Thursday, July 25, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Mukwonago Indians: Standing Up to the Politically Correct Bullies
The Mukwonago School Board decided they would not cave in to the bullies in the State Department of Public Instruction and change the nickname of their sports team, which has been “Indians” since 1911.
Claiming that Indian team names somehow disparage Native Americans is a silly notion that only a politically correct person could accept. Remember, to be politically correct means you never ever question any claim made on behalf of a politically correct victim group, no matter how silly.
People name things to pay tribute. There is no Benedict Arnold National Airport across the river from Washington, rather it’s the Reagan National Airport.
There is no John Wilkes Booth High School in this nation, nor any Lee Harvey Oswald Parkway.
Even when an athletic team is named after some rather disreputable group (“Pirates”) the name reflects admiration of some desirable attribute the group supposedly has (being fierce fighters).
Even modest nicknames reflect pride. Being in the meat packing industry or the brewing business are pretty mundane, but both are matters of pride in (respectively) Green Bay and Milwaukee.
But the activists, and their knee-jerk supporters in liberal circles, insist that Indian nicknames are offensive.
But to Whom?It’s been known for many years that Indian nicknames are not offensive to rank and file Native Americans. In 2002, Sports Illustrated commissioned a poll that included both American Indians and whites. The results:
. . . although Native American activists are virtually united in opposition to the use of Indian nicknames and mascots, the Native American population sees the issue far differently. Asked if high school and college teams should stop using Indian nicknames, 81% of Native American respondents said no. As for pro sports, 83% of Native American respondents said teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots, characters and symbols.Of course, other polls show the same thing. In 2003 and 2004, the Annenberg School ran a large national survey, piling up a massive number of respondents. 768 were American Indians, and 90% of them said that the nickname “Redskins” was not offensive. Only 9% of the Indians found the name offensive.
Redskins, supposedly, is one of (and perhaps the most) offensive of Indian nicknames. But real world American Indians don’t mind it.
Then how do we explain the Indian activists and tribal leaders who are so adamant?
Representing Whom?It’s important to understand that the “leaders” of racial and ethnic minorities do not entirely, and perhaps not even primarily, represent the groups they supposedly represent.
Quite typically, they are in the business of pandering to white liberals.
Let’s take the example of “black leaders.” Who designated Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson the premier “black leaders” in America today? White liberals. Those in the media, politics, the interest group system, the bureaucracy and foundations.
It’s true that both men are fairly effective as rabble rousers, able to get out a fair sized crowd to demand that George Zimmerman be thrown in prison for life. But neither have done anything even approaching Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March.
So why are Sharpton and Jackson “black leaders,” and Farrakhan a rather marginal figure? Quite simply, because the attitudes and rhetoric of Sharpton and Jackson are close to what white liberals believe, and the views of Farrakhan are much less congruent with those of the left-leaning elites.
The same principle applies to Indian tribal leaders. White liberals have a lot of resources they need: lucrative gambling franchises, government grants, and favorable press. Liberals in the media can pretty much be depended on to not look too closely at the finances of Indian tribes, nor critically analyze the casino monopolies, nor question the political donations of the tribes. In other words, the liberals will stay on the reservation.
American Indians, like black people, face real problems. But an honest discussion of these problems would not serve the interests of white liberal elites. How generations of government oversight and bureaucratic supervision have created dependency among Indians doesn’t fit the liberal narrative. Talking about out of wedlock births in the black community or crime (the vast majority black-on-black) doesn’t fit the standard model of blacks as victims of white racism.
So let’s just convict George Zimmerman, that will improve conditions in the black community. Let’s just abolish Indian team names. That will make Native Americans better off.
When you can’t face the truth, you have to play an elaborate game of “let’s pretend.” That is what we have here.
Friday, July 19, 2013
A Conversation About Race: Really?
Eric Holder dismissed America as a “nation of cowards” because we wouldn’t, he argued, have a “national conversation” about race. It’s a slander wrapped in a farce. We talk of race unremittingly. That’s the farce. The slander is hydra-headed.
No honest conversation about race is possible when accusations of racism replace reasoned arguments. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who mentioned high rates of crime among black males, was rewarded with the racist label within minutes by some of those (The Atlantic, Slate) who presumably agree with Holder that we are too timid when discussing race.
Many American liberals are achingly nostalgic for old-fashioned racism. It offered them a helium high of moral superiority. It was deserved ... in 1967. But by perpetuating the fiction that modern America has not changed, they’ve become more than ridiculous, more even than grossly unjust, they’ve become dangerous. Look around you. The violence and bitterness that have followed the Zimmerman verdict were virtually ordered up by convicted slanderer Al Sharpton and his many imitators.
The Zimmerman case was complicated. Any fair-minded person could see that it was difficult to conclude that Zimmerman was not acting in self-defense (however unwise his initial actions may have been). But the racial-grievance industrial complex doesn’t permit complexity. Racial enmity is their living. Stirring feelings of victimization and injustice among blacks and, to a lesser extent, among other designated minorities is their delight.
When you consider the steady agitprop churned out by the racial-grievance industrial complex, it’s amazing that race relations aren’t worse. The RGI has circulated falsehoods about black voter “disenfranchisement” in the 2000 presidential election, about a spate of “racially motivated” arsons at black churches, about George W. Bush’s “indifference” to the lynching of a black man in Texas, about voter ID laws being a conspiracy to suppress the black vote, about Republicans opposing the civil rights act of 1964 (MSNBC recently ran a picture of George Wallace that ID’d him as a Republican), about “racial profiling” by New Jersey state troopers and about “racist” killings of black immigrants by New York cops. Each of these is an outright falsehood. There was zero voter disenfranchisement in 2000, George W. Bush signed the death warrant of the killer in Texas, Republicans were more in favor of the Voting Rights Act than Democrats, the tragic shootings of two black men in New York were mistakes, and on and on.
This is not to suggest that racism has been expunged from the heart of every American. But while the RGI bravely fights the battles of 1954, African-Americans (and not only they) face new challenges that require serious attention, free of the cant and destructive incitement that characterize the grievance mongers.
The RGI propounds the myth that the criminal justice system is indelibly racist. Young black males, we are told, are far more likely than whites to be arrested and to serve time in prison. When it is observed that a disproportionate share of offenders are black; that significant numbers of most city police forces are black; and that most victims are also black, we are invited to consider the ultimate proof — the glaring disparity in the penalties for powder and crack cocaine.
The federal criminal penalties for crack, passed in the 1980s, were a response to the devastation crack was causing in black neighborhoods. The huge spike in crime during the 1980s — and the vast victimization of inner city blacks — was primarily attributable to crack addiction. If it was racist to impose these penalties, why were members of the Congressional Black Caucus the first to champion the legislation? Heather MacDonald noted in City Journal that the laws on crystal meth have a similarly “disparate impact” on whites. “In 2006, the 5,391 sentenced federal meth defendants (nearly as many as the crack defendants) were 54 percent white, 39 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent black.”
From 1976 to 2004, 65 percent of executions involved whites, but whites committed only 47 percent of murders. Evidence of anti-white bias in the system? You could make such a case, and it would have as much validity as the manufactured panic about anti-black bias in America.
America continues to muddle along. Black/white unions comprised 11 percent of marriages in 2008. Black married couple families had an average income of $63,566 in 2010. Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012 — which is evidence of poor judgment, but clearly not of the kind of racist cauldron the grievance industry eternally conjures.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Telling the Politically Incorrect Truth About the Zimmerman/Martin Affair
I don’t like what George Zimmerman did and I hate that Trayvon Martin is dead. But I also can understand why Zimmerman was suspicious and why he thought Martin was wearing a uniform we all recognize. I don’t know if Zimmerman is a racist. Yet I’m tired of politicians and others who have donned hoodies in solidarity with Martin and who essentially suggest that I am a racist for recognizing the reality of urban crime in America. The hoodie blinds them as much as it did Zimmerman.We don’t doubt that Zimmerman profiled Martin partly because he was black.
One of those who quickly donned a hoodie was Christine Quinn, the speaker of the New York City Council. Quinn was hardly a lonesome panderer. Lesser politicians joined her and, like her, pronounced Zimmerman a criminal. “What George Zimmerman did was wrong, was a crime,” Quinn said before knowing all of the facts and before the jury unaccountably found otherwise. She was half right. What Zimmerman did was wrong. It was not, by verdict of his peers, a crime.
Where is the politician who will own up to the painful complexity of the problem and acknowledge the widespread fear of crime committed by young black males? This does not mean that raw racism has disappeared and some judgments are not the product of invidious stereotyping. It does mean, though, that the public knows that young black males commit a disproportionate amount of crime. In New York City, blacks comprise 23.4 percent of the population yet they represent 78 percent of all shooting suspects — almost all of them young men. We know them from the nightly news.
Those statistics represent the justification for New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk program, which amounts to racial profiling writ large. After all, if young black males are your shooters then it ought to be young black males that the cops stop and frisk. Still, common sense and common decency — not to mention the law — insist on other variables such as suspicious behavior, but race is a factor, without a doubt. It would be senseless for the cops to be stopping Danish tourists in Times Square just to make the statistics look good.
I wish I had a solution to this problem. If I were a young black male and was stopped just on account of my appearance, I would feel violated. If the cops are abusing their authority and using race as the only reason, that has got to stop. But if they ignore race, then they are fools and ought to go into another line of work.
The problems of the black underclass are hardly new. They are surely the product of slavery, the subsequent Jim Crow era and the tenacious persistence of racism. They will be solved someday — but not probably with any existing programs. For want of a better word, the problem is cultural and it will be solved when the culture, somehow, is changed.
In the meantime, the least we can do is talk honestly about the problem. It does no one any good to merely cite the number of stops and frisks made on black males and not cite the murder statistics as well. Citing the former and not the latter is an Orwellian exercise in political correctness. It not only censors half of the story but suggests that racism is the sole reason for the policy. This mindlessness, like racism itself, is repugnant.
Crime where it intersects with race is given the silent treatment. Everything else is discussed — and if it isn’t, there’s a Dr. Phil or an Oprah saying that it should be. Crime, though, is different. It is, like sex in the Victorian era (or the 1950s), an unmentionable but an unmistakable part of life. We all know about it and take appropriate precaution but keep our mouths shut.
But as Reuters reported:
Though civil rights demonstrators have argued Zimmerman should not have prejudged Martin, one black neighbor of the Zimmermans said recent history should be taken into account.Of course, it’s also the case that Martin was apparently acting suspiciously. Zimmerman said “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” In other words: had Martin been walking purposefully back toward his father’s house, Zimmerman would not have found him suspicious.
“Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I’m black, OK?” the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. “There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood,” she said. “That’s why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin.”
This disproportion of black offenses applies nationwide, and certainly to Milwaukee. For example, if we look at “violent crimes” (as defined by the FBI) the average black person in Milwaukee is 7.99 times as likely to commit an offense as is the average white. Underneath these averages, however, is the fact that young males produce the most crime in any racial category.
Liberals somehow insist on shouting “racist! racist!” when anybody points out that blacks (especially young black males) commit more crime than any other demographic group.
But they won’t flatly deny it, because they know it’s true. They will just try to shut up discussion of the issue, because it contradicts their narrative of black oppression at the hands of a white majority.
But you don’t, unfortunately, help any social problem by refusing to tell the truth about it.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Monumental Local News Blunder
Somebody has to be fired for this.
Until just a few minutes ago, the home page of the station’s website had a link to an article that was an apology for the report. When we checked it, the actual apology was missing. And now, the link is gone. See below (click on picture to enlarge.)
Monday, July 08, 2013
Arrested for Preaching About Homosexuality
This, of course, is a fundraising video, but the reality it talks about (no free speech for people critical of homosexuality) is endemic. The situation in the U.S., with our First Amendment, is better in strict legal terms, but bullying, harassment and intimidation from the gay lobby can achieve the same thing here that arrests can in the U.K.
The Huffington Post ran a reasonably unbiased article on this incident, but note the level of vitriol directed against not only the street preacher, but also Christianity in general, in the comments.