Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fr. Bryan Massingale: Politically Correct Race Hustler

From Daniel Suhr of GOP3.COM, a thorough deconstruction of a fellow who appears to be Dan Maguire’s successor as the high-profile leftist in Marquette’s Theology Department.
It has been reported to me that during his homily celebrating the opening of Mission Week, Fr. Bryan Massingale, associate professor of theology, said that when you fight for justice, “People may write about you on blogs, or call you liberal or politically correct.”
But as Shur makes quite clear, Massingale is liberal (or leftist) and is politically correct.

Anybody who wants to dispute that might find any statement of his that contradicts the standard orthodoxy of secular liberals.

A key element of Massingale’s rhetoric is the idea of “white privilege:” the idea that if you are white you have it better than most black people, and should feel guilty about that.

Well, you do have it better and you should not feel guilty about that.

If black people are worse off on average than white people, the causes are complex, but blathering about “white privilege” gets you nowhere in understanding them.

Black people, for example, are worse off because they are much more likely to have been born out of wedlock, or to have grown up in a single parent family. Is it the fault of white people that black guys knock up black girls and women and then run off? The hard core politically correct types say “yes,” but that’s because they hold the idea, profoundly demeaning to black people, that the latter can’t be expected to make moral decisions.

The generation of black people that marched with Martin Luther King was able to make moral decisions. Today’s generation could too, but are less likely to if people like Massingale tell them they are not expected to.

Black people are much more likely to be victimized by crime than whites. But it’s not Klansmen doing the victimizing. It’s other blacks. Again, trying to blame whites is not convincing.

Where whites are to blame, they are mostly long dead. Of course, in the world of the politically correct, just being white taints one with the sins of the slaveowners. But this is no better than the old racist canard that blacks bear the Mark of Cain.

For the politically correct, it doesn’t matter if an ancestor of yours died fighting on the Union side in the Civil War. You are still tainted.

The blather about white privilege is simply a strategy for manipulating people. As Massingale put it: “The reality of one’s white privilege does not make him or her an evil individual; what a person does with that privilege is the acid-test of his or her personal morality.” Translation: adopt our political agenda, or you are an evil person.

A common theme among the victim mongers is the notion that whites are well off because they exploited blacks. As Massingale’s document asks rhetorically: “‘Why should I give up a social status that benefits me?’ We answer: ‘Because the privileges of some are obtained at the expense of others.’”

This, quite simply, is nonsense.

If it were true the South, where slavery was widespread after it had withered away in the North, would have been richer and more prosperous than the North. In fact, the South ended the Civil War poor and remained crushingly poor up until only a couple of generations ago. While the slave owners may have benefited the region did not.

Slavery and segregation did not make whites any better off, with the arguable exception of the slave owners. Probably the people who benefited most were slave traders.

But a lot of those were blacks in Africa.

In the narrow little zero-sum world of the politically correct, nobody gets better off unless they make somebody worse off. This belief is why they tend to be socialists. John Paul the Great, in Centesimus Annus, preached the gospel of economic growth, opportunity, entrepreneurship and free markets. Clerical leftists like Massingale essentially blew this off, and continued to take their cues from secular leftists.

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7 Comments:

Blogger James Pawlak said...

When you named Fr. Massingdale as a successor to MR. McGuire, I was hopeful that the translation had already happened; But, I still fine that latter person listed on the Theology Faculty. At least (As far as I know) Fr. M. will not be violating the laws of the Church by teaching in that school/department.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

That's only Chapter One.

"Fr." Massingale is also an advocate of Gay Marriage--probably on the same grounds (that 'heteros' have an unseen advantage, or something).

If Massingale is to become Chair, Theo, you have to hand it to the Administration for having secured large donations BEFORE that happens.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. McA - Are you out of your gourd? When you write "Black people, for example, are worse off because they are much more likely to have been born out of wedlock, or to have grown up in a single parent family. Is it the fault of white people that black guys knock up black girls and women and then run off?", you seem to position yourself as an expert (rather than an expert opinionated hater) African-American culture, morality and structural poverty.
I presume from your convenient recitation of fact that you'd agree that African-Americans would be better off not having children (at least at a young age), in order to effectively stomp out poverty; that 2-parent households where both parents work for cash money outside the home is a great step in keeping families out of poverty (and together).
As for putting words into others' mouths - not sure why you're all hepped up about white "guilt." But identifying as a child of god, or as a member of the human race - and feeling responsible for others in that family - certainly isn't guilt. It's responsibility, and loving at that. If you define yourself by race, as you insist on, then it's easy to understand the disconnect.
As for Fr. Massingale being an advocate of gay marriage, I have no knowledge. But I do love that dad29 deems the phrase worth capitalization . . . even better than regular marriage!
Jeffrey Nelson

4:14 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Jeffrey,

you seem to position yourself as an expert . . . African-American culture, morality and structural poverty.

Actually, I teach public policy and am such an "expert."

Are you really unaware of the fact that living in a single parent family makes a kid vastly more likely to be in poverty, to be abused, to drop out of school, to do drugs, and on and on?

Is this all OK since it's a part of African-American culture? Do you think it's a part of "culture" that Martin Luther King would approve of?

But identifying as a child of god, or as a member of the human race - and feeling responsible for others in that family - certainly isn't guilt.

Correct, but Massingale isn't doing that. He's telling whites they should feel guilty, and be prepared to pay reparations.

If you define yourself by race, as you insist on, then it's easy to understand the disconnect.

It's Massingale who defines everybody by race. Either you are white and should feel guilty about your "privileges," or you are black and should feel aggrieved.

BTW, are you the Jeff Nelson who was once my student?

9:37 PM  
Blogger pst314 said...

"not sure why you're all hepped up about white guilt."

But McAdams was responding to the accusations of white guilt that Massingale and others keep making.

This is a standard tactic on the left: Accuse somebody of something nasty. Then, when they object, ask why they are "obsessed" with the subject. Charming.

2:03 PM  
Blogger pst314 said...

"For the politically correct, it doesn’t matter if an ancestor of yours died fighting on the Union side in the Civil War. You are still tainted."

Which is an excellent example of fascist rhetoric. So much for the progressiveness of progressivism.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

I understand your points, but some of the language is inappropriate and gives the impression of emotional banter and a lack of education. I've found that when presenting truth, it is best to be simple and objective---this allows your reader to examine what is being presented instead of how. Using terms like "blacks" "whites" and your language in your example of single-parenting, while rather accurate to one financial demographic, limits your point.

I suggest that we take the lead of writers such as Churchill & Chesterton who would let witty language speak in place of emotion.

10:17 AM  

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