-charged is offered by Pastor Eddie Thompson from Jena (HT: MSimon):

Justin Barker, the white student attacked, was not the first white student targeted by these black students. Others had been informed they were going to be beaten, but stayed away from school and out of sight until they felt safe …. The “Jena Six” have repeatedly been held up as heroes by much of the race-based community and called “innocent students” by the national media. Some of these students have reputations in Jena for intimidating and sometimes beating other students. They have vandalized and destroyed both school property and community property. Some of the Jena Six have been involved in crimes not only in LaSalle Parish but also in surrounding parishes. For the most part, coaches and other adults have prevented them from being held accountable for the reign of terror they have presided over in Jena. Despite intervention by adults wanting to give them chances due their athletic potential, most of the Jena Six have extensive juvenile records. Yet their parents keep insisting that their children have never been in trouble before. These boys did not receive prejudicial treatment but received preferential treatment until things got out of hand.

I don’t know if Pastor Thompson is any more reliable on this matter than anyone else putting facts and opinions out there, but the information he’s thrown into the mix certainly makes it appear as if the whole story isn’t being told. If it makes any difference to you, the Pastor also penned an essay las December titled “The Battle Against Racism In Jena, Louisiana” in which he had this to say:

David Duke once received over sixty percent of the vote in a statewide election in LaSalle Parish. For whatever reason, there are a couple of schools here that were never integrated. There are no longer any tracks—the railroads having long abandoned what was once a sawmill paradise—to separate us in Jena, but most blacks live in their “quarters” while most whites live in theirs. I’ve lived here most of my life, and the one thing I can state with absolutely no fear of contradiction is that LaSalle Parish is awash in racism: True racism. Not the sort of affirmative action/name-calling/reparations-seeking fluff that keeps Jesse Jackson and liberal do-gooders in business, but a systematic, culture of bigotry, neglected by the scrutiny of time.

Obviously, Pastor Thompson isn’t hiding his head in the sand on this one, nor trying to cover for anyone’s actions that were motivated by racism. Indeed, he expresses a clear desire to tackle the issue head on. Of course, that doesn’t make his version of events any more reliable, just a bit more credible.

Another article I read recently that has a rather sober view of the Jena incidents is by Jason Whitlock:

Thursday, thousands of us, proud African-Americans, expressed our devotion to and desire to see justice for the “Jena Six,” the half-dozen black students who knocked unconscious, kicked and stomped a white classmate.

Jesse Jackson compared Thursday’s rallies in Jena to the protests and marches that used to take place in cities like Selma, Ala., in the 1960s. Al Sharpton claimed Thursday’s peaceful demonstrations were to highlight racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

Jesse and Al, as they’re prone to do, served a kernel of truth stacked on a mountain of lies.


You won’t hear about any of that because it doesn’t fit the picture we want to paint of Jena, this case, America and ourselves.

We don’t practice preventive medicine. Mychal Bell needed us long before he was cuffed and jailed. Here is another undeniable, statistical fact: The best way for a black (or white) father to ensure that his son doesn’t fall victim to a racist prosecutor is by participating in his son’s life on a daily basis.

That fact needed to be shared Thursday in Jena. The constant preaching of that message would short-circuit more potential “Jena Six” cases than attributing random acts of six-on-one violence to three-month-old nooses.

And I am in no way excusing the nooses. The responsible kids should’ve been expelled. A few years after I’d graduated, a similar incident happened at my high school involving our best football player, a future NFL tight end. He was expelled.

The Jena school board foolishly overruled its principal and suspended the kids for three days.

But the kids responsible for Barker’s beating deserve to be punished. The prosecutor needed to be challenged on his excessive charges. And we as black folks need to question ourselves about why too many of us can only get energized to help our young people once they’re in harm’s way.

It’s a good article, and I recommend that you RTWT, but again I don’t know if Whitlock’s recitation of facts is any more reliable that any one else’s. Unfortunately, I don’t know if we’ll ever really know the truth of what happened during those several months that racial tensions flared into violence at and around Jena High School. It does not appear at this juncture that enough people are invested in sussing out the facts so that the real narrative can be told.

Despite all the confusion and competing narratives regarding the Jena Six, however, there is one unequivocal truth that has emerged: thank God for Martin Luther King, Jr.

I shudder to think what would have happened to the Civil Rights Movement if the race hustlers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had been in charge back then. Although not everything that resulted from the cause led by Dr. King was a great big bowl of cherries, at least with his leadership and ability real problems of racism were exposed and real racism was confronted. If instead it had been the Jesse and Al show back then, we would be lucky if Jim Crow laws and “colored water fountains” were the worst remaining vestiges of that racially charged time. Given the level of incompetence and self-aggrandizement displayed by these two in Jena ( as well as that of their fellow travelers), I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that if they had led the march to Montgomery in 1965, a full on race war would have erupted, and that we would all be a lot worse off.

So, whatever else comes of this Jena Six debacle, say a prayer for Dr. King, and thank God that it was he who led the Selma March.

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The moral bankruptcy of the South African political class

Jamie Kerchick asks if it is time to consider knocking off Mugabe. Probably won’t happen even if it is the right thing to do, but this is part of the reason I despise Thabo Mbeki:

As an umpteenth example of the United Nation’s utter fecklessness, the world body has decided that the millions of Zimbabweans who have fled to neighboring South Africa over the past several years are not entitled to refugee status, and thus won’t receive any of the U.N.’s enormous largesse. Apparently because only a limited number have applied for political asylum (a limited number due to the fear of being caught and deported to a land where they will starve and/or be tortured) these poor people will continue to languish in penury, ignored by the international community. Meanwhile, the grandchildren of Palestinians who fled during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence have a unique status–conferred upon them by the U.N.–among the world’s refugees.

Remind me, again, why the U.N. matters?

Who is leading the charge to provide cover in the UN for Mugabe on this? Thabo Mbeki. The leadership of South Africa has lost any moral authority their long struggle gained them in their constant defense of dictators and mass murderers. Where is Nelson Mandela? Where is the ANC? Or is fighting injustice only a matter of the color of the perpetrators skin?

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The Vile Louisiana Democratic Party Strikes Again

Possibly the most despicable, corrupt, racist and venal political major organization in our nation hails from my home state of Louisiana. I am speaking of the Louisiana Democratic Party. The iron grip this organization has held my state in for so long has been slowly crumbling over the past thirty years, but it won’t lose power gracefully. Bobby Jindal is its latest target because he is threatening to run away with the election with a margin of victory that was once only attainable from the Democratic Party machine. Sadly this party still gets support from people who claim they are liberals despite a history that should shame any association with it, from Jim Crow, environmental degradation, murder, graft, vote buying and a host of sins too disgusting to believe.

In the last election ads darkening Jindal’s skin were used to appeal to racist whites in North Louisiana, and in that same area we now get ads attacking him for his religious views. Bad enough, but of course his views are being lied about in the most disgusting manner possible. Captain Ed has beaten me to discussing the specifics which are causing quite a stir down here. I can only hope it backfires, but this is the state that elected Edwin Edwards three times:

I purchased the first essay highlighted on the website that the Democrats set up to demonize Jindal’s writings. In this, they cleverly write hyperbolic descriptions of his essays while hiding behind the knowledge that readers will have to pay to read them from New Oxford Review. For instance, the description on the essay I bought claims that “Jindal explains how Catholicism has more merit than all other Religions. Jindal states non-Catholics are burndened [sic] with “utterly depraved minds” and calls individuals who ignore the teachings of the Catholic church intellectually dishonest.”

When I read Jindal’s essay, however, it says nothing of the sort. Jindal quotes John Calvin as saying that all men are born “utterly depraved” and then argues against it:

One of the most consequential, and yet neglected, Reformation beliefs is the view that utterly depraved man is incapable of meaningful sanctification. This rejection of spiritual regeneration and subsequent separation of spiritual from physical realities has resulted in various widely held current beliefs, ranging from predestination to nominalism. Yet Luther was wrong to claim that our sins are as dung covered by snow, for he underestimated both God’s justice and His power. Faith does more than cause God to ignore our sins, for His grace is enough to accomplish a true spiritual rebirth. In embracing God’s grace, our righteousness becomes imparted, as our sins and their effects are “removed from us” …He also does not call Protestants “intellectually dishonest.” He says that it would not be intellectually honest to ignore the teachings of the Catholic Church when studying Christianity. That doesn’t mean all Protestants are dishonest, but that any comparative study of the religion without at least seeing for one’s self what Catholicism has to say about itself is intentionally self-limiting. He also calls on the Catholic Church to live up to those teachings in almost the same breath. Frankly, this piece is pretty much Catholic Apologetics 101.

Why the National Democratic Party continues to support this organization I cannot fathom. Anyway, read the whole thing.

Here is a story from our local news on the vicious campaign:

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News Brief, Need Your Needs Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.

The Pentagon

  • In laying out his thoroughly convincing case against widespread instant adaptation of the MRAP, the Robot Economist says something I thought profound: “One thing that I have noticed about about U.S. operations in Iraq is a tendency to favor material solutions over doctrinal, organizational, and training solutions when a problem crops up on the battlefield. Just compare the $6 billion spent by JIEDDO on counter IED technology versus the years it took to the U.S. Army to role out a new counterinsurgency manual, despite the clear need for one.” Indeed. As he says, that isn’t to say the MRAP might not be effective, but it does nothing to eliminate the source and motivation behind IEDs. That will be the real “solution” to the problem in Iraq.
  • Does the new War Caesar (hail!) hate the surge? I would, too, if it did nothing to reduce or stop the attacks.
  • DoD bans Youtube, urges soldiers to watch YouTube. LOL! If you’re feeling meta, you can check on the military’s ban on YouTube.

Around the World

  • Bradley Marten, who wrote the excellent Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader (review here), has a depressing article on the way the Kim family not only has accepted extravagant gifts in the past, but how world leaders continue to shower it with gifts today… Including to the current head of state, the deceased Kim Il-sung. Of course, extravagant gifts for the people don’t really ever happen, in part because Kim keeps them all for himself.
  • A heartfelt plea from Human Rights Watch, begging China to stop forcibly repatriating North Korean refugees. Good luck. Though a few hundred thousand deaths have created tremendous attention and furor in Darfur, an equal or greater number of people are being actively terrorized by the North Korean government. The silence from the International community is deafening. For more insight into this, I highly recommend the documentary Seoul Train.
  • Wow, who’d've thunk that the Serbs would fail to find Ratko Mladic on his expansive estate in Serbia? He’s only been on the “run” for 12 years, living openly.
  • Oh look, we’re confusing Colombia and Afghanistan again. Over at, I take a look at the terrible problem of opium in Afghanistan, and why it seems like the U.S. is deliberately trying to fail into a decades-long drug war.
  • Ben sees a bright future for the Stanosphere (i.e. all the Central Asia blogs, of which I am a part). I do, too: not only for those of us nerds in the West who have developed a real passion for the region, but for those who live there and now have access to the outside world to an extent unimaginable when I was in high school (not that long ago, mind you). I fully support, and wish them well in their drive to foster connectedness in one of the more unconnected areas of the world.
  • What did Paul Bremer get wrong? Everything? Or less?
  • Was it the worst EuroVision ever? I dunno—that’s a tall order. But check out that Ukrainian drag queen; along with the bizarre drag bear Azis, I have to wonder: why is Eastern Europe so gay?

Back at Home

  • Big congratulations to Georgie James, which just signed to Saddle Creek. It is made up of former Q and not U drummer John Davis and Laura Burhenn (who put out a stunning solo album a few years back). They’re quite infectious, with a glam retro classic rock-type sound. On Saddle Creek, they have good company in Bright Eyes, Cursive, Ladyfinger, and the Faint.
  • Jesse Walker is far more charitable than I am towards Fallwell, and sees a surprising side to his legacy.
  • Saucy jocks?” Umm, they were laughing about raping the Secretary of State. Three white men were laughing and joking about raping a black woman for daring to think differently. Notice how Opie and Anthony get merely suspended, while Don Imus, who simply used a racial stereotype got fired. Imus, it should be noted, was not mocking a Republican.
  • Jewcy sees latent anti-Semitism behind the Wolfowitz hyperventilation. I rather see petty political revenge: as a neo-con, a former Bushie, Wolfowitz deserves to go down, regardless of his efficacy or record. To repeat the Hitch from yesterday: no matter who Wolfowitz is or they wish him to be, this is shameful, deeply unfair conduct on their part, especially toward Shaha Riza, who apparently committed the unforgivable sin of dating a Bushie.
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Racist Referees?

I haven’t read the paper, just the article, the executive summary, the discussion on the radio, at Matthew Yglesias’ and at Marginal Revolution. So maybe these points have been covered in the full paper in a satisfactory manner.

I also do not mean to imply I doubt that there are disparities in how referees call games, and that it may reflect racism. I only ask these questions in the spirit of curiosity and general doubts about such research to prove what they claim as opposed to the truth of the claim.

1. Despite the explanation of controlling for these factors I am dubious:

The economists accounted for a wide range of factors: that centers, who tend to draw more fouls, were disproportionately white; that veteran players and All-Stars tended to draw foul calls at different rates than rookies and non-stars; whether the players were at home or on the road, as officials can be influenced by crowd noise; particular coaches on the sidelines; the players’ assertiveness on the court, as defined by their established rates of assists, steals, turnovers and other statistics; and more subtle factors like how some substitute players enter games specifically to commit fouls.

Many of these factors cannot be so easily reduced to statistical analysis. Most importantly, it seems that they have not allowed for a rather obvious objection. That even given all those factors, do black players deserve to have more fouls called upon them once those factors are accounted for? It is important to understand that a more aggressive posture (which they claim they control for, but it can only be, and given the way they seem to define assertiveness, indirectly accounted for) when it comes to play is not a criticism, it can have benefits as well as costs. Certainly black players are often considered more physical in their playing styles than white players, and that disparity is more often remarked upon at levels lower than the NBA (where one might see a narrowing of the difference if it in fact exists.) This common perception may be racist in and of itself (though it is often said as a pejorative against whites, and is made most prominently against white European players.) Given the cultural differences between the white and black populations in the NBA, especially with the influx of European players, would it be surprising to see such a difference?

2. If that is the case, in assessing the impact of the disparity (which is quite small as a practical matter) have they controlled for the benefits of playing that more physical style as well as the costs? One would guess no, since the possibility that black players do foul more is not the explanation.

3. It seems the disparity is driven not by a difference in the way white and black referees treat black players as opposed to a difference in the way they treat white players. There is a statistical difference between the way white and black referees treat white players. I am curious, how is it proven that the difference is driven by white racism versus black racism? Of course, if white players in fact commit just as many fouls as blacks contra potential objection #1, then obviously the issue is white referees favoring white players.

4. What if in fact both white and black referees discriminate against white players (not all that unlikely in my opinion) but black referees treat them even worse?

Once again, intuitively I find their results quite unexceptional and the conclusions reasonable, but are they proven? Thoughts encouraged, especially from those who have the time to read the paper.

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News Brief, Mission of Burma Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.

The Pentagon

  • This account of an NSA Recruiting drive wasn’t all that remarkable, except for one bit I had never heard before. “It was mentioned that people who had done a lot of illegal file sharing were turned down and told never to apply again.” Now, how they define “a lot” leaves much to be desired. But I don’t know of a single computer literate college student who has not done any illegal file sharing. Can the NSA afford to be that picky in choosing its candidates? Does the CIA and other intelligence agencies have such stringent (and, in my view, unrealistic) criteria for its 21-year old recruits? (Note: Noah Shachtman makes the same point as well.)
  • Now that I think of it, this is kind of similar to their attitude on drugs. Until recently, the criteria was that any illegal drug use, at any point in your past, was grounds for clearance denial. That has since been amended to “within the last 12 months” for most clearances, including the CIA. A similar standard should apply to the NSA.
  • Not exactly Pentagon, but it is US-strategy related: an article I wrote on American strategic opportunities in Turkmenistan is up over at World Politics Watch. Go, read.

Around the World

  • A fascinating look at EU relations with Uzbekistan, two years after the Andijon massacre. If your Russian (or translation service) isn’t up to snuff, it is along similar lines to much of what Nathan has been reporting lately.
  • A fascinating World Bank paper on economic growth and political and social trends in pre-civil war and post-civil war periods. They find that once peace is achieved, sustained growth rates of 2% are common. This suggests civil wars, though disastrous, may not necessarily be ruinous.
  • Foreign Policy takes a look at social norms and attitudes of the infamous Muslim community of England. Since it is a survey, I would immediately question their methodology. I do wonder, though: how many Muslims were first-generation immigrants, and how many were born there? In other studies of Muslims in Europe, the first-gen immigrants deeply believe in their adopted homes and wish to integrate, while their children, the victims of systemic if unofficial discrimination, are most often the ones who become radicalized.
  • Sudan has been caught secretly shipping guns to Darfur, on planes disguised as UN aircraft.
  • Georgia, looking east. They stand to win big from any new petroleum infrastructure (both oil and gas) around the Caspian. To paraphase a familiar saying, “All pipes lead to Tiblisi.”
  • The U.S. is acting like it’s a shock the Iranians are sending weapons to Afghanistan. Even if it means sending weapons to a group of Sunni extremists who would just as happily behead the Ayatollah as the U.S. Ambassador. Iran’s policy, as with its abduction ploy, is short-sighted: rather than seeing the longer strategic picture of dealing with an American presence in Kabul versus a Taliban presence, it has gone for the short term gain of trying to bog down the American military presence next door. Unless they’re supremely confident of their ability to prop up the Emir of Herat (Ismail Khan, currently a member of Parliament) as a buffer zone, Iran has to be banking on its policy to fail or fall short. In other words, it is a confusing decision… highlighted by the upswing in violence in Iranian Baluchistan.
  • The National Union of British Journalists has voted to boycott Israel because a BBC reporter was abducted by Palestinians. I could easily be mistaken, but might their holy outrage be better expressed against, I don’t know, the Palestinians who supported his abduction, rather than the Israelis who oppose them? To say nothing of the much-flouted principle of media neutrality applying only to dictators and thugs…

Back at Home

  • Judges and bad companies hate you, and they hate your innovations. Acacia, a company known for buying and then suing patents, has decided to sue everyone because they use hyperlinks on CDs. This is akin to when Amazon patented the mouse click in Internet transactions: frivolous, deceptive, dirty, and bad corporate policy.
  • Radley Balko on the problems of prohibition. I have to confess that if marijuana were legal, I’d probably smoke it every once in a while. But it would be the same as my drinking habits—really only on the rare occasions my friends can hang out. I don’t drink during the week, just as I wouldn’t smoke during the week: maybe I’m a lightweight, but pot leaves me braindead the next day. And before you freak out over my admission of drug use, consider that I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder—Boulder!—where not only are there multiple greenhouses growing surprisingly high quality hydroponic stuff, but in nearby Denver possession was legalized. And the remarkable thing is, just as when alcohol was re-legalized, the vast majority of users were responsible and stable. A fraction of a percent of abusers shouldn’t ruin it for the rest of us.
  • The Manhattan Institute released a report about Myths and Facts concerning energy and the environment. They’d make Bjorn Lomborg proud.
  • While absent-mindedly jogging on the treadmill last night, I watched Le Journal, an international French news program. They ran a report on Blacksburg, which would have been hilarious for its ignorance if it weren’t taken so seriously in the francophone world. After going through the requisite scenes of mourning and confusion, the reporter traveled to a gunshop miles from campus, and declared (I’m paraphrasing), “children can walk into shops like this and purchase machine guns as long as they declare they are not criminals.” They then said America has a centuries-long tradition of gun worship, we indoctrinate our children into gun usage they way the French indoctrinate their children into soccer play, and this is why we are such a violent and uncaring society. No wonder Europe hates us, if they have such atrociously unethical reporting.
  • Though in fairness to Der Spiegel, they published a series of emails and blog counterpoints to their own summary of hostile European editorials about the shooting.
  • Distraught Koreans think this is the new 9/11. Umm, no.
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L’affaire Imus

I haven’t written about the Imus brouhaha, nor have my blogmates. I was tempted for a bit, though only to express my consternation that Imus was being portrayed as a conservative, which is ridiculous. I was disheartened by this, though only because I felt bad for the girls at Rutgers, who dismantled my beloved LSU Tigers in the Final Four and deserved their moment in the sun. I didn’t feel bad because Imus said what he said (worse is said all the time) but because the media circus made their accomplishment a side bar to our need to feed the media outrage machine. Those girls deserved better than that, from Imus, and the rest of us. I would not have needed to feel bad for them if like me, everybody felt the same way as Roger Simon does here, when we all first heard of his nonsense:

Yes, there is something wrong with America …

And it’s not the war in Iraq, our contribution global warming or the health care crisis.

It’s that we pay one second of attention to the opinions of Don Imus or Al Sharpton.

No more tedious individuals exist on our national landscape, although they are in a certain sense exemplary. They represent the triumph of narcissism over intelligent discourse in close to its purest form. No idea or thought exists free of how it affects them – their fame, their glory and, ultimately, their cash. Every second we spend thinking or talking about these two is a second completely lost from our lives. And I’m stopping now.

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Shift Happens: No more boring statistics

(Via: Pajamas) Please watch this. In understanding the world our ignorance is a problem, but greater still are the things which we believe we know about the world that we do not. Luckily for you, this is entertaining. Within minutes you will learn you probably are as well informed as Sweden’s top students and the Nobel Prize committee, but less so than a chimpanzee. I will also first give you a reprise of “Shift Happens.” – Shift Happens

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Logic Problems at Salon

The subtext of this Salon piece? People in Louisiana sure are stupid. Because everything that went wrong after Katrina was Bush’s fault, and yet the state is growing more staunchly Republican.

I’m going to just leave the “it’s all Bush’s fault” meme alone, except to express astonishment that anyone could make such an argument or have it taken seriously. Whatever your opinion of George W. Bush, Louisiana politicians have been out-incompetenting and out-corrupting the rest of the nation for 200 years. Also, they are incompetent and corrupt in a variety of amusing and colorful ways, which is the only reason we are able to tolerate them. Suffice to say that there is plenty of blame to go around, and I am uninterested in rehashing that discussion, mostly because I am lazy and don’t feel like tracking down a bunch of links. (Have at each other on the comments if you want to.)

The really interesting part of Schaller’s article is this section, in which he examines the impact of race on party identification and electoral success:

Louisiana is, at last, about to look a lot more like its Deep South neighbors politically. There has been something of an inverse relationship in recent presidential elections between the share of black voters and Republican performance. That is, the blacker the state, the bigger the Republican margins. Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are all states with black populations close to or above a third, the highest percentage in the nation — and not a Democratic senator, governor or, since 1992, Democratic electoral vote among them.

Along with Florida, Louisiana had been different, a state where multiracial coalitions propelled Clinton, Landrieu and Blanco to victories. In Louisiana, a black population of 32.5 percent made victory for Democrats possible. The post-Katrina question is whether the black population will remain large enough for Democrats to continue building such coalitions, especially if there is a backlash among white voters in the noncoastal portions of the state toward Blanco, controversial New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and state Democrats in general. Recent polls, however, are not promising, and they also show how resolutely racial party identification has become in the Deep South. The blacker the state, the more Republican the whites are.

Let me see if I can follow this logic. First he says, southern states with large black populations are more reliably Republican. In his words, “the blacker the state, the more Republican the whites are.” In the same paragraph, he says Louisiana’s pre-Katrina demographics (a higher percentage of blacks) ”made victory for Democrats possible.” And now that there are fewer black people in the state (because of post-Katrina migration), Louisiana is getting more Republican…because there are fewer black people! Wait a second…shouldn’t we be getting less Republican in that case? It must be because Louisiana used to be different (how? why? I don’t know!) but now we are the same–a “new Mississippi.” Ouch! Low blow.

I guess what they say about Louisiana schools is true, because I’m too dumb to figure that out.

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Dred Scott RIP-Updated

I suggest taking a trip to Gateway Pundit for a fine tribute to Dred Scott, who passed away 150 years ago.

In memory of a simple man who wanted to be free.

His stone reads… “Subject of the decision of the Supreme Court, of the United States in 1857 that denied citizenship to the negro, voided the Missouri Compromise Act, Became one of the events that resulted in the Civil War.”

Update: Tom Elia provides more commentary, plus key excerpts from the 9 different(!!!) opinions issued by the court.

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Welcome to the Mainstream Amanda!-Updated

I don’t spend much time at Pandagon, I just breeze through to see what the nuttier parts of the left side of the blogosphere are up to. Of course I have always taken a particular shine to chuckling at Amanda Marcotte, but pointing out she is a nut of a leftist is a little unfair. Mainstream liberals shouldn’t have her or the Democratic Underground held around their necks any more than I want, Dr. Gary North, Glenn Greenwald or Mona placed around mine. I may have to rethink that however, given the growing influence of Kos and the hiring of Amanda Marcotte by John Edwards. They may be more mainstream than I thought.

In case you have been living under a rock and not been made aware of this woman’s attempt to make every caricature of the womens studies departments of America look understated you can go to read about what set it off here and a number of choice quotes from her fevered world view on a host of other topics can be found at Dan Riehl’s place, or heck, check out her blog for a few moments.

Of course Amanda is upset at all the attention she is getting (as I am sure her new employer is) and left this odd little statement in the midst of a whining and bizarre defense of her work:

And that’s all I’m going to say on the subject of why if I see the words “Duke” or “lacrosse” in an email that has the whiff of accusatory tone, I’m deleting it and simply not going to reply to it. I have never, ever stated that I think that anyone should go to jail without a proper trial.

Well, that is what she is being accused of, saying they shouldn’t have a trial before being sent to jail. ??? I thought it was about a number of comments which were offensive not just because they flew in the face of the evidence these young men were framed, but also because they were offensive regardless of their guilt or innocence. Not least because the posts assumed they were guilty because, well, let us see her reasons:

In the meantime, I’ve been sort of casually listening to CNN blaring throughout the waiting area and good f**king god is that channel pure evil. For awhile, I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and f**ked her against her will—not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out.

I ask you to check out the quote from her defending herself above and juxtapose it with that. The second quote of course cannot be found any longer at Pandagon. Well I guess that doesn’t say they should have no trial, it says they should have a trial and the players should be declared guilty and well, isn’t the rest offensive in and of itself? All the moreso because they are surely not guilty. In Amanda’s world the players are guilty because they are men. “That isn’t what she is saying!” It isn’t? Let us look at another snippet:

There’s just something about this Duke rape case that’s inspiring to
rape apologists . . . [Feminists] could certainly come up with a more
efficient method if we wanted to of getting men in jail besides getting
ourselves raped and then raising a fuss as if we had a right not to be

Hmm, I could rest my case but:

Smarty-pants, educated womenz (and one dude who loved the cock) who
have sex with guys who aren’t me raped that stripper at Duke, not a
bunch of overly entitled rich white boys making cracks about picking

Okay, I should amend my statement. They are guilty because they are rich white boys. That is known and any fair trial would have shown that. She certainly wanted them to have a trial before being convicted of being rich white boys. I guess she is right, she is being picked on.

Go read the rest and ponder the vicious stereotypes she feeds off of, and the paranoia screaming from every pore.

In her part of the country, both women and black people are seen as subhuman objects to be used and abused by white men.

Welcome to the mainstream Amanda! The Carolinas will love you!

UPDATE: Take a look at Brad Warbiany’s post on his personal experience with Amanda from a couple of years ago. It is an extreme version of what I read even from the Matt Yglesias’ and Kevin Drum’s of the world.
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That didn’t take long- Biden sticks foot in mouth

I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.
-Joe Biden

Did he really say he is the first such African-American?

Michael may be right about this ending his candidacy, but I am not sure.

Let me give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant the first such candidate (a benefit of the doubt almost never given to Republicans.) Still, I have little use for Jesse Jackson, but was he not articulate? Bright? A clean and nice looking guy? What the heck is that about? (I won’t bring up Sharpton for obvious reasons.)

I don’t want to make too much of this because Biden certainly isn’t meaning to say anything other than many Americans are ready and would be happy to elect a charismatic African American who they trust on the issues.

I could though, and if he was a Republican the media and a great part of the left side of the blogosphere would do so. It comes off as a bit, well, off. Doesn’t it? I could infer all kinds of dark things about the statement, couldn’t I?

Well, Barack Obama’s campaign manager certainly hopes people do:

And as for rest—including Mr. Biden’s use of the words “articulate” and “nice-looking” to describe the Senator from Illinois—the spokesman said, “Senator Biden’s words speak for themselves.”

They do?

I don’t think so, but if the past treatment of people such as George Allen is any indication they will be claimed to speak for themselves, and nothing Biden says will be allowed to change that. Reporters will start digging up anyone they can who will claim Biden is a long time racist.

Or not. He is a Democrat. I am not sure how this plays or which outcome would bother me more. A continuation of the double standard or another ridiculous firestorm.

He is actually relatively nice to Obama, basically claiming he hasn’t done anything, which is pretty much true. He is pretty scathing about Hillary and Edwards:

“I don’t think John Edwards knows what the heck he is talking about,” Mr. Biden said, when asked about Mr. Edwards’ advocacy of the immediate withdrawal of about 40,000 American troops from Iraq.

“John Edwards wants you and all the Democrats to think, ‘I want us out of there,’ but when you come back and you say, ‘O.K., John’”—here, the word “John” became an accusatory, mocking refrain—“‘what about the chaos that will ensue? Do we have any interest, John, left in the region?’ Well, John will have to answer yes or no. If he says yes, what are they? What are those interests, John? How do you protect those interests, John, if you are completely withdrawn? Are you withdrawn from the region, John? Are you withdrawn from Iraq, John? In what period? So all this stuff is like so much Fluffernutter out there. So for me, what I think you have to do is have a strategic notion. And they may have it—they are just smart enough not to enunciate it.”

Just smart enough!? Good thing he didn’t say that about Obama.
This may be a fun two years for blogging.

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From the Department of “You have got to be kidding”

The Nation of Islam has a sports blog (Hat tip: Three Sources) and it is a riot. I thought the nonsense at the Stormfront (not linking, I tired of their schtick when I linked to them last time) site was offensive and ridiculous. Get a load of this (which at first I thought might be parody):

White devils on ice. Whirling dervishes on skates. White athletes propelled and assisted by physics to speeds they can not reach on land. The ice. The last refuge and hiding place of the white athlete.

Relegated to minority status in most team sports, the white athlete has retreated to frozen water as a means of preserving his one “major” remaining sports league. Knowing full well the Negro athlete has a traditional distaste for performing on or in water. After all, it was across a great body of water the Negro was shanghaied and stolen.

Hey, wasn’t Al Campanis fired for saying something about African Americans and water?

As Negroes, we turned our attention to NASCAR, hoping that Jay-Z or Carmello Anthony would invest in the future of Negro America by developing a racing team to return the world of autoracing to the original human. While our eyes were diverted, the white devil sprung into action.

Hockey players agreed to pay cuts. A new network was conjured to carry the “sport”. And, like the rebirthed spawns of satan, the return. Brawling, bearded and unevolved monoliths reappeared from the frozen northern wasteland.

For those not getting it, the original human is one of African ancestry and the unevolved are white people, though by the terms own reckoning aren’t we all of African ancestry? It seems the view is that whites and other races are being driven from sports because of their inherent inferiority.

Check out the first post from this pocket of racial hatred:

A resounding “good day” from the Nation of Islam, as we pursue or path of righteousness and brotherhood by venturing into the world of sports.Anticipate a view of the sports world through the eyes of the original members of the Tribe of Shabazz.

As the original humans, the view through our eyes is the only authentic view.

In the words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad: “We don’t hate white folk. We just don’t like ‘em much.”

(emphasis mine.)

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