Tag: Race

California’s Reparations Overreach

 

With Assembly Bill 3121, passed in 2020, the California state legislature created a task force whose purpose is to “study and develop reparation programs for African-Americans.” On June 1, 2022, that task force issued its lengthy interim report, with an executive summary, which together will divide rather than inform the highly fraught public at large. What is desperately needed today are programs of market liberalization that will raise the welfare of all groups, without seeking to play one off against the other.

But the task force has no such general recommendations. Instead, it chooses to examine complex historical events that took place from the onset of slavery in the United States until the present day. That untidy inquiry should mix together developments of both cruelty and heroism. Had the task force proceeded in a more responsible manner, it would have started with the proposition that many groups—racial and otherwise—have been mistreated and can make, and have made, claims for reparations. And it also should have explicitly acknowledged that at no point in our nation’s history have any such expansive reparations programs been enacted.

Misunderstanding Korematsu

Quote of the Day: Thomas Sowell on Ending Slavery

 

“What was peculiar about the West was not that it participated in the worldwide evil of slavery, but that it later abolished that evil, not only in Western societies but also in other societies subject to Western control or influence. This was possible only because the anti-slavery movement coincided with an era in which Western power and hegemony were at their zenith, so that it was essentially European imperialism which ended slavery. This idea might seem shocking, not because it does not fit the facts, but because it does not fit the prevailing vision of our time.”
― Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals

The Iron Law of “Quote of the Day” Posts: when in doubt, go with Sowell. A few months back I read his 2005 book, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, and it was even more brilliant than the high level we’ve all come to expect. With seeming ease, Sowell dismantles the divisive racial narrative our media and political culture have peddled for decades. “Seeming ease,” because everything he writes is backed by years of research.

In 1833, the British Empire radically reconsidered the morality of slavery, an institution present throughout every previous era of human history. Once the Crown and Parliament deemed it an intolerable evil, they converted most of the world to their newly held view — often at the point of a bayonet. Only three decades later, the United States fully adopted this new morality, fighting its bloodiest war to remove slavery’s Southern holdouts.

The Sham of ‘White Supremacy’

 

According to President Biden, “terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today,” as he put it in an address to congress. Attorney General Merrick Garland agreed, noting that “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” are the most dangerous element of domestic violence. Garland declared that we must “bring federal resources to bear” and “adopt a broader societal response” to the threat of white supremacy.

But it’s a slur to claim that Americans live in fear of white supremacists like the brownshirts of yore. In reality, white supremacists are a small fringe group of pathetic losers who are despised by all.

Their gatherings often attract more attackers than members. No one raises money for their bail when they get in trouble like Kamala Harris did for BLM when their “mostly peaceful” protests produced burning buildings and mass looting.

The Scam That Was BLM

 

I don’t know about you, but the first time I heard the slogan “Black Lives Matter” I thought it was, well … curious. Whoever said otherwise these days? Wasn’t that obvious?

I soon discovered the depths of my naïveté. The tip-off was realizing that “All Lives Matter” was not a more inclusive iteration of the same concept, but its opposite – racist fighting words. People were vilified and fired for saying them.

It turned out that BLM was a “social justice” organization focused primarily on “intervening in violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes,” i.e., police.

The Problem of ‘Tokenism’

 

“Tokenism” is the practice of choosing people for roles based on superficial qualities rather than intrinsic worthiness for the positions. Because it prioritizes identity over merit, it risks placing less qualified, underperforming individuals in positions of responsibility.

We have a particularly glaring example of tokenism in our current Vice President, Kamala Harris.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Howard Bryant, a senior writer for ESPN and the author of nine books, including Full Dissidence: Notes From an Uneven Playing Field and The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism. Bryant shares how his experiences as a student, baseball fan, and sportswriter growing up in 1970s-era Boston have shaped his understanding of race relations and sports. He discusses celebrated American athletes who have broken barriers, from Jackie Robinson and Celtics legend Bill Russell to the Williams sisters and Tiger Woods. Bryant describes how these pioneering athletes were treated, and how they handled their celebrity status. He also offers thoughts on how the multi-billion-dollar professional sports industry is addressing larger racial disparities.

Stories of the Week: In San Francisco, a recall election ousted three members of the Board of Education, after a period of remote learning challenges, controversial school renaming process, admissions policy changes, and other issues. Democratic strategists are raising concerns about their party’s weak positioning on education issues, which will likely continue to play a major role in this election cycle.

The Second Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

 

The first assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. was a national tragedy, but his assassin succeeded only in killing the man. The idea King lived and ultimately died for, most beautifully captured in his famous wish, his dream that his “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,” survived him. Ideas are not killed by bullets.

Ideas are killed by other ideas.

Quote of the Day: Teach Us To Question

 

Well, I would say the governor’s race in Virginia was decided based on the success of a right-wing propaganda campaign that told white parents that they needed to fight against their children being indoctrinated as race — as being called racists. But that was a propaganda campaign. And there are a lot of Black parents in Virginia. There are a lot of Latino parents in Virginia. And they were not being featured in that coverage. And what they wanted for their kids’ education, which is more teaching about race, more teaching about the history of racism, seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. So I think we should frame that question properly. And I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught. I’m not a professional educator. I don’t have a degree in social studies or science. We send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have an expertise in the subject area. And that is not my job. When the, when the governor or the candidate said that he didn’t think parents should be deciding what’s being taught in school, he was panned for that. But that’s just the fact. This is why we send our children to school and don’t homeschool, because these are the professional educators who have the expertise to teach social studies, to teach history, to teach science, to teach literature. And I think we should leave that to the educators. Yes, we should have some say. But school is not about simply confirming our world view. Schools should teach us to question. They should teach us how to think, not what to think.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, journalist and founder of The 1619 Project, on “Meet the Press,” Dec. 26, 2021

Racist Underpass

 

When Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was explaining how infrastructure is a form of systemic racism, he used an example of underpasses in New York that were constructed in a way to prevent buses “carrying mostly black and Puerto Rican kids” from getting to the beach. He was talking about the Southern State Parkway and Jones Beach.

Yesterday’s New York Post had an interesting article about that. Yes, the underpass is too low for a bus to get through. That much is true. At the time they said the bridges were smaller to keep costs down. Of course, that could just be an excuse to cover up their racist plot.

California: Fear of a Black Governor

 

I regret to inform you the white progressives are at it again. The California recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom will be held Tuesday and polls show him with a weak lead. Golden State Democrats are terrified, not only that their Bay Area Gordon Gekko clone will be tossed out on his oily ear but — quelle horreur — a Black man from South Central might take his place. Not being creative campaigners, progressives are playing one of the few cards they have left.

The LA Times called gubernatorial hopeful Larry Elder “the Black face of white supremacy.” A columnist from the same paper said on MSNBC that replacing their peckerwood governor with a brother would discredit “the idea that multiracial democracy can work.” Nancy Pelosi’s daughter waved her white sheets claiming that “diversity is on the ballot” so her fellow crackers need to support Sacramento’s white power player.

Fear of a black governor isn’t new to California leftists. The state has had 40 chief execs, every single one a white man. Can you imagine? Apparently, Democrats don’t think there’s a single woman or ethnic minority qualified to run their state.

This is Not Normal, Not Even a New Normal

 

If you are feeling bat-[bleep] crazy, or just plain bats (I hate to use that term bats, due to the Wuhan crap and is now associated with COVID), I just want to say (shout)  – you are not alone! Not by a longshot. You, my friend, are not crazy, but normal in every sense of the word, so rest assured. The circumstances around you are not right. Your sense that this is the case, is normal, so check that box. What is not normal is what we are witnessing around us. Let’s examine:

Gender – I read on my Apple News, that comes through on my phone whether I want it or not, that the head of the American “Medical” Association wants to reject putting any sex or gender on a new birth certificate. It is now about feelings that are subject to change. Are you kidding? Please resign. Even Mother Nature knows this is ridiculous and not normal, not in the bird world, or the dog world, or even the bat world, will any of God’s creatures ever give birth to a fluid-gender, confused new life. This is orchestrated.

Sovereignty and Patriotism – Being proud to be an American has always been part of our heritage. Italians are proud of Italy, their heritage, and many pasta recipes; Greeks are proud of their very long lineage, olives and feta, and so forth. We all share a common love of country, family, and a delicious, multicultural soup, that I cannot imagine a homogenized sameness, where border safety and our history are looked at as bad. Yet we are being intimidated to do just that. America was and is a refuge – a place where you can speak freely, be safe, where law and order are part of the fabric of a society without a fear or intimidation of imprisonment, censorship, or job loss because of one’s beliefs. That only happens in communist and totalitarian regimes, right? Not anymore. This is not normal.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Robert Woodson, Sr., founder and president of the Woodson Center that supports neighborhood-based initiatives to revitalize low-income communities, as well as author and editor of the May 2021 book, Red, White, and Black. Woodson shares his background in civil rights advocacy, serving low-income neighborhoods fighting crime, educational inequity, and racial discord, including his involvement with the Urban League in the 1970s during Boston’s busing crisis. He offers thoughts on race relations in America after the murder of George Floyd, the call for defunding the police, and the ongoing struggles to reform the country’s larger urban school districts.

They then turn to the 1776 Unites project, which he launched to counter the 1619 Project, to take a balanced approach to K-12 American history instruction. He describes the main arguments from his new book, and reactions since its publication, as well as the challenges of being a right-leaning public intellectual, and the importance of having open discussions about race and policy that are informed by differing points of view.

What Ma Bell Taught Me

 

In 1957, I started work as a telephone installer in Watts.  I lived in the neighboring town of Compton.  Here I am looking Bell Telephone spiffy, decked out in my work belt and pocket protector, in front of my ladder-equipped truck.

I was looking to make some money and perhaps begin a career. But within a year, my plans changed.  The reason for that change of plans is what this post is about.

A Succinct Comment about Race in America

 

On a recommendation from the Ricochet staff, I was listening today to a Glenn Loury / John McWhorter podcast on the topic of critical race theory, here, and I had what seems to me now an obvious thought about how to frame the discussion of race.

Whatever the history of racism in America, whatever the legacy of that injustice, what needs to change is the behavior of those black Americans who are failing to thrive.

Atlas Shrugs, Pours Another Brew, and Belches Loudly

 

Ayn Rand, for all the often justified criticism she and her Objectivist philosophy receive, deserves credit for her prescient portrayals of the modern institutional and intellectual challenges to western civilization. Her two major works, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, are, in my opinion, required reading for any culturally literate critic of today’s progressive left.

In particular, Rand highlighted the collapse of meritocracy. In Atlas Shrugged, anti-competitive legislation (e.g., the “Anti-dog-eat-dog” bill) captured in caricature the rent-seeking behavior of today’s large and entrenched corporations, as they seek to stymie entry into the sectors they dominate by less well-connected upstarts. This is an expression of simple greed, on both the corporate and political sides.

Join Jim and Greg as they dissect President Biden’s attempt to put a fresh coat of paint on the same old agenda Democrats have been pushing for decades, including his push for massive tax hikes and insistence that his gun control agenda is compliant with the second amendment. They also cheer Tim Scott for a terrific GOP response, in which he blew up several false narratives from Democrats and pushed for critical items like school choice. And they hammer media outlets of both political persuasions for publishing stories that didn’t have all the facts right and for catering to favored politicians.

Stupid Thoughts on the Passing Scene – and a Poll

 

Current administration got you down? Cheer up. Kamala Harris is Vice President.

On January 19, 1989, his last full day in office, President Reagan warned the nation: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Nine months later, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born.

California has frequent wildfires due to bad forest management. Then you have the looting and burning in Democrat cities. Why do things managed by Democrats frequently catch on fire? Why aren’t they embarrassed by that?

Angel Eduardo is a writer, musician, photographer and artist. He and Bridget discuss the discipline of being a professional artist, the moral panic around art these days, self-censorship and the fear of being cancelled, victimhood culture, exercise & discipline, Bridget’s ideal super power, why mistakes are like wrapping paper, what to do when you’re lost, and the ground we’re losing in the equality movement. Angel explains his concept of “star-manning,” a way of engaging in discourse with each other that acknowledges a person’s point of view and their intentions in a conversation as a means of finding common ground, making them feel heard, and making them more likely to listen to you in return. He believes that most people mean well, and we often lose sight of that fact and depersonalize them in a disagreement, particularly over social media. Learn more about Angel on his website, angeleduardo.com.

If You Were Trying to Start a Race War…..

 

…. would you change a single thing from what the far-left of America is doing now?

I know the title may seem provocative to some as this idea is but a subset of a universe of things we proles are not supposed to even think about, much less say out loud. If it seems provocative, good, because it seems to me to be high time more people started talking openly about what is happening all around us every day.

Britain Leads on “Race” with a Remarkable Report

 

Dr Sewell PM Boris JohnsonBoris Johnson’s government has done something important for a world that would regain or retain freedom from the serfdom of the socialist left. When challenged with Black Lives Matter and other Marxist front groups posing as social justice warriors, PM Johnson had a serious commission, comprised almost entirely of ethnic/racial minority members, dig into the real facts, conducting a deep dive into extensive data. The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, issued its report on March 31, 2021.* This report, at 258 pages, is written in clear English, not leftist academic jargon. You must read at least the foreword, introduction and recommendations, as they speak just as clearly to contemporary America as to the United Kingdom.

In response to the massive leftist street violence and claims of systemic white racism, the Johnson government announced the membership of a Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities on 16 July 2020.** It is a credit to Boris Johnson, and the politically and culturally brave members of the commission, that this report has been put before the British public and the world after only 9 months. No American panel or commission could do as well in twice the time, based on our history of blue-ribbon committees, commissions, and panels. You may be sure that the U.S. Department of Defense reports from the supposed studies launched in June 2020 will be embarrassing pseudo-research by comparison.

Written in the first person, in the voice of the Commission chair, Dr. Tony Sewell, the Forward, introduction, and full recommendations are compelling. What follows is an extensive excerpt, with emphasis added [and a few parenthetical comments by me]. Note the absence of poisonous race-baiting and white-shaming. Note how Dr. Sewell and the commission speak the hard truth about poor whites, especially poor white boys, being in some of the very worst, least “privileged” or powerful positions in Britain. This is likely also true here in the United States.