Category Archive 'The Left'
25 Oct 2018

Let’s All Wear Blackface for Halloween

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and piss off the SJWs.

Halloween is getting to be downright dangerous in this country. Back in 2015, the wife of Yale’s Silliman College Master Nicholas Christakis, and Associate Master, Erica Christakis, responded to an admonitory pre-Halloween email from the Intercultural Affairs Council — a group of administrators from the cultural centers, Chaplain’s Office and other campus organizations — sent to the undergraduate student body warning against wearing Halloween costumes which could be interpreted as belittling or offensive: no sombreros, no blackface, no turbans, defending freedom of expression and arguing against hypersensitive prohibition and censorship.

Well, Master Nicholas and a black dean were confronted by angry student mobs demanding his firing or resignation. There was a march on President Salovey’s house and a presentation of outrageous radical demands, most of which President Salovey promptly granted. The Yale Administration assured the Christakises that free speech would be upheld, it was solidly behind them, and then quietly got both of them out of Silliman College and out of town. (Professor Nicholas Christakis was paid off for keeping quiet with the award of a prestigious Sterling Professorship a couple years later.) Mrs. Christakis no longer teaches at Yale, and is giving lectures and doing free-lance writing. Boo!

And the PC Halloween Monster strikes again! This time it is NBC Today Host Megan Kelly riding the tumbril in the direction of the stake for, yes! you guessed it, questioning the blasphemous nature of Halloween blackface. Burn, witch, burn!

Roxanne Jones, “a founding editor of ESPN Magazine and former vice president at ESPN,” lays down the law at CNN:

Sometimes “I’m sorry” just doesn’t cut it — a hard lesson that NBC Today show host Megyn Kelly now understands. Reportedly, Kelly’s morning show “Megyn Kelly Today” may be cancelled, according to CNN sources and Variety reports.

Kelly, who never really seemed like a good fit for the NBC morning show, overplayed her popularity earlier this week when she passionately defended people who don blackface costumes for Halloween — a thing that most Americans understand is definitely not okay, unless their intention is to offend.

“But what is racist?” Kelly asked on her show. “Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”

The backlash was swift. Kelly was roasted across social media and more importantly her colleagues and bosses were appalled by her comments. NBC executives forced Kelly to apologize first, internally to her colleagues, and then to the viewers.

But Halloween is tricky and the blackface flap didn’t die down.

Ironically, for me, the most revealing part of Kelly’s explosive comments was their illumination of her true face as an out-of-the-closet racist, in my opinion.

I didn’t buy Kelly’s innocent act of contrition. Maybe I’ve just become desensitized to these knee-jerk, teleprompter apologies for public misdeeds. Maybe we all have. Maybe we should.

But Kelly shouldn’t be surprised that her racist statements met resistance. And she shouldn’t be surprised that NBC, like so many other employers who have taken action against talent for incidents of racism, has apparently decided that her brand of bigotry is simply not worth the risk anymore. Even her NBC colleague Al Roker, who said Wednesday, “The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”

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Jenée Desmond Harris, at leftist Vox, explains to you ignorant bigots why defending blackface is a prosecutable thought and speech crime.

Put down the black and brown face paint. Step away from the bronzer 12 shades darker than your skin. That is, if you’re at all interested in not being a walking symbol of racism this Halloween.

Wait, what’s wrong with blackface? A lot of people, thankfully, don’t need this question answered. To many, it’s obvious that it’s a lazy, non-funny costume bad idea with a depressing history that is the opposite of celebratory. Each Halloween serves as a reminder that a giant gulf remains between people who understand that blackface is in bad taste, or are willing to defer to black people who tell them so, and people who are still asking “But why?” (You know, the ones who are thinking as they read this, “You say it’s racist but I can tell you right now I’m not racist, so it’s fine if I wear it! Come on, get over it! Stop with the political correctness! I don’t understand how this is offensive! It’s a joke!”)…

For the “why” crowd (and for anyone who feels moved to have a dialogue with one of its members), here’s an explanation of what, exactly, is wrong with wearing blackface, on Halloween or ever:

Blackface is much more than just dark makeup used to enhance a costume.

Its American origins can be traced to minstrel shows. In the mid to late nineteenth century, white actors would routinely use black grease paint on their faces when depicting plantation slaves and free blacks on stage.

To be clear, these weren’t flattering representations. At all. Taking place against the backdrop of a society that systematically mistreated and dehumanized black people, they were mocking portrayals that reinforced the idea that African-Americans were inferior in every way.

According to you, Jenée, but it’s really a lot more complicated, and far less negative than that.

Minstrel shows and blackface performances, it’s true, did include unflattering stereotypes of African Americans, but white performers were not merely donning blackface to mock and belittle colored people. They were commonly doing it in order to become black. White performers wanted to become black in order to perform music with African-American roots and in order to pay affectionate tribute to old-time Southern African-American humor and culture.

When I was a boy, for several years, I grudgingly sacrificed a hour of extra sleep in order to get up and catch Amos n’ Andy re-runs on early morning television. There were things very much other than mockery and condescension that motivated me. There was a fascination in the flavorful and witty colored dialect. There was enormous charm in the very human foibles of the principal characters. And I distinctly admired the absolute brilliance, the polytropic enterprise, and the thoroughgoing rascallity of the Kingfish. Heck, if I’d been able to find examples at my local haberdasher’s, I’d likely have started wearing string ties and a tail coat in emulation of that great man. I loved the Kingfish, and –just like most American– I respected and admired the straight arrow cab driver Amos Jones.

Pre-Politically-Correct America actually had lots of diversity, and Americans loved and enjoyed that diversity. Popular entertainment reveled in exploiting ethnic stereotypes for humor and as an expression of affection. Jewish Molly Goldberg‘s ethnic characteristics were funny, but they were also heart-warming. Brooklyn Irish Chester A. Riley was crude, vulgar, and unmannerly, but he was also tough, loyal, and a good guy underneath it all.

It was the same with the old minstrel shows and Amos n’ Andy, which was a kind of continuation of the former right into the television era. Americans watched them to laugh at the characters and they also loved those characters.

It’s the Left that hates and wants to harm people.

20 Oct 2018

Spoiled Liberals Expect to Win Every Time

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Peter Spiliakos marvels at the self-entitlement of our liberal friends.

The response of these white liberals is not to blame themselves. If they lost a presidential election, then it is the fault of the illegitimate Electoral College. If Kavanaugh is confirmed and Mitch McConnell remains majority leader, the Senate is illegitimate. If there is a fifth conservative justice, then the Supreme Court is illegitimate. Obama told liberals that “given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere.” Instead, liberals chose to compete in ever fewer places, and then cry twice as hard when they lost.

The experience of white liberals with corrupt and partisan authority influences how they deal with their disappointments and defeats. They are used to authority stepping in to change the rules in their favor. They don’t want constitutional change, because if they lost under new rules, those rules would then become just as illegitimate.

They want — they expect — a Jimmy Fallon or a George Bridges or a Jeffrey Goldberg to step in make everything better. Attendees of Trump rallies might chant “Lock her up.” Black Lives Matters protestors might chant “No justice, no peace.” But if you hear a protester issue a long, piercing screech, it is probably a college-educated white liberal. There is a reason for that. The theorists of intersectionality teach us that for the privileged, equality can feel like oppression.

In The Atlantic, Adam Cohen brilliantly captured the entitlement and power hunger of elite white liberalism. Cohen writes of how Brett Kavanaugh can “minimize” the damage his presence does on the Supreme Court by recusing himself from a large number of cases (and thereby giving the four liberal justices an effective veto over any rulings) and otherwise voting with liberals Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.

RTWT

16 Oct 2018

Pre-Columbian America According to the Left

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01 Oct 2018

Unhinged Left Going After Kavanaugh

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Jonah Goldberg tries to figure out why Brett Kavanaugh has caused the Left to pull out all the stops.

I want to be open-minded. So I will concede that the allegation is not theoretically impossible, given the depths of depravity that humans in every generation and every civilization and at all strata of class and privilege are capable of.

But it would be highly unlikely, to say the least. I say this having some insight, however imperfect, into the social milieu from which Kavanaugh hails. I didn’t grow up in Washington, but I did technically go to a prep school.

(My school was not as prestigious as Georgetown Prep. There was always a raging debate about my alma mater: Was it the best school on the B-List or the worst school of the A-list? But it was a prep school.)

I knew kids at various schools like Kavanaugh’s. They could be, to borrow a term from social science, dicks. I’m not saying he was. But even if he was, that doesn’t mean he was a rapist. Though, to listen to various liberals, you’d think stereotypes about sex, race, and class are always true so long as you’re talking about white preppy Christians.

Still, I will confess I have my own biases. I never took high school too seriously, so I had a certain amount of resentment towards those who did. The kids who constantly worried about their permanent record; the kids who did everything they could to please teachers or gussy-up their college applications; the kids who seemingly without much effort checked boxes as both jocks and academic grinds; the kids who were always worried about getting in trouble for fear of having to go to a state school: These were kids that I didn’t gravitate towards precisely because I couldn’t be one of them. But I will grant them this: They seemed really unlikely to organize rape gangs if for no other reason than that such things look really bad on your application to Yale.

Again, I don’t mean to be unfair to Brett Kavanaugh. I have no doubt that a regular churchgoing kid had other reasons not to do the logistical heavy-lifting of drugging and raping teenage girls on a regular basis. I’m just assuming the worst while still employing Occam’s Razor. And I just have a hard time believing that the Rapey McRapeFace who Avenatti and his fans describe is the real Brett Kavanaugh.

RTWT

21 Sep 2018

Kavanaugh Accused of Connection With 1985 Yale Mock Panty Raid

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Panty Raid at Berkeley, May 18, 1956.

The same establishment elite that views Larry Flint as a free speech hero, that lectured us that we were guilty of censorship if we didn’t want tax money paying for Robert Maplethorpe’s anal horse whip art, that defends flamboyantly obscene gay pride parades down main street, and that wants sex education for third graders is shocked, shocked that members of the same fraternity that Brett Kavanaugh belonged to, back in 1985, took part in pledge hijinks alluding to the 1950s college panty raids.

Diane Herbst, at People magazine, basically quotes a hatchet job from a couple of little left-wing reptiles at the Yale Daily News:

In his first year at Yale, embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, which had a culture “notorious for disrespecting women,” according to a new report from the Yale Daily News.

Julie Klein, who graduated in 1987 alongside Kavanaugh, described the frat as an “animal house,” while another classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Jennifer Lew, recalled on the YaleWomen Facebook page how frat brothers would “ransack” female students’ rooms while they attended classes and steal “undergarments,” reports the Yale Daily News.

On Thursday, the student newspaper published a January, 1985 photo of Kavanaugh’s DKE frat brothers holding a flag created with women’s underwear and bras as they marched across campus. Kavanaugh, reportedly a sophomore member of the frat at the time, does not appear in the image.

RTWT

Obviously what the DKE pledges were doing in 1985 was some sort of tongue-in-cheek parody of student behavior of the ancient past.

Wikipedia: Panty raid

A panty raid was an American 1950s college prank in which large groups of male students attempted to invade the living quarters of female students and steal their panties (undergarments) as the trophies of a successful raid. The term dates to February 1949.

Panty raids were the first college craze after World War II, following the 1930s crazes of goldfish swallowing or seeing how many students could fit in a phone booth. …

By the 1970s, mixed dorms and less inhibited attitudes to sexual intercourse on campus led to fading of panty raids.

But when lefties find an opportunity to smear an adversary like Judge Kavanaugh with accusations of guilt by association, the libertine left goes all Puritan on us.

25 Jul 2018

The Left Cries: Treason!

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And Ned Ryun thinks all the Treason talk is pretty rich, coming as it does from the party that has generally made treason into a fashion statement and a class identifier.

The past week of Russia hysteria has me longing for the good old days. Like 2009, when a Democratic president could pull missile defense systems out of Poland and the Czech Republic to appease Vladimir Putin without facing charges of treason. Or 2010, when a former Democratic president could take a cool half-million from a suspected Russian government-backed source to speak in Moscow and that wasn’t considered treasonous, either. Or 2012, when no one was screaming for impeachment when a Democratic president on a hot mic assured the Russian president that he’ll have “more flexibility” on missile defense systems once he’s re-elected. Or when the previous Democratic administration helped Putin toward his goal of controlling the worldwide supply chain of uranium and that was really all about “resetting” relationships.

Oh, how the times have changed!

RTWT

HT: Bird Dog.

17 Jul 2018

The Left Needs Therapy

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27 Jun 2018

Full Weimar

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Street fighting between communists and Nazis, 1933.

Dan Greenfield argues that what we’re seeing these days is the Left going Full Weimar.

A vocal rejection of civility is of course a call to violence. The slippery slope gets greased. And then it’s a small matter to go from harassment to assault. That’s what the left wants.

Some conservative commentators are saying that the left hasn’t thought this through. Sure they have. The grad student working on some bottom rung of the D.C. career ladder before getting bombed and joining some anarchist protest may not have thought it out, but the guys and girls pushing the buttons have.

What they want is to wreck America, go full Weimar, move to street violence, and then, by persuasion or force, impose their own system to deal with the emergency. What better way to trash most of the forms of government, the Constitution, checks and balances, than by burning everything down.

The excuses, border separation, police shootings, etc are just excuses for that endgame. They’re propaganda to achieve an end.

We got here because all the brakes came off the left’s train. It beat its liberal opponents. And now it’s going to scream endlessly that everyone on the right is a Nazi because that justifies its intended violence. And that violence is intended to further radicalize everyone to the left.

Civility? Please.

The whole purpose is an overthrow of the existing order in the name of a political emergency. It’s what every totalitarian system does. Set off violence, then seize power.

RTWT

The catch is: “People keep talking about a civil war. One side has 8 trillion bullets. The other side can’t figure out which bathroom to use.”

06 Jun 2018

Irredentism

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31 May 2018

“The Permanent Adolescence of the American Left”

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Steve McCann has really got the American left nailed.

Donald Trump’s remarkable and unpredicted victory in 2016 unleashed perhaps the pinnacle of all unintended consequences. By their ongoing nonsensical reaction to the Trump victory, the American left has exposed and validated their irrationality, obliviousness, and immaturity. As an immigrant to the United States, and thus a sideline spectator of the panorama that is American society, and someone who has spent most of his adult life in the field of international finance, I have been fascinated by the characteristics of the American left as compared to its counterparts in the rest of the world – and why the vast majority of Americans, who are essentially conservative or moderate, not only tolerate, but acquiesce to the left’s temper tantrums and manipulation of the culture.

On the surface, there may appear to be similarities to the left in other nations; however, when it comes to the motivation and personality quirks, it is only the left in Britain that bears any resemblance to the American left. In fact, the American version consistently denigrates “old white guys” as the scourge of humanity while ostensibly promoting the philosophy of “old white guys” such as Hobbes, Hegel, and Marx. In reality, American leftism is a unique amalgamation of socialism, Darwinism, and oligarchism requiring an army of foot soldiers who dwell in a state of permanent adolescence.

Among the traits of those in their adolescent years is the conviction that they are always right and the rest of the world is wrong – that they are, in fact, much smarter than those silly and inane adults around them. However, being part of the in crowd is really, really important, thus they must look for guidance to the cool guys to establish what they are supposed to believe in. And, as in the fairy tales relayed to them while in childhood as well as their current enthrallment with movies based on comic book heroes, there will always be some monolithic entity to rescue them and ensure joy and happiness. Therein are the basic personality parameters of the rank and file of the modern American left.

Read the whole thing.

24 May 2018

Screw Nice

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When Yale President Peter Salovey caves again to some irrational demand from SJW Snowflakes, he doesn’t give in because he believes their position is correct. He surrenders because resisting would not be nice.

The Left has weaponized Niceness and routinely intimidates everyone with the threat of being excluded from the circle of the Nice People.

Thales has had it with Niceness.

Popularity and the desire to be liked are at the center of our contemporary political disasters. One of the general rules of rhetoric I’ve observed is a tendency for the nicest opinion to be preferred to the not-nice, all other things being equal. If, for instance, I were to say that most poor people in America are poor due to bad choices, and another were to say that most people in America were poor due to no fault of their own, the latter is more palatable. It is nicer. And since it is nicer, it is generally preferred by popular opinion irrespective of whether or not it is actually correct.

Socially, it is easier to lay blame on “the system” or some other non-entity than to lay blame on specific individuals. It’s not your fault, it’s the patriarchy! It’s the racists, the sexists, the privileged, the heteronormative system of oppression. Whatever. The specific ephemeral system is not important. What is important is that it is easier to lay blame there, than on the person, especially if the individual in question is yourself.

For example, it is easier to blame white racism for the problems of the black community than to blame the black community itself, irrespective of which explanation (if either) is true. So when a debate breaks out, those who want to stick white racism with the blame have the home field advantage, so to speak. An opponent will have to win by enough to outweigh the rhetorical preference for nice.

This disease has infested our thinking to such a great degree that pacifism is generally accounted as morally superior to self-defense. It is better to die yourself, than to harm the criminal, because harming the criminal would not be nice.

Whether we consciously know it or not, this thinking is everywhere, and at some level all people are aware of it. Watch almost any political debate and you will notice the person espousing a “not-nice” opinion will invariably be apologetic; after all, he is quite sorry that his opinion isn’t as nice as his opponent’s. He doesn’t want the spectators (the real arbiters of debate) to think he’s a big meanie.

Note also that the debate opponent with the “nicer” opinion will generally be quite ruthless and cruel to the not-nice debater. After all, since his opinion is not nice, it is permissible to treat him like shit in order to change his opinion into the nice. Furthermore, it exposes his not-niceness for the spectators to see, this winning the debate for the nice. This shows us that this form of rhetorical niceness is conditional. Do not harm the criminal who breaks into your house, but feel free to punch Rightists, because their not-niceness proves they are all Nazis.

This ties into Weaponized Empathy; the notion that your own good nature and desire to be seen as righteous can be turned against you with one sad picture, with one sob story. What, you don’t want to push granny off a cliff, right?

RTWT

19 May 2018

Tom Wolfe on the Contemporary Intellectual

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“The intellectual had become not so much an occupational type as a status type. He was like the medieval cleric, most of whose energies were devoted to separating himself from the mob—which in modern times, in Revel’s phrase, goes under the name of the middle class. … Moral indignation was the main thing; that, and a certain pattern of consumption. In fact, by the 1960s it was no longer necessary to produce literature, scholarship, or art—or even to be involved in such matters, except as a consumer—in order to qualify as an intellectual. It was only necessary to live la vie intellectuelle. A little brown bread in a bread box, a lapsed pledge card to CORE, a stereo and a record rack full of Coltrane and all the Beatles albums from Revolver on, white walls, a huge Dracaena marginata plant, which is there because all the furniture is so clean-lined and spare that without this piece of frondose tropical Victoriana the room looks empty, a stack of unread New York Review of Books rising up in a surly mound of subscription guilt, the conviction that America is materialistic, repressive, bloated, and deadened by its Silent Majority, which resides in the heartland, three grocery boxes full of pop bottles wedged in behind the refrigerator and destined (one of these days) for the Recycling Center, a small, uncomfortable European car—that pretty well got the job done…”

HT: The Barrister.

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