The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

This document is part of an archive of postings on Political Correctness Watch, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.

The picture below is worth more than a 1,000 words ...... Better than long speeches. It shows some Middle-Eastern people walking to reach their final objective,to live in a European country, or migrate to America.

In the photo, there are 7 men and 1 woman.up to this point – nothing special. But in observing a bit closer, you will notice that the woman has bare feet,accompanied by 3 children, and of the 3, she is carrying 2.There is the problem,none of the men are helping her,because in their culture the woman represents nothing.She is only good to be a slave to the men. Do you really believe that these particular individuals could integrate into our societies and countries and respect our customs and traditions ????


31 July, 2020  

Now loving on Jesus IN YOUR OWN HOME could be a 'hate crime'

A vague new hate-crime law under consideration in Scotland could criminalize something people do unwittingly in their homes.

The U.K.'s Christian Institute warns it could restrict Christians' freedom to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation or to call people to repent of sin, "even in church."

That's because it could offend irreligious or anti-religious people.

"Conduct need not be threatening or even intended to stir up hatred for an offense to be committed. Instead, the bill captures any abusive behavior deemed likely to stir up hatred. An offense could even be unwittingly committed in the privacy of your own home," the Christian Institute said.

"And there is not nearly enough protection for free speech," the group said.

The proposal could be used as a weapon against people of faith, the institute said.

"Many who oppose biblical truth claim that disagreeing with them amounts to hatred. The proposed 'stirring up hatred' offenses would give those hostile to Christianity a new tool to try to close down debate and silence Christians."

The government's Justice Committee recently accepted comments on the idea of expanding the existing law, which covers race. Lawmakers have proposed adding other "protected" characteristics, such as sexual orientation and transgender identity.

"While Christians would never support genuinely threatening or abusive behavior, it is difficult to approve of this bill because of some of the things it includes – not least the new 'stirring up hatred’ offenses," the report said.

The bill also lacks key safeguards that appeared in similar legislation in England and Wales.

"Such laws, especially in today’s climate, would undoubtedly have a chilling effect on free speech. Think of how it could impact student evangelism, a church’s outreach work or Christians seeking to debate moral and ethical issues," the institute said.

Especially in the bull's-eye would be churches, it said.

"We know the gospel will be offensive to many. It tells people they are sinful, that their conduct separates them from God, and that there is no way to heaven except through Jesus. And what’s more, Christians can’t shy away from saying that. Romans 1:16 says 'I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes,'" the report said.

"This means if Christians stick to their convictions, standing by the gospel and continuing to explain to people what the Bible says about matters such as sexuality and diversity of religions, then they will inevitably offend. Unfortunately, in a culture where people seem increasingly unable to shrug off that with which they disagree, it is only a matter of time before the police are dragged into the matter."

The new plan does not exclude even church services from the ire of antagonists.

"A Sunday morning sermon where Christ is preached as the only savior and all religions are said to be false, or where homosexual behavior is said to be sinful, could see the preacher prosecuted for stirring up hatred," the institute warned.


Rowling Warns on Trans Therapy for Kids: ‘We’re on Brink of a Medical Scandal’

Harry Potter author Joanne ‘JK’ Rowling has weighed into the debate on “trans kids” once again, suggesting Britain is “on the brink of a medical scandal”.

Rowling, an idol-turned-hate-figure for social justice warriors since she went public with her belief that “[biological] sex is real and has lived consequences”, provoked the fury of so-called progressives on Saturday when she shared her thoughts on social media on an academic paper titled “Freedom to think: the need for thorough assessment and treatment of gender dysphoric children”.

“‘[British National Health Service] identity clinics have been functioning as if acting outside the ordinary requirement of good medical and psychiatric practice.’ Some may dismiss this paper… but they do so at their own peril,” she warned, quoting from the document directly.

“It feels as though we’re on the brink of a medical scandal,” she added.

The former Labour Party donor went on to cite a second paper, titled “Sex, gender and gender identity: a re-evaluation of the evidence”, quoting its conclusion that “Psychiatry sits on this knife-edge: running the risk of being accused of transphobia or, alternatively, remaining silent throughout this uncontrolled experiment.”

“Since speaking up about gender identity theory, I’ve received thousands of emails — more than I’ve ever had on a single subject. Many have come from professionals working in medicine, education, and social work. All are concerned about the effects on vulnerable young people,” Rowling explained.

“The writers of this letter are just two of a growing number of whistleblowers. The bleak truth is that if and when the scandal does erupt, nobody currently cheering this movement on will be able to credibly claim ‘we couldn’t have known’,” she added. She then linked to a copy of a letter sent to The Guardian in 2017 — which the leftist newspaper declined to publish — by whistleblowers at the now-infamous Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic.

“There is no such thing as a male or female brain, and you cannot be ‘born into the wrong body’,” the clinicians had written.

“You should know that there is no unequivocally shared consensus on what you are undertaking; and the evidence, such as it is, suggests no greater health or happiness,” they added, addressing a hypothetical trans child.

“Most of us at your age did not cherish our fertility, and the imagined easy alternative of adoption or surrogacy is far from that. I need you to know that you really might change your mind, as many have before you,” they warned.


America’s National Pastime Just Betrayed America

Rudy Giuliani

Major League Baseball (MLB)—America’s “national pastime” by affirmation of the U.S. Supreme Court—has turned itself completely backward. What do you get when you reverse the league’s initials? BLM for Black Lives Matter.

The hallowed New York Yankees literally got on their knees and groveled in coordination with an avowedly Marxist, anti-white, anti-family, pro-abortion-on-demand organization founded to destroy the American family, private education, law enforcement, the military, free enterprise, and private property. In short, the avowed goal of BLM is to destroy our American values and way of life. It was easily the most shameful moment in the club’s storied history. It horrified me to see the successors of my childhood heroes—Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford—pledge fealty to an organization that promulgates hatred of all things American.

The George Steinbrenner Yankees is the same organization that, after the Sept. 11th attacks, stood with me and the entire City of New York behind the heroes of the New York Police Department and Fire Department as we affirmed the strength, resilience, and indivisibility of this country.

My, how things have changed!

Nineteen years ago, at a time when the security of our nation was in question and it seemed like the viability of the American system was facing its greatest threat in a generation, the New York Yankees and MLB provided steadfast assurance that the American way of life was secure and would never yield to ideologies intent on dismantling it. Today, though, baseball has forgotten the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives to protect the citizens of New York and the United States that day and every day since.

It was Steinbrenner who initiated the practice of singing “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch. Now, the MLB parrots the propaganda of a movement intent not on shoring up America, but piling fuel on the fires that threaten to divide us by identity and destroy our strongest values

The Yankees and MLB might be forgiven for not knowing exactly what they were endorsing with these gestures and the dozens of official social media posts spreading the talking points of “Black Lives Matter.” After all, half of the country has been taken in by that clever, deceptive slogan.

In reality, BLM is still the same extremist group that most of the country rejected the first time they pulled this act in 2014 and 2015. Two of the three co-founders are “trained Marxists” with a convicted domestic terrorist as their mentor. In addition, one of the for-profit company’s highest-ranking fundraisers, in fact, is another convicted domestic terrorist imprisoned for 58 years for her role in bombing the U.S. Capitol and killing police officers. There’s a reason these people are involved with BLM: they hate America, they hate white people, they hate capitalism, and they see BLM as the best vehicle for burning all of it to the ground.

I cannot for the life of me understand how an organization as profitable and professionally staffed as MLB could not know any of this. It’s right there in black and white, in a 2017 manifesto called “A Vision for Black Lives,” put out by a coalition called the Movement for Black Lives, which counts BLM as part of its coalition. Here’s the plan:

End money bail

Defund and dismantle law enforcement, including in schools and campuses

End public jails

Guaranteed minimum income for blacks only

Reparations, to include claiming any private property

Retroactive decriminalization of all drug offenders (including major drug dealers and prostitutes)

Free abortions at any stage of pregnancy, maybe even after birth

Defund the military

End all private education

Release all black prisoners

Discontinue the use of fossil fuels

Financial destruction of the State of Israel

Rejection of the nuclear family and the role of fathers as critical

I would like to believe that the Yankees’ shameful display was based on a simple misunderstanding of what they were endorsing. The media in this country has pulled out all the stops to obfuscate what “BLM” stands for, and is responsible for the funneling of millions of dollars of corporate money into a group whose leaders openly call white people “subhumans” who must be “wiped out” and advocate for the American system to be “burned down.”

Ignorance may explain such actions, but it doesn’t excuse the MLB for betraying their fans, the police, and their own country to side with violent, racist communists. Major League Baseball has it completely backward.

It’s time for the MLB to rectify its participation in an attack on our basic values with ceremonies honoring the men and women in uniform who keep them safe so they can earn millions upon millions of dollars.


Trump Administration Submits Petition to FCC in Bid to Prevent Online Censorship

The Trump administration this week submitted a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of an effort to prevent online censorship.

The Department of Commerce filed a petition to the commission on July 27 requesting clarification on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, including whether the act permits social media companies that alter or editorialize users’ speech to escape civil liability.

“Provide clearer guidance to courts, platforms, and users, on what content falls within (c)(2) immunity, particularly section 230(c)(2)’s ‘otherwise objectionable’ language and its requirement that all removals be done in ‘good faith,'” the petition states.

The FCC was also asked to provide transparency requirements on the moderation practices that platforms use.

“Many Americans rely on online platforms to stay informed and connected, sharing their thoughts and ideas on issues important to them, which can oftentimes lead to free and open debate around public policies and upcoming elections,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

“It has long been the policy of the United States to foster a robust marketplace of ideas on the Internet and the free flow of information around the world. President Trump is committed to protecting the rights of all Americans to express their views and not face unjustified restrictions or selective censorship from a handful of powerful companies.”

The petition came after President Donald Trump issued an executive order in May aimed at preventing people from being censored online.

Trump said social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook wield immense power to shape how the public sees events and are using the power to censor, delete, and disappear information.

Twitter in particular has ramped up censorship of Trump himself, hiding some of Trump’s tweets from users or attaching a warning to them, while not touching the account of former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

In a statement drawing attention to the petition, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump “will continue to fight back against unfair, un-American, and politically biased censorship of Americans online.”

Section 230 is widely seen as shielding social media companies from liability but is coming under scrutiny because of tech giants’ escalation of censorship.

According to the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan group that provides reports to Congress, Section 230 generally prevents some companies from being held liable for hosting content that someone else created.

“For example, if someone writes and posts a defamatory statement on Twitter, the defamed person could sue the tweet’s author,” a report (pdf) from June stated.

“Section 230, however, would likely require a court to dismiss any lawsuits against Twitter or a second Twitter user who merely retweets the original statement without comment—so long as neither Twitter nor the second Twitter user helped to develop the initial tweet.”

The law was enacted in 1996 after a trial court ruling opened up an online platform to liability for hosting defamatory speech because the platform had said it would police its site for unwanted speech.

The service said it remains an open question whether the FCC is authorized to issue rules interpreting Section 230, a question that may only be resolved by a court ruling.

The FCC is an agency overseen by Congress that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. It has five commissioners, including Chairman Ajit Pai.

Trump administration efforts to clarify Section 230 drew mixed reviews from the commissioners.

The rules the Department of Commerce proposed “are ill-advised, and the Commission should dispose of this Petition as quickly as possible,” Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said in a statement.

The department “seems to have failed to grasp how vast and diverse the ecosystem of interactive computer services is,” he said. “Every comment section on the Internet would be subject to scrutiny. Imposing intermediary liability on those services—or creating an environment in which those services have an incentive not to moderate content at all—would prove devastating to competition, diversity, and vibrant public spaces online.”

Commissioner Brendan Carr said he welcomed the petition, which he described as providing “an opportunity to bring much-needed clarity to the statutory text.”

“And it allows us to move forward in a way that will empower speakers to engage in ‘a forum for a true diversity of political discourse,’ as Congress envisioned when it passed Section 230,” he said in a statement.

There is no set time for dealing with petitions, according to the FCC website. Reviews of petitions include examining whether a new rule is necessary or if less burdensome alternatives could fix issues that arise.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

30 July, 2020  

About Those Unarmed Black Men Killed by Cops...

Contrary to media implication, "unarmed" doesn't mean incapable of killing a cop.  

There’s some debate about how many unarmed black men were shot by cops last year. Some sources list eight, some nine, others 13, and still others 14.

These are distinctions without a difference, however — especially when one considers the tens of millions of encounters that our law enforcement officials have with good people and bad during the course of a year. But let’s go with 14 to prevent the busybodies at USA Today from having another hissy fit.

Fourteen deaths, of course, is 14 too many. But this number is just two-tenths of 1% of the nation’s 7,300 black homicide victims in 2019, whereas more than 90% of those victims were killed by other blacks. Clearly, if all black lives truly mattered to the Marxist shakedown artists at Black Lives Matter, they’d be paying a lot more attention to the plank in their own eye.

But back to those unfortunate 14. Matt Walsh at The Daily Wire did the additional work of looking up the circumstances of each of these deaths, and he found the cops’ track record to be even more clear-cut, more compelling in terms of its judiciousness.

“According to the DOJ,” writes Walsh, “police make about 10 million arrests each year. As a rough average, 7 million of the arrested suspects are white and 3 million are black. Out of that number, last year, 25 unarmed white people were killed by police, compared to 14 unarmed black people, according to the Washington Post database of police shootings. That means about .0004 percent of all blacks arrested were killed while unarmed. The percentage for whites is comparable. In total, 1,000 people were shot and killed by police in 2019, the vast majority of whom were armed.” In any case, those 1,000 shootings amount to just 0.01% or one-ten-thousandth of all arrests made.

“We know that number [14 unarmed shootings] is already quite low,” Walsh continues. “But a closer inspection of the actual cases shows that it’s even lower than we think. Indeed, it appears that the whole category of ‘unarmed’ shootings is severely misleading. I looked up all 14 cases included in the Post’s 2019 database. A few are straightforwardly unjustified.”

Walsh goes on to list those unjustified cases: one horrible hair-trigger decision, another accidental discharge during search and confiscation, another during a scuffle, one when a suspect reached for his waistband, one when a cop fired shots into a fleeing car, and another during an attempted arrest.

As Walsh notes, “These six shootings range from outrageous to questionable. But these are still only six out of the approximately 3 million black suspects arrested in 2019. Half of the officers have been charged with crimes, so it’s not as though cops are given legal license to kill on a whim. Only one of these cases is murder. Two might be manslaughter.”

As for the other eight, one was killed when he tried to run over the responding officers with his car. Another was shot when he choked a cop and used his taser on him. Two others were shot by cops defending themselves from vehicles being used as weapons, three others were shot after violently assaulting an officer, and the last of these eight was killed when he emerged from his home after having threatened to “blast” the cops and “kill every last one of them.”

Thanks to these additional details from Walsh — and no thanks to the legions of willfully incurious journalists and editors out there — we now know without a doubt that our nation’s cops are remarkably and overwhelmingly judicious in their use of deadly force. And this despite the fact that, as Heather Mac Donald notes, “A police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”

Next time you pass by a cop, consider thanking him for what he does.


The Double Standard of the Menu Police

Equal enforcement of the laws should be the rule, not the exception.

If you want evidence of the double standard that’s been applied to the Wuhan coronavirus lockdowns, just look at the way the protests over the death of George Floyd have been handled and the rise of the “menu police” in New York bars and restaurants. This double standard speaks volumes to many Americans.

In the case of the bars, it was obvious. New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo had issued a directive designed to keep people from congregating while waiting to order drinks, thereby helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The directive said that alcohol could only be sold to patrons who first ordered food, but the governor’s regulators quickly stepped in when many New York bars began offering chips, fruit, or a few pretzels with drinks — and thereby minimally complying with the order. And who can blame these business owners? They’d suffered under the state’s shutdowns for months in what was arguably the most massive regulatory taking in American history.

New York’s liquor-regulating authorities, however, quickly declared that even chicken wings with beer were not acceptable — that a legitimate food order had to include at least a sandwich. In California, a similar directive was instituted.

We mentioned the apparent callousness shown by the likes of Cuomo some three months ago, when many were protesting the lockdowns. That was bad enough, but then we learned that these same experts were playing favorites.

The restrictions went far beyond food and drink, however. In New Jersey, for example, two men who owned a gym were taken down in a major law enforcement operation when they restructured their gym’s floor plan to allow more spacing between patrons and then defied their Democrat governor’s lockdown order. Many Americans have had to surrender not just their livelihoods, but their ability to comfort a dying family member in a hospital or to grieve for the loss of a loved one.

And all the while, we see video of massive “social justice” protests in these same states — with no regulatory concern for social distancing. The favoritism shown these events is palpable — as was the Supreme Court’s disappointing ruling (with Chief Justice John Roberts being the deciding vote) against a Nevada church seeking relief from a clearly discriminatory set of rules.

These double standards come at a great cost. The pain and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus has been bad enough, but Americans also understand that the virus doesn’t care if it’s being spread at a funeral or a gym or a protest. So when the state cracks down on one set of activities while granting a free pass for politically favored activities, it’s only natural for the people to ask questions.

When those questions are brushed off at best, and actively derided at worst, it leads us to rightly conclude that our elected officials are not providing us with equal protection under the law, but instead are playing favorites. Liberty, then, becomes a casualty — as does our confidence in those we trust with power.


That Other Minneapolis Police Death

Calls to defund or even abolish the police are ringing out across the country, sometimes accompanied by violence. The anti-police squads point to cases such as the shooting of Rayshard Brooks during an arrest attempt in Atlanta. On the other hand, a police shooting in Minneapolis three years ago, for which an officer has been tried and convicted, has not drawn the media attention it deserves.

In 2017 Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual citizen of Australia and the United States, heard a woman being assaulted and called 911. When Minneapolis police arrived, Damond approached their car and officer Mohamed Noor shot her dead. The 40-year-old woman was to be married within a month.

Noor claimed he fired to protect the life of his partner, Matthew Harrity. Three days after the shooting, Harrity claimed he heard a loud bang on the squad car. None of the forensic evidence showed that the victim had even touched the car.

“The use of force was objectionable, unreasonable and violated police policies and training,” expert witness Derrick Hacker testified during the trial in April 2019. “No reasonable officer would have perceived a threat by somebody coming up to their squad.”

Another expert witness, Timothy Longo, who like Hacker has a law-enforcement background, told the court that a string of bad decisions led to the shooting death. “I don’t believe they were logical or rational at all,” Longo explained. “This was an unprovoked, violent response.”

The officers had turned off their body cameras and unholstered their firearms. They also failed to telephone Damond, who had called 911 a second time to check on their arrival. She “did nothing wrong,” Hacker told the court. “Police are approached daily, this happens routinely.”

Noor’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, told the court that what “really caused” the shooting was “the fear that continues to permeate our society. The police are afraid of the people, the people are afraid of the police.” The Minneapolis jury didn’t buy it and found Noor guilty of third-degree murder.

In June 2019 Noor drew 12-and-half years in prison. Supporters claimed the term was excessive, but across the nation that is the average sentence for a cop convicted of a murder committed on duty. In Colorado, James Ashby received a 16-year sentence for killing Jack Jacquez after a confrontation in 2014. Roy Oliver, the Texas officer who shot Jordan Edwards, 15, was sentenced to 15 years.

The Somali-born Noor had been on the force for only two years, and his case raises issues of police training, procedure, and discipline. Plenty to see here, but—no surprise—national media and politicians neglected the case.

In 2019 police killed nine unarmed African-Americans. That same year police killed 19 unarmed whites, and the number of cops killed on duty also outnumbers the unarmed black victims.

According to the FBI, 89 law-enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2019, including 48 “felonious deaths.” In those cases, 40 officers were white, seven were black and one Asian. “Offenders used firearms to kill 44 of the 48 victim officers,” the FBI explains, including 34 slain with handguns, seven with rifles, and one with a shotgun.

If embattled Americans believed that police reform should be based on facts not fantasies, it would be hard to blame them.


Is Racism Responsible for Today's Black Problems?

I doubt whether any American would defend the police treatment of George Floyd that led to his death. But many Americans are supporting some of the responses to Floyd's death -- rioting, looting, wanton property destruction, assaults on police and other kinds of mayhem by both whites and blacks.

The pretense is that police conduct stands as the root of black problems. According to the NAACP, from 1882-1968, there were 3,446 black people lynched at the hands of whites. Today, being murdered by whites or policemen should be the least of black worries. In recent times, there is an average of 9,252 black-on-black murders every year. Over the past 35 years, that translates into nearly 324,000 blacks murdered at the hands of other blacks. Only a tiny percentage of blacks are killed by police. For example, in Chicago this year, there were 414 homicides, with a total of 2,078 people shot. So far in 2020, three people have been killed by police and four were shot. Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald reports that "a police officer is 18 1/2 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer." Crime is a major problem for many black communities, but how much of it can be attributed to causes such as institutional racism, systemic racism, and white privilege?

The most devastating problem is the very weak black family structure. Less than a third of black children live in two-parent households and illegitimacy stands at 75%. The "legacy of slavery" is often blamed. Such an explanation turns out to be sheer nonsense when one examines black history. Even during slavery, where marriage was forbidden, most black children lived in biological two-parent families. Professor Herbert G. Gutman's research in "The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1750-1925" found that in three-fourths of 19th-century slave families, all the children had the same mother and father. In New York City, in 1925, 85% of black households were two-parent. In fact, "Five in six children under the age of six lived with both parents." During slavery and as late as 1920, a black teenage girl raising a child without a man present was a rarity.

An 1880 study of family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of all black families were nuclear families. There were only slight differences in family structure between racial groups. The percentages of nuclear families were: black (75.2%), Irish (82.2%), German (84.5%) and native white Americans (73.1%). Only one-quarter of black families were female-headed. Female-headed families among Irish, German and native white Americans averaged 11%. According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, only 11% of black children and 3% of white children were born to unwed mothers. As Thomas Sowell reported: "Going back a hundred years, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery, we find that census data of that era showed that a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. This fact remained true in every census from 1890 to 1940."

The absence of a father in the home predisposes children, especially boys, to academic failure, criminal behavior, and economic hardship, not to mention an intergenerational repeating of handicaps. If today's weak family structure is a legacy of slavery, then the people who make such a claim must tell us how it has managed to skip nearly five generations to have an effect.

There are problems such as grossly poor education, economic stagnation, and poverty that impact the black community heavily. I would like someone to explain how tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson and Confederate generals help the black cause. Destruction of symbols of American history might help relieve the frustrations of all those white college students and their professors frustrated by the 2016 election of President Donald Trump. Problems that black people face give white leftists cover for their anti-American agenda.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

29 July, 2020

Another case of abuse by child "protective" services

Authoritarian social workers hate to admit that they were wrong

An Australian dad has abducted his son from a children's home and fled across Europe with the boy's mum after their autistic seven-year-old was placed into care.

Martin den Hertog's non-verbal autism was mistaken as the result of psychological abuse, his parents Conrad and Katya have claimed. 

Martin was five years old when he was taken into Dutch state care after a neighbour reported them to Child Protective Services in February 2018.

The couple, 49 and 34, fought a lengthy custody battle, but eventually made the dramatic decision to snatch their son from the children's home, south of Amsterdam.

They have been on the run and are now in hiding after taking their son from the De Hondsberg Institute on June 24, The Australian reported.

The desperate parents feared their son, whose autism is severe, would spend his life in 'an institute for the mentally disabled' after a 'misunderstanding'.

'The decision to take Martin was simple when faced with no alternative. He showed us how to escape and we fulfilled his wishes,' Mr den Hertog said.

The couple had only been allowed to see Martin 13 times since February 2018, and a court dismissed their last effort for the family to be reunited in Australia.  

Mr den Hertog, originally from Port Stephens on the NSW mid-north coast, said the family were forced to seek asylum in Poland after losing faith in the Dutch justice system.

The family have now abandoned their businesses, friends and home to start a new life with Martin after what they believe was a terrible misunderstanding.

'The Dutch CPS revealed their plans in court to lock up Martin in a Dutch institute for mentally handicapped people for the rest of his life, until he dies as an old man, despite the fact he's only ever being diagnosed with autism,' he explained.

Mr den Hertog said Polish police were searching for them under a European arrest warrant, but his lawyers had arranged preliminary agreement for an asylum meeting.   

The father-of-one said the couple spent weeks planning Martin's abduction before taking him during an unsupervised visit at the De Hondsberg Institute.

'What really motivated us was Martin expressing his desire to escape from the Dutch institution with us during family visits, by repeatedly running out of the property through an escape route he had found himself and beckoning us to follow,' he explained.

Mr den Hertog, who relocated to the Netherlands in 2002, said they followed Martin's escape route and had driven to Poland before police even raised the alarm.  

The couple were initially reported to police for keeping Martin, who was not yet been diagnosed as autistic, in a room with closed curtains - a cultural faux pas in the Netherlands interpreted as a sign of abuse. 

Five police officers, a judge, and social workers stormed into the family's Amsterdam home in the middle of the night and wrenched him away from his parents.

Authorities noticed that he had a development delay and presumed it had been caused by neglect or abuse. 

Despite several experts identifying autism as the cause, Mr den Hertog said the CPS refuse to confirm their opinion in a bid to avoid embarrassment.  

The family have not revealed their current whereabouts but confirmed that Martin was happy and healthy. 

A Polish police spokesman said authorities were investigating the den Hertogs' situation but could not provide details. 

The Aust­ralian Department of Foreign ­Affairs and Trade have also said they were unable to discuss the case for privacy reasons. 


Refugees who gang-raped an 18-year-old girl after spiking her drink in an attack that sparked far-right protests in Germany are jailed for up to five years

Some justice at last

Refugees who gang-raped an 18-year-old girl after spiking her drink in an attack that sparked far-right protests against foreigners in Germany have today been jailed.

Ten men were handed down sentences at the district court in Freiburg, following the assault on the teenager outside a nightclub in 2018.

The main suspect, named only as Majd H, was jailed for five and a half years, while seven others received between three and four years in prison.

Two others received suspended sentences and one man was acquitted.

The court heard how the victim, who was 18 at the time, had her drink spiked at a nightclub and was then led to some nearby bushes where she was gang-raped in an ordeal that lasted more than two hours.

It emerged after the attack that police waited 13 days to apprehend the main suspect, despite there being a warrant out for his arrest which specifically warned he was dangerous.

German newspaper BILD reported at the time that an arrest warrant for the suspect, who was known to police and had a prior conviction for assault, had been issued on October 10.

According to BILD, the warrant clearly noted how dangerous Majd H is and categorized him as a multiple offender.

It went on to say that there was a high probability he might commit other significant, similar offenses, including grievous bodily harm, sexual coercion and exhibitionism. Finally, it issued a stark warning: To prevent worse, arrest him urgently.

The police waited 13 days until October 23 to arrest Majd H. along with other criminals, at first citing investigative tactics as the reason.

Eight of the accused who appeared in court today are refugees from Syria, while the others come from Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany.

The case, one in a series of high-profile sexual crimes by immigrants in Germany, triggered huge debate about the government's liberal refugee policies.

Supporters of the anti-Islam, far-right AfD party took to the streets of Freiburg in anti-foreigner protests at the time, triggering large counter-demonstrations.

The city of Freiburg had already been shaken by the 2016 rape and murder of a young German woman by an asylum seeker who claimed to be from Afghanistan.

The mass sexual assault of hundreds of women by mostly immigrant men during New Year's Eve celebrations in Cologne in 2015 also stoked opposition against Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision that year to open the country's borders to those fleeing conflict.

Freiburg mayor Martin Horn told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the gang rape had horrified the city, but he praised the way the majority of residents had resisted casting blanket suspicions on immigrants.

'It was right and important that Freiburg, as a cosmopolitan city, took a considered stance: the perpetrators have to be punished according to the rule of law, while at the same the vast majority distanced itself from populist instrumentalisations.'


5 Arguments Against ‘America Is a Racist Country’

Dennis Prager

The left-wing charge that America is a racist country is the greatest national libel since the Blood Libel against the Jews. America is, in fact, the least racist multiracial, multiethnic country in world history.

Neither the claim that America is a racist society nor the claim that it is the least racist country can be empirically proven. Both are assessments. But honest people do need to provide arguments for their position. I have found every argument that America is racist, let alone “systemically” racist, wanting. For example, the police almost never kill unarmed blacks, and on the rare occasions they do (about 15 times a year), there is almost always a valid reason (as in the infamous 2014 case in Ferguson, Missouri); police kill more unarmed whites than blacks; the reason there are proportionately so many more blacks in prison is that blacks disproportionately commit violent crimes; and so on.

There are very powerful arguments against the charge that America is a racist society.

I offered one in my column last week:

No. 1: If there is so much racism in America, why are there so many false claims of racism and outright race hoaxes?

I offered 15 recent examples. Moreover, there were probably no racist hoaxes when America really was racist, just as there were no anti-Semitic hoaxes in 1930s Germany, when there was rampant anti-Semitism. You need hoaxes when the real thing is hard to find.

No. 2: The constant references to slavery.

If there were a great deal of racism in America today, there would be no reason to constantly invoke slavery and the Confederacy. The very fact that The New York Times, the leader in racist dishonesty, felt it necessary to issue its “1619 Project,” which seeks to replace 1776 as the founding of America with 1619, when the first African slaves arrived in America, is a perfect illustration of the point. The fact that “The 1619 Project” was labeled false by the leading American historians of that era (all of whom are liberals and at least one of whom led a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump) adds fuel to the argument. Even regarding the past, the promoters of the “America is racist” libel need to lie to paint America as bad as possible.

No. 3: The reliance on lies.

“The 1619 Project,” which will now be taught in thousands of American schools, is based on lies. All Americans who care about America and/or truth should inquire if their children’s school will teach this and, if so, place their child in a school that does not.

Two of the biggest lies are that preserving slavery was the real cause of the American Revolution and that slavery is what made America rich.

Even the charge of endemic racist police brutality is a lie. There are undoubtedly racist police, but racism does not characterize police interactions with blacks.

No. 4: The large African immigration to the United States.

Nearly 2 million black Africans and more than 1 million blacks from the Caribbean have emigrated to the United States in just the last 20 years. Why would so many blacks voluntarily move to a country that is “systemically racist,” a country, according to the promoters of the “America is racist” libel, in which every single white is a racist? Are all these blacks dumb? Are they ignorant? And what about the millions more who would move here if they were allowed to? How does one explain the fact that Nigerians, for example, are among the most successful immigrant communities?

No. 5: The preoccupation with “microaggressions.”

According to the University of California’s list of racist “microaggressions,” saying, “There is only one race, the human race,” is a “racist microaggression.” This is, of course, Orwellian doublespeak. Anyone who believes there is only one race is not, by definition, a racist. If everyone in the past had believed there was one race, the human race, there would never have been racism, let alone a slave trade based on racism.

The very fact that the left came up with the intellectual farce known as “microaggressions,” like the race hoaxes, proves how little racism there is in America—because the entire thesis is based on the fact that there are so few real, or “macro,” aggressions.

The race riots, the ruining of people’s careers and lives over something said or done at any time in their lives, the ruining of professional sports (especially basketball and football), the tearing down of America and its history, the smearing of moral giants like Abraham Lincoln—all of this is being done because of a lie.

As I wrote in a column three years ago: “The Jews survived the Blood Libel. But America may not survive the American Libel. While the first Libel led to the death of many Jews, the present Libel may lead to the death of a civilization. Indeed, the least oppressive ever created.”


Another 'Mostly Peaceful' Protest: 49 Chicago Police Officers Injured

Chicago has devolved into something that resembles the opening scene of the Sylvester Stallone movie Demolition Man where Los Angeles is crime-ridden and on fire.

The lack of care for the law, or law enforcement, is at an all-time high in the real world and on Friday night 49 Chicago police officers where injured in a scrap with protesters, The Daily Mail reported.

The Chicago Police Department released the video of the incident this week as the city’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, continues to insist that she does not want help from the feds and President Donald Trump.

When the protest got to the statue of Christopher Columbus, which the officers were protecting, the crowd began hurling objects at the police.

Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown said that the mob of protesters “deliberately sought to injure officers.”

“This is what our officers faced on Friday night at Grant Park. Criminal agitators pelted fireworks, frozen water bottles and other projectiles at our officers, injuring 49 of them,” he said on Twitter. “This is unacceptable and we cannot stand for this.”

“We do not want to engage in violent clashes with protesters, but when the law is being broken, our oath demands that we act to uphold the law,” he said.

“The rule of law has always been, and remains today the essence of policing and the foundation of our democracy,” he said.

“We deeply respect an individual’s right to peacefully protest and we will do everything we can to protect that right.

“But, we will not stand by, and in fact we are obligated to act, while City or private property is being damaged or while violent acts are being committed,” he said.

The protesters were all clad in black, the antifa uniform, and were apparently peaceful until they got to the statue.

“Chicago Police officers had fireworks, frozen water bottles and other projectiles thrown at them in what started as a peaceful protest,” the police department said.

“49 CPD officers were injured, and 18 were sent to area hospitals for their injuries during this violent mob action,” it said.

The group was under a canopy of umbrellas it brought to protect itself as it started firing fireworks and other objects, like rocks and bottles, at the police.

But on Tuesday Mayor Lightfoot said she would take President Trump to court if he sent the feds into Chicago.

“Unfortunately there’s been a lot of saber-rattling about that coming from the president and members of his team,” she said.

“What I understand at this point, and I caveat that, is that the Trump administration is not going to actually deploy unnamed agents in the streets of Chicago.”

The mayor is letting politics get in the way of the safety of her citizens. Trump Derangement Syndrome is real.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

28 July, 2020

Women board members increase businesses' profits tenfold, report finds

"Pull the  other one" was my immediate old-fashioned reaction to seeing this claim.  It appears to emanate from this document

The document concerned, however, is primitive from an academic POV.  It has lots of pretty grapics but no details of its  methodology: no definitions of the terms it uses, no breakdown into categories of economic activity, no breakdown into the recency or otherwise of the company and no breakdown into whether it served a poor, rich or medium clintele.  It appears in fact to have no controls at all.  I would very much like to see the raw data.  I am sure that the influence of feminist management would be much reduced if all other plausibly relevant factors were taken into account.

Just off the top of my head, let me suggest that firms selling cosmetics are exceptionally profitable.  The prices charged for some such products would certainly suggest large profit margins.  Women as a whole are very gullible about products that allegedly increase their beauty.   And beauty-promoting  firms would undoubtely have a strong female presence in their management.  So such female-led companies were not highly profitable because they were led by women.  They were exceptionally profitable because they were operating in an exceptionally profitable business sector

The method of analysis is important too.  Are we looking, for example, at extreme quintiles?  This is a lamentably common practice elsewhere and normally means that there is no overall relationship in the data as a whole.

So much more information is needed before these findings can be accepted

Companies with greater numbers of female board members bring in 10 times greater profits, a study has revealed.

The research found that executive committees composed of more than a third of women have a net profit margin of 15.2 per cent, while those with none make just 1.5.

The ‘Women Count 2020’ report claims that this performance gap is costing the UK economy a potential £47 billion of pre-tax profit.

Lorna Fitzsimons, co-founder of The Pipeline, which commissioned the report, said the difference is driven by the fact that companies that are more representative have a "better understanding of clients and customer need”.


Samantha Yardley: Fitness writer slammed for refusing to work with fat people

A 34-year-old fitness writer has sparked outrage after claiming she wouldn’t work with anyone overweight as it shows a “troubled mind”.

A UK fitness journalist has sparked outrage for claiming she wouldn’t work with an overweight person because it shows they have a “troubled mind”.

Samantha Yardley has doubled down on claims being overweight shows someone “lacks self-control” — despite outrage over her fatphobic comments.

The 34-year-old said she didn’t believe in fat-shaming but claimed society shouldn’t be “validating” people who are overweight.

“As a businessperson myself and former employer; would I work with (extremely) fat people? No, I wouldn’t. Harsh but true (I’m sorry),” she wrote a blog post earlier this month.

“For me, at best it demonstrates a troubled mind, lacking self-control and at worst it shows a severely disturbed individual who is likely to be lacking energy and suffering poor health.”

Appearing on UK talk show This Morning on Wednesday Ms Yardley continued her comments by claiming obese people should “take responsibility”.

She also argued that plus-sized clothes should be made more difficult to buy to encourage people to lose weight.

“We are all judged on how we look. I wouldn’t judge someone for being a little overweight,” she said.

“But if it was someone who was extremely obese, I would think they are lacking in self-esteem, maybe they have the wrong lifestyle, maybe there’s an underlying problem.”

Ms Yardley then made unsubstantiated claims that people who are obese “take nearly twice as many days off” and are also “more lethargic and more lazy”.

Ms Yardley’s comments have sparked fury, with people tweeting that a person’s size is “none of her business” and weight can be impacted by number of factors, such as illness and medication.

Since her blog post first went viral Ms Yardley has address some of the controversy on Instagram, writing that she was “sorry to have caused offence” but had no regrets about the article.

“Like it or lump it, I got people talking about a pivotal issue,” she wrote.

“A tirade of abuse is all worthwhile if I can help extend just one person’s life. That’s a huge privilege and so many people have reached out asking for help.”


The origins of the ‘white privilege’ myth

An essay which made little sense in the 1980s has defined how we think about race today.

In today’s world, where news is fed to the masses in pre-moulded and bite-sized pieces, important fundamentals are often taken for granted once a narrative has been built.

The recent protests and riots in response to the death of George Floyd are such an example. The idea that the police in the US are systematically racist and licentiously murder black people is accepted as a self-evident truth, despite multiple studies and endless statistics which call this oversimplified narrative into question.

Ironically, the rioting which has been partly inflamed by this narrative, built on quicksand though it is, has resulted in the destruction of black neighbourhoods, countless businesses and the deaths of at least 28 people, including black children.

The narrative of Black Lives Matter and its proxies is this: the current republic of America, conceived as it was by white people, is ineradicably and comprehensively racist. In the maelstrom of outrage, few have paused to examine where this now flourishing narrative came from.

At the bottom of all the presumptions of institutionalised racism is what is known as ‘white privilege’ – the idea that white people axiomatically have easier lives due to unearned privileges granted to them by their skin colour, at the expense of those who are not white. One of the most influential sources of this idea is the 1989 essay, ‘White Privilege: Unpacking the Knapsack’, by Dr Peggy McIntosh. McIntosh’s essay is well worth a read. As a piece of academic literature, it has been cited over 5,000 times and is only a few pages long.

But McIntosh’s thesis is built entirely on assumptions. McIntosh asserts white privilege as a phenomenon, extrapolating from her assertion of male privilege. She fails to provide any statistics or even anecdotal case studies to back up either of these claims. Nevertheless, she describes white privilege as an ‘invisible package of unearned assets’. Having not really described this invisible phenomenon in any concrete way, she then asks: ‘having described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?’

McIntosh lists 26 statements that attempt to buttress the ‘white privilege’ she experiences in her own daily life. It starts with the gem: ‘I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.’ It also contains the self-fulfilling prophecy: ‘If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.’

Much has improved for race relations since McIntosh’s essay. But it still came out at a time when Eddie Murphy, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were among the world’s biggest stars. In 1988, Jesse Jackson won seven million primary votes in his second bid to run for the presidency. In the same year, Lenora Fulani ran as a third-party candidate for president and won the most votes of any woman in a national presidential election until Jill Stein in 2012. And in 1984, Ben Carson became the youngest ever director of paediatric neurosurgery in the US. Yet McIntosh still seemed adamant that black people were unlikely to find success.

McIntosh makes the kind of racial generalisations – and zero-sum arguments – that would not be alien to a Klan member. For example, she states: ‘In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable and alienated.’ It seems impossible for McIntosh to envision a place where both white and black people can be happy simultaneously. The logical conclusion from this casuistry is that for black people to be happy, whites have to be made less happy. And we can see some of this sentiment today, with the increasing demand of BLM for white people to step out of the way.

Even McIntosh’s assertion of ‘male privilege’ – the assumption on which the narrative of white privilege is based – is questionable. Most people who are homeless in the US are males (around 70 per cent), as are the majority (93 per cent) of the prison population. White males alone made up almost 70 per cent of suicides in 2018. Men also consistently make up over 90 per cent of work-related injuries and deaths and are the vast majority of those who have died in wars. Some privilege.

Christopher Hitchens once remarked that the job of a public intellectual for the most part is to say ‘it’s not quite as simple as that’. In comparison, McIntosh’s instinct for generalisation is quite astonishing. In her use of ‘white’, she seems oblivious to the different circumstances and fortunes of different ‘white’ peoples who live in the US.

Among the American ‘whites’ are Jews who fled the Nazis from Poland, Germany, Austria and elsewhere in the 1930s and 1940s; the large Greek immigrant population which escaped economic and political devastation in Greece from the 1950s to the 1970s; and the Bosnian Muslim refugees who escaped attempted genocide in the early 1990s. These are some of the world’s most brutalised and persecuted peoples. But according to McIntosh’s thesis, a Bosnian refugee arriving in the US in the early 1990s with no money, no family and who didn’t speak English has some inherent advantage over Eddie Murphy.

And one wonders what McIntosh would say to the fact that today, the highest earning Americans are ethnically Asians. Indian Americans come out on top (with a median household income of $100,000). Japanese ($74,000) and Chinese Americans ($70,000) also earn more than whites ($67,800).

The number of whites living below the poverty line in 2018 (15.7million) is almost double that of blacks (8.9million). While the proportion of black people in poverty is higher than whites, the sheer volume of destitute white people should at least give pause to the sort of sweeping theory that McIntosh espouses and which has now become one of the most entrenched narratives in American politics.

It’s time to bury the myth of white privilege once and for all.


"A&E" Network Went Woke and Now They're Going Broke

Being ‘woke’ is not good for business—and A&E found that out the hard way. The network has come a long way from its days of dry programming. Shipping Wars, Storage Wars, Longmire, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and other series have boosted ratings for the network. Live PD, created by Dan Abrams, was a better version of COPS that began airing in 2016. It had dozens of crews following police officers from all over the country, allowing them to cut

After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, another wave of political correctness, mob antics, and anti-police fervor took to the streets. Black Lives Matter was back on the scene and the Live PD offered something that could not be allowed to survive because it showed a) that cops are decent human beings; b) at times offered how hard this job can be in certain situations. Remember, there can be no nuance with the far left. The show ran against the narrative that cops were all quasi-Nazis, so the network axed it. As a result, A&E lost nearly half its viewers (via WSJ):

Ratings for A&E Network have plummeted since it canceled the hit police reality show “Live PD” on June 10, a sign of how much the network relies on law-enforcement programming.

Average prime-time viewership for A&E between June 11 and July 19 was 498,000 people, down 49% from the same period last year, according to data from Nielsen. In the key demographics of adults 18-49 and 25-54, the declines are 55% and 53%, respectively.

The show, which follows police on their rounds in multiple cities simultaneously, averaged about 1.9 million viewers for its Friday and Saturday night episodes, repeatedly re-aired on other days. It spawned several successful spinoff shows, also canceled.


Before A&E pulled the show, its prime-time viewership was up 4% from the same period in 2019, according to Nielsen. The network has other popular shows, including “The First 48”—which follows the first two days of a criminal investigation—and “Court Cam,” about outbursts inside courtrooms, but none as successful as “Live PD.”

A&E’s ratings declines go beyond prime time. Total daily average viewership in the weeks since the show was pulled is down 36% from a year earlier, to 319,000 people. In the 18-49 and 25-54 age groups, the declines are even larger: 42% and 46%, respectively.

While I love the toxicity of Twitter, the merciless fisticuff aspect of the platform, it’s not real life. It’s Thunderdome for us insane people who love hyper-partisanship, who thrive on poking the bear, triggering the Left, and collecting their tears in our MAGA mugs. And yes, there are some lefties on there who can dish it out just as well. But again, it’s not real life. Catering to the ‘woke’ legions on Twitter is a horrible business model and A&E might have discovered that in brutal fashion. Going ‘woke’ seems to be a path to going broke.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

27 July, 2020

'Dead Wrong': Historian Calls Jihad a 'Myth'

Johan  Norberg,  a noted libertarian, calls Islamic aggression a myth. Norberg is a libertarian supporter of open borders who likes to sneer at “nativists” who oppose this insane policy. Like Chris Berg, another libertarian supporter of open borders, he thinks there is nothing special about nations.

I agree with libertarian thinking in general but some libertarians make it into a cult.  They become very rigid. They see liberty as the only needed explanation of human behaviour. That ignores important influences on behaviour -- such as genetics -- without which we cannot understand what is going on or influence what is going on

The electoral success of "Make America great again" should tell him that there really is something important about national identity -- and emotions generally

An especially stark example of how Leftists thrive on distorting history -- a tactic pivotal to their very being -- recently appeared.  In a video titled “Dead Wrong: The Anti-Muslim Myth,” Johan Norberg, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who holds an MA in “the History of Ideas” from the University of Stockholm, begins as follows:

The Nativist right likes to tell the story of the West through the prism of a conflict between Christendom and Islam.  One of the founding myths is the Battle of Vienna in 1683, when the united Christian armies defeated the Muslim Ottoman Turks.  This historical narrative is dead wrong, because back then, people concerned themselves with other divisions.

The rest of the brief video -- one minute, forty-two seconds are devoted to proving the “anti-Muslim myth” -- tries to substantiate this, primarily by arguing that there were divisions within Christendom, specifically infighting between Catholics and Protestants, which prompted some of the latter to ally with the Ottomans against Vienna.

This argument fails on many levels.  For starters, Norberg overlooks two simple and interrelated facts: 1) realpolitik -- prioritizing the practical over the ideal -- is as old as human society; 2) that does not mean that ideals do not exist and motivate politics, including war.  It’s not a question of “either/or.”

Naturally, as northern Protestants and southern Muslims had the same common enemy between them -- Catholic Christendom, particularly in the guise of the Holy Roman Empire -- the timeless adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” was evident during the siege of Vienna, as well as previous conflicts.  Elizabeth I of England (r. 1558–1603), for example, formed an alliance with the Muslim Barbary pirates -- who during her reign had enslaved hundreds of thousands of Europeans -- against Catholic Spain.

Even so, Norberg ignores the fact that it is precisely because of the Catholic/Protestant schism -- which was entirely religious -- that Catholics and Protestants came to fight each other in the first place.  While he lumps them together as “Christians” in an effort to show that Christian unity against Islam never existed, Catholics and Protestants did not see each other as “fellow Christians” but religious enemies of the first order -- worse than Muslims.  It is because of this ideological divide that one could ally with Islam against the other without breaking faith.

In short, during the siege of Vienna, realpolitik was evident only in the very limited sense that the Catholic king of France, Louis XIV -- who once said “If there were no Algiers [to terrorize his competitors, particularly Spain] I would make one” -- sided against Catholic Vienna.

Other than that, most if not all of the Christians and Muslims involved at Vienna saw the conflict in distinctly religious terms, beginning with the battle-hardened Catholic king of Poland, John Sobieski III. Although he had little to gain by fighting on behalf of and eventually delivering Vienna, he still lamented how Islamic “fury is raging everywhere, attacking alas, the Christian princes with fire and sword.”  He also believed that “it is not a city alone that we have to save, but the whole of Christianity, of which the city of Vienna is the bulwark. The war is a holy one.”  Before setting off, he sent a message to Imre Thokoly, the Hungarian Protestant who was stirring trouble around Poland’s border, “that if he burnt one straw in the territories of his allies, or in his own, he would go and burn him and all his family in his house.”

Similarly, although the Ottoman pretext for war was support for their ally, the aforementioned Thokoly, the grand vizier who eventually led nearly 300,000 Turks to conquer Vienna, Kara Mustafa -- reputed to be “fanatically anti-Christian” -- exposed his mind earlier: “They ought,” he had told Ottoman high command, “to take advantage of the disorders of the Christians [Catholic-Protestant schism] by the siege of the place [Vienna], the conquest of which would assure that of all Hungary [currently the Turks’ “ally”], and open them a passage to the greatest victories.”  Later, during an elaborate pre-jihad ceremony, Sultan Muhammad IV, “desiring him [Mustafa] to fight generously for the Mahometan faith,” placed “the standard of the Prophet… into his hands for the extirpation of infidels, and the increase of Muslemen.”

There are many other examples highlighting the religious/ideological nature of the Ottoman siege of Vienna: before initiating its bombardment, Kara Mustafa offered the city the standard Islamic ultimatum (convert, capitulate, or else); and the Ottomans are constantly depicted as crying out typical jihadi phrases, such as “Allahu Akbar.”

So much for Norberg’s categorical claim that “back then, people concerned themselves with other divisions [than religion].”

In the end, however, Norberg’s greatest failure is that his is a classic strawman argument.  Recall the title of his video: “Dead Wrong: The Anti-Muslim Myth.”  Recall his opening sentence: “The Nativist right likes to tell the story of the West through the prism of a conflict between Christendom and Islam.”  Yet, while pretending to debunk the religious nature of the perennial conflict between Christendom and Islam -- which dramatically manifested itself in countless ways and battles over the course of a millennium before the siege of Vienna in 1683 -- he talks only about that one encounter (and fails even there).

The reason is evident: before the aforementioned Catholic-Protestant rift began in the sixteenth century, Christian unity against Islam was relatively solid, providing little material for people like Norberg -- such as John Voll and William Polk, professors of Islamic history -- to manipulate in an effort to show that  the “anti-Muslim myth” is “dead wrong.”

Such are the Left’s tired tricks when conforming history to its narrative: take exceptions and aberrations, exaggerate and place them at center stage, and completely ignore the constants.  Above all, offer no context.


BLM blind to today’s trafficking

It is much easier to rage against dead white men than the issue of modern slavery.

The idea of slavery is born of the darkest human impulse. It is a denial of inherent human dignity. It breeds grandiosity in the master while engendering subservience in the slave. Over generations, the enslaved come to believe they are born into degradation because they are slaves by nature. It is the very opposite of the modern Western belief derived from Christian scripture that we are all born equal with an inalienable human right to thrive. As such, many Westerners have a reflexive sympathy with groups that claim to work against slavery such as Black Lives Matter. But the empathy is not readily reciprocated.

To remove a statue because it commemorates a slave trader is defensible. However, a movement that unilaterally decides to destroy property without the consent of the people is anti-democratic. In the US, Australia and Britain, activists marching under the BLM banner have taken it as their right to destroy property, tear down monuments, vandalise public works, smear opponents and in some cases, assault dissenters. They have violated the law and flouted the social distancing rules designed to prevent COVID-19 transmission. They have been granted privileges not afforded other citizens. But no matter how many special rights are offered, it is never enough.

Many activists indulge a sense of entitlement without demonstrating due regard for civic duty, including the responsibility to advance the democratic project by engaging in reasoned debate. Indeed, among some critical race theorists, rational debate – the basis of modern democracy – is relegated to the sin bin of “white culture”.

It might be excusable if the activists hellbent on destroying the past were capable of leaving something better in its wake. They believe the future is brighter for erasing the past. Evidence suggests otherwise.

After the statue of merchant and slave trader Edward Colston was toppled in Bristol, BLM activists celebrated the erection of a temporary monument to Jen Reid dressed in Black Panther chic. She had joined the BLM march where Colston’s statue was dragged down. British artist Marc Quinn was inspired by an image of her climbing on top of the forcibly vacated plinth and putting her fist in the air. The heroes of popular culture are adored for what they represent, not their contribution to humanity. They are the idols of a narcissistic age. To get some measure of the artistic standard, consider Quinn’s most well-known work; a cast of his head made from his own frozen blood. In the hands of politicised artists, the sublime harmony of human form is rendered grotesque. In an amusing turn of events, Quinn was later described as a modern day Colston for colonising the plinth instead of giving a Black artist the pleasure.

I did not mind seeing the Colston statue removed, but it should have been brought down by a popular vote not a minority movement. People arguing against the removal of such statues contend that we should not judge historical figures by contemporary standards. They point to Colston’s substantial philanthropy as a mitigating factor against his sustained support for the slave trade. It is not a defensible position. Colston oversaw the enslavement of thousands of men, women and children. He profited handsomely from the trade and had no need to invest further in it but continued to do so despite the obvious brutality involved.

The transatlantic slave trade was an atrocity. The depth of its depravity stands as a permanent warning to humanity against the devastation wrought by the sin of greed. An estimated 10-15 million Africans were sent across the Atlantic from 1525-1866. The conditions were shocking, and the horror was driven by the worship of money. The light at the end of the tunnel was the end of the trade and the people who chose to shut it down. They included many of the group that contemporary race activists like to denounce, namely white people of Christian faith. They were men and women who stood to gain from the continuation of slavery but set aside profit and power for moral good.

It is one thing to hold dead white men historically culpable for the transatlantic slave trade and argue against their veneration in the public square. It is quite another to use the distant past as a weapon of collective guilt against one ethnic group, especially when members of that group rose up to end slavery not only in the West but across the world.

The fuller history of slavery shows it arises from human nature, not race. Many ethnic and religious groups traded in slaves. The Arab slave trade lasted for centuries and its quarry included white people. Historian Robert Davis estimates more than a million Christian Europeans were enslaved in North African trade from the 16th century to the 18th century. It was notorious for the high percentage of girls and women trafficked into sexual slavery.

In more recent years, Islamic State sexually enslaved Christians and Yazidis. Girls as young as 10 were abused by the Islamist army. Slaves were sold at market. It was an institutionalised practice defended in IS literature by appeal to sharia law.

It would be absurd to hold all Muslims responsible for IS slavery, yet race activists hold white people responsible for a slave trade that ended centuries ago. If they really cared about the injustice of slavery, they might focus on the modern day trade. There are an estimated 40 million people suffering in slavery today. Common forms of the trade in human beings are forced marriage, sex slavery, child slavery and forced labour. The Global Slavery Index reveals that the countries with the highest number of slaves are India, China, Pakistan, North Korea, Nigeria, Iran, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia, and the Philippines.

Why does BLM focus on slavery that ended centuries ago rather than the 40 million strong slave trade today? Is it because much of the trade is concentrated in non-Western countries and arises from traditional cultural practices in India, the Middle East and Africa?

It is much easier to rage against dead white men than brave the might of modern slavery. If all the youthful energy spent on tearing down statues was directed towards the liberation of living slaves, the young would leave this world much better than they found it.


Religious Liberty Is Important, but It’s Not Enough

The past two weeks brought welcome rulings from the Supreme Court on religious liberty. We should celebrate these victories, because religious liberty is an authentic natural and human right. But it’s not enough. And even the best of religious liberty wins can’t adequately contend in a proxy war over substantive issues.

We must do more politically to protect human flourishing and the authentic common good. This is particularly true with respect to the court’s Bostock ruling, which read progressive gender ideology into our nation’s civil rights laws. A good ruling on the ministerial exception in Our Lady of Guadalupe, while important, does not even begin to address the many concerns there.

Religious liberty, after all, doesn’t protect people who aren’t religious but reject progressive gender ideology. It doesn’t protect other goods and interests threatened by progressive gender ideology. And it doesn’t respond on the merits to the underlying disputed questions of truth.

We need a more holistic response in terms of legislation and litigation to protect all people and all the various goods and interests at stake. We need to contend about the truth of the matter.

Before turning to that, consider the three recent Supreme Court religious liberty victories. First, in Espinoza, the court struck down the application of the notoriously anti-Catholic Blaine Amendments as applied to public funding for private education.

As the court ruled, the Constitution doesn’t require funding for private education, but if the government opts to fund students attending private schools, it can’t exclude those attending religious schools just for being religious.

The court’s logic is likely to apply to all government funding—the government can’t exclude a group simply because it’s religious from funding for which it would otherwise be eligible.

Second, in Little Sisters, the court ruled that the Trump administration had the authority to protect the religious liberty of the Little Sisters of the Poor from the Obamacare Health and Human Services mandate on contraceptives and abortifacients.

And third, that same day, the court ruled in Our Lady of Guadalupe that the constitutional doctrine known as the ministerial exception provides broad protections for religious schools to make staffing decisions for themselves based on their own religious criteria.

The details in all of these cases are important, but we need not dig too deeply into them now. For even on the most generous and expansive readings possible, these rulings—while correct, good, and important—are not sufficient.

Nor, I should note, are they intended to be.

Why Aren’t These Wins Enough?

Take, for example, the school choice victory. As important as protecting equal access to government funding for religious schools is, it does nothing to address what is going on at the government-run schools we call “public.”

If the public schools are indoctrinating students with the “Gender Unicorn,” allowing access to single-sex facilities based on “gender identity,” and forcing girls to compete athletically against boys who identify as girls, equal access to government funding (when it exists) isn’t enough. It’s not enough for the vast majority of American children—including the majority of religious children—who are trapped in our public school system.

Likewise, the ruling in favor of the Trump administration’s protections for the Little Sisters is a significant win. But the unjust mandate still exists. The states that sued the Trump administration will continue to do so—indeed, the attorney general of Pennsylvania has already announced that he will.

And, as soon as the Trump administration leaves office and an administration hostile to religious liberty comes to D.C., the regulations protecting the Little Sisters will likely be watered down or simply eliminated.

Even today, under the Trump administration, the federal government tells employers their health care plans must provide cost-free coverage of twenty contraceptives, four of which carry Food and Drug Administration labels saying they can cause an early abortion. Our government is mandating the coverage of pills that can kill unborn babies.

That’s not merely a religious liberty issue. And in the not too distant future, the safe harbor protecting those who object to this mandate is likely to be eliminated. Indeed, Joe Biden responded to the Little Sisters’ win by stating, “If I am elected, I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling.”

Finally, consider the ruling on the ministerial exception. It’s a great ruling, protecting the ability of religious institutions to continue their missions by staffing with people who share those missions. In that sense, it potentially limits some of the damage from Bostock’s redefinition of sex to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

The ministerial exception likely protects a religious school from being forced to employ teachers who reject the virtue of chastity by engaging in same-sex sexual conduct, entering same-sex unions, or adopting a “gender identity” at odds with their bodies, if the school judges such activity to be contrary to their religious teaching and mission.

Yet even here, there will likely be costly litigation to achieve these legal victories, and the litigation process will be part of the punishment.

Even worse, Bostock still governs everywhere else, including religious employers of non-ministerial employees (where Title VII’s own religious staffing provisions will be litigated), and all non-religious employers.

Will it now be employment discrimination in benefits if the health care plan that the religious owners of a retail arts and crafts store offer to employees does not cover testosterone therapy for their female employees who identify as men but does cover it for male employees with low testosterone? Will we need a lengthy and costly Religious Freedom Restoration Act battle to find out?

Furthermore, activists are likely to sue to extend the logic of Bostock to other areas of law that forbid discrimination on the basis of sex, such as education, housing, and health care. And in all of these areas, religious liberty isn’t the only—or even the primary—concern.

Limiting Harm of Bostock Beyond Religious Liberty

While the ministerial exception does nothing for student conduct policies at religious schools, Title IX itself contains a religious exemption, so many religious schools’ campus policies could be protected from the logic of Bostock.

But what about non-religious schools? What about shelters for homeless—or abused—women? What about medicine?

The simplistic logic of the Gorsuch opinion in Bostock suggests some pretty bad outcomes in these situations. Here’s how Justice Neil Gorsuch summarizes his own test:

If the employer intentionally relies in part on an individual employee’s sex when deciding to discharge the employee—put differently, if changing the em­ployee’s sex would have yielded a different choice by the em­ployer—a statutory violation has occurred.

Now change the word “employer” to teacher, principal, coach, doctor, health care plan, or homeless shelter, and change the word “employee” to student, athlete, patient, or housing guest.

“If the coach relies on the athlete’s sex—if changing the athlete’s sex would yield a different choice … ” “If the homeless shelter relies on the guest’s sex—if changing the guest’s sex would yield a different choice … ” The outcomes don’t look very good.

Privacy and safety at a shelter, equality on an athletic field, and good medicine are at stake for everyone—religious or not.

We can—and should—resist Gorsuch’s simplistic logic. And we can—and should—defend commonsense policies that take seriously the bodily differences that provide valid bases in some areas of life (locker and shower rooms, athletics, women’s shelters, health care) for treating males and females differently (yet still equally).

An unstated, frequently unexplored aspect of any “discrimination” claim is that two instances be “comparable,” that the two employees, or athletes, or patients, or shelter guests be “similarly situated.” Perhaps in the employment context Gorsuch couldn’t see this, but health, education, and housing provide starker instances.

Start with health. Consider a case where a patient accuses a doctor or hospital or health care plan of “discrimination” because they won’t perform or offer or pay for breast removal as part of a “gender transition” procedure.

The first thing to note is that Gorsuch’s test “if changing the patient’s sex would have yielded a different choice by the doctor” doesn’t apply. Change the patient’s sex and there are no breasts to remove. Indeed, as I point out in “When Harry Became Sally,” recognizing differences between the sexes is increasingly regarded as vitally important for good medical practice, because scientists have found that male and female bodies tend to be susceptible to certain diseases in different ways, to differing degrees, and that they respond to treatments differently.

These differences do not have to do with how people choose to “identify.” They have to do with what men and women are: males or females of the human species.

The Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences published a report in 2001 titled “Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter?” The executive summary answered the question in the affirmative, saying that the explosive growth of biological information “has made it increasingly apparent that many normal physiological functions—and, in many cases, pathological functions—are influenced either directly or indirectly by sex-based differences in biology.”

Because genetics and physiology are among the influences on an individual’s health, the “incidence and severity of diseases vary between the sexes.”

Far from its being discrimination to “rely on a patient’s sex,” it is a requirement of good medicine, which is sex-specific to the male or female body of the patient.

But that’s not all. Suppose the argument is that the doctor/hospital/insurer covers double mastectomies in the case of cancer, but not in the case of gender dysphoria. For a discrimination claim to be successful, you’d have to argue that a patient with cancerous breast tissue is comparable, similarly situated to a patient with healthy breast tissue.

Perhaps some physicians will argue that the non-cancerous breasts are in fact unhealthy because they are the cause of the gender dysphoria. That will only further highlight that what we really have here is a disagreement about the diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria.

And policies—like the Trump administration’s recent regulation on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act—are entirely defensible for refusing to treat a disagreement on medical care as if it were discrimination based on identity.

Something similar is true for the Trump policies on Title IX and school sports. For an argument about discrimination to succeed, you’d have to say that an athlete with male muscle mass, bone structure, and lung capacity (to take just a few specifics) is comparable, similarly situated to an athlete with female muscle mass, bone structure, and lung capacity.

If you can recognize that these are not in fact comparable, similarly situated individuals, then it’s hard to make a claim that “discrimination” in the pejorative sense has occurred.

Yes, we’ve treated males and females differently—we have an NBA and a WNBA—but that is precisely in order to treat them equally. Equality—fairness—in athletic competition frequently requires taking the bodily differences between males and females seriously.

By comparison, it never requires taking skin color into account. Thankfully, the days of racially segregated sports are over. Our skin color makes no difference to what we do on the athletic field. Nor does it make a difference in the bathroom, locker room, or shelter. That’s why bans on racial discrimination did away with separate facilities for black and white.

But bans on sex discrimination did not do away with separate facilities for male and female—a reality that Gorsuch’s simplistic test for discrimination fails to account for.

The reason? A person with male genitalia is not comparable, not similarly situated to a person with female genitalia when it comes to an emergency shelter or locker room. As a result, this aspect of the Trump administration’s recent Department of Housing and Urban Development rule on sex-based housing is eminently defensible.

All of these administrative actions, of course, can be readily undone by a future hostile administration. Just look at what Joe Biden has already promised.

Thus, we’ll need litigation and legislation not solely on religious liberty, but on the substantive issues at stake: privacy and safety in single-sex facilities, equality and fairness in single-sex sports, and good medicine based on the realities of our biological make up as male or female human beings.

Through litigation and legislation, we need to make it clear that it’s lawful to act on the convictions that we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other, that no institution has to let males compete against females in sports, that no institution has to allow males into women-only locker rooms and shelters, that no physician has to engage in so-called “gender-affirming” care.

The religious liberty triumphs of the past several days are important. But they’re not enough. Not nearly so.


Trump has a big heart with years of giving to the disadvantaged

Trump has a big heart with years of giving to the disadvantaged
Over the last several decades, Trump has given generously to heroes, the sick, and those in need. While the liberal media would have you believe that Trump is a virulent racist, it should be noted that a majority of the individuals who were recipients of these acts of kindness were racial or ethnic minorities. Trump has a big heart, and these stories are proof of that. Because the liberal media is bent on attacking and defeating Trump, it is up to conservatives and Trump supporters to counter the liberal narrative and make certain the public knows the truth about the President instead of just the left’s negative narrative.

The Steele dossier paid for by Clinton, DNC was not Russian disinformation, it was British disinformation—from Steele
The intelligence in the dossier by former British spy Christopher Steele, paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, was not from a well-placed source in the Russian government, but a paid-for employee of Steele’s firm, Orbis, who disputed the findings of the dossier when they were published on Jan. 10, 2017 by Buzzfeed. This, from the bombshell now declassified Jan. 24, 2017 interview by the FBI of the sub-source that was only undertaken two weeks after the false allegations against President Donald Trump and his campaign — that they were Russian agents who had helped Moscow hack the DNC and put its emails onto Wikileaks — became public. In it, the sub-source told the FBI that the allegations were “rumor and speculation,” that his contacts were “too far removed” from the matter to know anything substantial and that he “did not recall any discussion or mention of Wikileaks” with his contacts, contradicting Steele’s allegations of a “well-developed conspiracy” between Trump and Russia. And “he was nervous about the Russians finding out about” his efforts to corroborate Steele’s reporting, meaning they didn’t know about it. The Steele dossier was not Russian disinformation, it was British disinformation — from Steele.

China hawks familiar with the finer details of U.S. labor law argue the Trump administration has the power to do far more than name and shame U.S. companies that opt to work with Beijing in order to gain access to China’s vast consumer market. The Labor Department in the next few weeks has the opportunity to cut off a main spigot of U.S. funds flowing to China by barring private U.S. retirement plans from investing in Chinese companies, an unprecedented step that would cost China billions in U.S. investment.

In fact, those advocating the bold move argue that the Labor Department has a fiduciary responsibility to do so, as well as the perfect opportunity in a pending regulation governing these investments. The Labor Department is currently finalizing changes to the regulation governing private retirement funds and could simply decide to disqualify all companies that don’t adhere to current U.S. banking and investment transparency laws, which would automatically prevent investment in Chinese companies. In late June the department released changes to the rule for ‘financial factors in selecting plan investments’ and will finalize it in the coming weeks.  ‘It is sickening to think that American pensions and 401(k) investors are capitalizing [on] the gross abuse of helpless and oppressed Chinese religious minorities and political dissidents,’ Richard Manning, a former senior Labor Department official during the Bush administration who served on Trump’s presidential transition team, recently wrote to Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia. ‘Americans would be appalled to learn that they were effectively providing the capital for the enslavement of their fellow man, and you can stop it.’”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

26 July, 2020  

Historians blast BBC for 'unbalanced' News At Ten report claiming Churchill was responsible for 'mass killing' of up to three million in 1943 Bengal famine

These attacks on Churchill are absurd.  Churchill was fighting two wars, with Germany and Japan, so simply had no resources left to give to India.  Britain was no food bowl at that time. It imported much of its food.  And transporting anything by ship was a huge challenge with German U-boats sinking many of the transports.

And it was not his responsibility anyway.  It was the responsibility of the government of Bengal.  That government might conceivably have imported grain from Australia but -- again -- where would they get the ships to carry it?  And finding the grain in India would be a very unlikely enterprise. India was always on the brink of starvation and with many men away at the war, that would have meant no grain to spare.

I was in my youth an admirer of Churchill but I have much revised that view now that I have heard of the repatriation of the Cossacks (Southern Russians).  The Cossacks were very anti-Soviet and many joined the Wehrmacht to fight the Red army.  The Wehrmacht lost the war, however so towards the end many of the Cossacks in the Wehrmacht escaped to British lines in Austria.  They knew that Stalin would murder them and thought that they would be safe as British prisoners of war.

But Churchill betrayed them.  He sent them back to Stalin and almost certain death.  Why did he do it?  Because Russia had considerable numbers of British and French prisoners of war and Churchill wanted them released.  It was a prisoner swap.  But it was not the usual swap.  Swapped prisoners are normally welcomed back to their homeland.  The Cossack were killed instead.  And, knowing that would happen, Churchill should have done some other deal -- presumably repatriating all non-Cossack prisoners

So Churchill was no saint. He was a politician.  The Cossacks were a huge blot on his record.  But nobody is perfect and he is certainly well worthy of the honour that is normally given to him.  His unrelenting opposition to Communism is a large part of that

In 2002 the BBC ran a massive national poll asking citizens of the United Kingdom to vote for the 100 greatest Britons of all time. At the top of the list was Winston Churchill.

Historians have criticised the BBC for an 'unbalanced' News At Ten report claiming Churchill was responsible for the 'mass killing' of up to three million people in the 1943 Bengal Famine.

A section broadcast on Tuesday examined how modern Indians view the wartime prime minster as part of a series on Britain's colonial legacy, and featured a series of damning statements about his actions.

Rudrangshu Mukherjee of Ashoka University in India, said Churchill was seen as a 'precipitator' of mass killing' due to his policies, while Oxford's Yasmin Khan claimed he could be guilty of 'prioritising white lives over Asian lives' by not sending relief. 

But today historians said the report ignored the complexities behind the famine in favour of squarely blaming Churchill. World War Two expert James Holland argued he had tried to help but faced a lack of resources due to the war against Japan.

It comes amid a wider campaign to trash the war hero's legacy, with his statue defaced with the word 'racist' by Black Lives Matter protesters in London and civil servants calling for the Treasury's 'Churchill Room' to be renamed.

The Bengal Famine was triggered by a cyclone and flooding in Bengal in 1942, which destroyed crops and infrastructure.

Historians agree that many of the three million deaths could have been averted with a more effective relief effort, but are divided over the extent to which Churchill was personally to blame.

Yogita Limaye, the BBC News India correspondent who led the report, said many Indians blamed him for 'making the situation worse'.

But historians suggested the report attributed too much of the blame onto Churchill when other factors were more significant.

Tirthankar Roy, a professor in economic history at the LSE, argues India's vulnerability to weather-induced famine was due to its unequal distribution of food.

He also blamed a lack of investment in agriculture and failings by the local government.

'Winston Churchill was not a relevant factor behind the 1943 Bengal famine,' he told The Times. 'The agency with the most responsibility for causing the famine and not doing enough was the government of Bengal.'

Churchill has been blamed for down-playing the crisis and arguing against re-supplying Bengal to preserve ships and food supplies for the war effort.

However, his defenders insist that he did try to help and delays were a result of conditions during the war.

They point out that after receiving news of the spreading food shortages he told his Cabinet he would welcome a statement from Lord Wavell, the new Viceroy of India, about how he planned to ensure the problems were 'dealt with'. He then wrote a personal letter urging the Viceroy to take action.

The historian James Holland weighed into the row today, insisting that Churchill faced immense difficulties supplying Bengal due to the amount of British resources tied up in the fight against the Japanese in the Pacific.

'In light of the latest furore over the Bengal Famine and people wrongly still insisting it was Churchill's fault, here's this on the subject,' he tweeted.

'His accusers don't a) understand how the war worked, or b) that his hands were tied over use of Allied shipping.'

Sir Max Hastings, the military historian, accepted that Churchill's behaviour was a 'blot on his record' but argued it should be considered against his achievements in helping to defeat fascism.

The recent Black Lives Matter protests have seen a renewed focus on Churchill's legacy, including calls for his statue to be taken down from Parliament Square.

At one point the monument was even boxed in by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to protect it from vandalism during a weekend of demonstrations. Figures of Gandhi and Mandela were also encased with wooden sheeting, at a cost of £30,000.

Threats to the statue triggered a strong reaction from defenders of the national hero who pointed out that his greatest achievement was defeating racist, anti-Semitic fascism.

At the time, Boris Johnson criticised the calls as being the 'height of lunacy'. The Prime Minister said he would resist any attempt to remove the statue 'with every breath in my body'.

Churchill's legacy has been attacked in other quarters, with a group of civil servants recently complaining that they did not feel 'comfortable' with having a room in the Treasury named after him.

BBC News insiders told MailOnline its report on the Bengal Famine made clear Churchill didn't cause the disaster but has been accused by some of making it worse.

A BBC spokesman said: 'The item was the latest in a series looking at Britain's colonial legacy worldwide.

'The series includes different perspectives from around the world, in this case from India, including a survivor from the Bengal famine, as well as Oxford historian Dr Yasmin Khan.

'The report also clearly explained Churchill's actions in India in the context of his Second World War strategy. We believe these are all important perspectives to explore and we stand by our journalism.'


Operation Legend' — Trump Confronts Spiking Violence

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he is directing a "surge" in the federal effort to tackle the growing wave of violent crime currently plaguing several major U.S. cities. Trump noted that the surge, dubbed "Operation Legend" after a four-year-old boy named LeGend Taliferro was murdered last month in Kansas City, would work to support local law enforcement efforts to arrest and prosecute criminals.

Andrew McCarthy reports, "[Attorney General William] Barr detailed that Operation Legend had already commenced with a ramp-up of federal agents in Kansas City, where 200 arrests were made in a two-week period. The initiative is now being expanded to two other cities with soaring crime, Chicago and Albuquerque. Amid a litany of bloody statistics, Trump noted that 23 people were shot in Chicago just [Tuesday] — 15 of them at a funeral home, where respects were being paid to a man who'd been killed in an earlier drive-by shooting."

Barr was quick to note that this increased presence of federal law enforcement will be working within existing federal-state collaborative structures, explaining that they are "standard anti-crime activities we have been carrying on for decades." Essentially, the Trump administration is reinforcing federal law enforcement at federal facilities within these major cities.

Needless to say, Democrats, along with their mainstream media cohorts, are falsely painting Trump's action to quell the violence as causing the violence. Philadelphia's Democrat District Attorney Larry Krasner played up the Left's dubious narrative, warning, "Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges from my office. ... We're not going to tolerate showing up under the guise of making things safer and [instead] causing violence."

Unfortunately, this underscores the challenge Trump faces — to support law enforcement efforts to end the raging violence and crime in these major cities while not becoming the face of that violence. Democrats are clearly aiming to scapegoat Trump for the violence, just as they have done with COVID-19. And the mainstream media is more than willing to support the Democrats' fallacious narrative by promoting images and footage of federal law enforcement agents tangling with "protesters." See Portland as Exhibit A.

The balancing act for Trump is to on the one hand allow the Democrats running these high-crime cities to politically hang themselves via their own failed policies, while at the same time demonstrating that he is fully committed to protecting innocent, law-abiding Americans from this wave of leftist-orchestrated violence.


Do Progressives Have a Free Speech Problem?

Leftist MICHELLE GOLDBERG writes from the NYT:

AN ACQUAINTANCE came to me a few weeks ago with the rough draft of a letter about free speech and asked me to sign. I declined, in part because it denounced “cancel culture.” As I wrote in an email, the phrase “‘cancel culture,’ while it describes something real, has been rendered sort of useless because it’s so often used by right-wing whiners like Ivanka Trump who think protests against them violate their free speech.”

A little later my acquaintance came back to me with a new version, which didn’t mention “cancel culture.” Like the people who wrote the letter, I think leftwing illiberalism is a problem, though I’ve mostly stopped writing about it since Donald Trump was elected, because it seems like complaining about a bee sting when you have Stage 4 cancer. So I signed.

The statement, published in Harper’s Magazine as “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate,” spawned takes and countertakes, most of them, despite my modest effort, about “cancel culture.”

At first I avoided wading into discourse about what’s now called the Letter. It seemed self-indulgent to write about media angst when the country is self-immolating because of unchecked disease and an economic catastrophe that’s about to get much worse. But as the debate over free speech grew and grew, I started to think I was using the burning world as an excuse to avoid personal discomfort.

From my (privileged) vantage point, several things are happening simultaneously. The mass uprising following the killing of George Floyd has led to a necessary expansion of the boundaries of mainstream speech. Space has been created for daring left-wing ideas, like abolishing the police, that were once marginalized.

At the same time, a climate of punitive heretic-hunting, a recurrent feature of left-wing politics, has set in, enforced, in some cases, through workplace discipline, including firings. It’s the involvement of human resources departments in compelling adherence with rapidly changing new norms of speech and debate that worries me the most.

In her scathing rejoinder to the Letter in The Atlantic, Hannah Giorgis wrote, “Facing widespread criticism on Twitter, undergoing an internal workplace review, or having one’s book panned does not, in fact, erode one’s constitutional rights or endanger a liberal society.”

This sentence brought me up short; one of these things is not like the others.

Anyone venturing ideas in public should be prepared to endure negative reviews and pushback on social media. Internal workplace reviews are something else. If people fear for their livelihoods for relatively minor ideological transgressions, it may not violate the Constitution — the workplace is not the state — but it does create a climate of self-censorship and grudging conformity.

One of the more egregious recent examples of left-wing illiberalism is the firing of David Shor, a data analyst at the progressive consulting firm Civis Analytics. Amid the protests over Floyd’s killing, Shor was called out online for tweeting about work by Omar Wasow, an assistant professor of politics at Princeton, that shows a link between violent protest in the 1960s and Richard Nixon’s vote share.

Shor was accused of “anti-Blackness” for seeming to suggest, via Wasow’s research, that violent protest is counterproductive. (Wasow is Black.) “At least some employees and clients of Civis Analytics complained that Shor’s tweet threatened their safety,” reported Jonathan Chait at New York magazine. After an internal review, Shor was let go; he was also kicked off a progressive industry listserv.

It should be said that many people on the left, including some who are often dismissive of the idea of left-wing illiberalism, condemned Shor’s firing. Surely one reason this episode has been invoked so often is that there aren’t many comparable examples of such obvious social justice overreach.

Still, there’s no question that many people feel intimidated. John McWhorter, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia who signed the Harper’s Letter, told me that in recent days he’s heard from over 100 graduate students and professors, most of them left of center, who fear for their professional prospects if they get on the wrong side of left-wing opinion.

The illiberal left is a lot less threatening than the right. But it’s still a threat.

Some on the left have argued, fairly, that those worried about people losing their jobs for running afoul of progressive orthodoxies should do more to strengthen labor protections, since all sorts of employees are vulnerable to capricious termination. But it seems strange to me to suggest that in the absence of better labor law, the left is justified in taking advantage of precarity to punish people for political disagreements.

Writing in the 1990s, at a time when feminists like Catharine MacKinnon sought to curtail free speech in the name of equality, the great left-libertarian Ellen Willis described how progressive movements sow the seeds of their own destruction when they become censorious.

It’s impossible, Willis wrote, “to censor the speech of the dominant without stifling debate among all social groups and reinforcing orthodoxy within left movements. Under such conditions a movement can neither integrate new ideas nor build support based on genuine transformations of consciousness rather than guilt or fear of ostracism.”

It’s not always easy to draw a clear line between what Willis described as “reinforcing orthodoxy” and agitating to make language and society more democratic and inclusive. As Nicholas Grossman pointed out in Arc Digital, most signatories to the Letter probably agree that it’s a good thing that the casual use of racist and homophobic slurs is no longer socially acceptable. “But those changes came about through private sanction, social pressure, and cultural change, driven by activists and younger generations,” he wrote.

Willis reminds us that when these changes were happening, the right denounced them as violations of free expression. Of the conservative campaign against political correctness in the 1990s, she wrote, “Predictably, their valid critique of left authoritarianism has segued all too smoothly into a campaign of moral intimidation,” one “aimed at demonizing egalitarian ideas, per se, as repressive.”

The same is happening today; the president throws tantrums about “cancel culture” while regularly trying to use the power of the state to quash speech he dislikes. Because Trump poisons everything he touches, his movement’s hypocritical embrace of the mantle of free speech threatens to devalue it, turning it into the rhetorical equivalent of “All Lives Matter.”

But to let this occur is to surrender what has historically been a sacred leftwing value. One reason many on the right want to be seen as free speech defenders is that they understand that the power to break taboos can be even more potent than the power to create them.

Even sympathetic people will come to resent a left that refuses to make distinctions between deliberate slurs, awkward mistakes and legitimate disagreements. Cowing people is not the same as converting them.


Rolling Stone Editor on Why ‘White Fragility’ May Be the ‘Dumbest Book Ever Written’

If there is one non-conservative writer who you should read right now, it's Matt Taibbi. The Rolling Stone editor has been a surgeon in dissecting the Left's uncontrollable descent into insanity. Even if you disagree with most of his work, which I'm sure you will, his analysis of the Left's "woke" awakening is spot on and devastating. Taibbi torched these clowns for their historically illiterate and unhinged tantrum over Independence Day. Now, he's going off on the institutional Left's latest craze: fawning over Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility," a cacophony of intersectionality nonsense that appears to have driven Taibbi crazy just reading it.

It's everything you'd expect to hear if you were forced to sit in some lecture about race quarterbacked by a "woke" lefty. You'd learn nothing about how to solve America's race issues, only that racism can never be eradicated, and that further entrenching racial divisions is the only remedy because unity doesn't appear to be the goal here. That's not an accident. From Martin Luther King to Jackie Robinson, the book appears to do well to pervert any notion of racial progress. There cannot be within this ethos. Taibbi nukes this book from orbit, calling it possibly the dumbest thing ever written, but also notes why it's no shock that it has caught on with lefty audiences, who are obsessed with race.

He notes that the "cancel culture" phenomenon was borne from this rigid, anti-intellectual movement that is race-obsessed. It's to the point where we have teenagers perusing social media accounts of their peers to find problematic tweets or posts and compiling them on spreadsheets; this is a "woke" hit list. Nothing Orwellian about that, right? It's super healthy…if you were a left-wing authoritarian. Oh, and Taibbi even noted that "woke" parents are just as bad: 

The problem, the aggrieved parent noted, was that his/her sons had gone to a diverse school, and their ‘closest friends are still a mix of black, Hispanic, and white kids,’ which to them was natural. The parent worried when one son was asked to fill out an application for a potential college roommate and expressed annoyance at having to specify race, because ‘I don’t care about race.’"

And? How on earth is this a bad mindset for young people to have? The kid clearly doesn't care about his roommate's background. Yet, the race war—the Left's version of it, the probable phantom struggle between Oceania and Eurasia. There can be no end. It must be perpetual. And there can be no debate. Double-plus good, huh? Also, with the racial division war being unending and solidifying divisions, that's how liberals maintain their competitiveness in national elections?

These kids are going to go to college, become more insane, graduate, and then spread an even more toxic form of "wokeness" into the sociopolitical sphere. It's a scary thought. Just look at what the first wave did to The New York Times, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben's Rice, the Washington Redskins, and even fruit snacks. They're all hiding under the bed, fearful of the lefty mob.

The best part of this whole book is the notion that if you're white, the only thing you can do is "strive to be less white." It's liberalism in a nutshell: thinking is too hard (via Matt Taibbi):

If your category is “white,” bad news: you have no identity apart from your participation in white supremacy (“Anti-blackness is foundational to our very identities… Whiteness has always been predicated on blackness”), which naturally means “a positive white identity is an impossible goal.”

DiAngelo instructs us there is nothing to be done here, except “strive to be less white.” To deny this theory, or to have the effrontery to sneak away from the tedium of DiAngelo’s lecturing – what she describes as “leaving the stress-inducing situation” – is to affirm her conception of white supremacy. This intellectual equivalent of the “ordeal by water” (if you float, you’re a witch) is orthodoxy across much of academia.

DiAngelo’s writing style is pure pain. The lexicon favored by intersectional theorists of this type is built around the same principles as Orwell’s Newspeak: it banishes ambiguity, nuance, and feeling and structures itself around sterile word pairs, like racist and antiracist, platform and deplatform, center and silence, that reduce all thinking to a series of binary choices.


Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream,” speech…the framework for American race relations for more than half a century precisely because people of all races understood King to be referring to a difficult and beautiful long-term goal worth pursuing is discounted, of course. White Fragility is based upon the idea that human beings are incapable of judging each other by the content of their character, and if people of different races think they are getting along or even loving one another, they probably need immediate antiracism training.


Robin DiAngelo, I guess – who believes Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier because he “finally had what it took to play with whites.” Everyone familiar with this story understands that Robinson had to be exceptional, both as a player and as a human being, to confront the racist institution known as Major League Baseball. His story has always been understood as a complex, long-developing political tale about overcoming violent systemic oppression. For DiAngelo to suggest history should re-cast Robinson as “the first black man whites allowed to play major league baseball” is grotesque and profoundly belittling.


It takes a special kind of ignorant for an author to choose an example that illustrates the mathematical opposite of one’s intended point, but this isn’t uncommon in White Fragility, which may be the dumbest book ever written.


It sees the human being as locked into one of three categories: members of oppressed groups, allies, and white oppressors.

Where we reside on the spectrum of righteousness is, they say, almost entirely determined by birth, a view probably shared by a lot of 4chan readers. With a full commitment to the program of psychological ablutions outlined in the book, one may strive for a “less white identity,” but again, DiAngelo explicitly rejects the Kingian goal of just trying to love one another as impossible, for two people born with different skin colors.


At a time of catastrophe and national despair, when conservative nationalism is on the rise and violent confrontation on the streets is becoming commonplace, it’s extremely suspicious that the books politicians, the press, university administrators, and corporate consultants alike are asking us to read are urging us to put race even more at the center of our identities, and fetishize the unbridgeable nature of our differences. Meanwhile books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird, which are both beautiful and actually anti-racist, have been banned, for containing the “N-word.” (White Fragility contains it too, by the way). It’s almost like someone thinks there’s a benefit to keeping people divided.

War is not meant to be won; it's meant to be continuous. And yet, we're the ones who want to divide. We're the ones that are racist. We're the ones who are the Neanderthals. My eyes can't roll any harder. You all knew this was a liberal trash talking point, especially since before COVID torpedoed it, Donald Trump created the best job market for blacks in our history. Also, women, black, Latino and Asian unemployment had reached historic lows. More people were working than those seeking a job. The economy was roaring before China threw a stone at it. The obsession with race is going to bite liberals in the a** one day. They will overreach and go off the deep end. I know it seems they already have, and you could make that argument, but we still await the one battle where this movement will be exposed as a circus act to everybody else. The drunk McCarthy moment where he took on the U.S. Army has yet to materialize. The "have you no decency, sir" moment has yet to arrive, though it'll probably be framed as "what, are you nuts?"



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

24 July, 2020  

The Dehumanization of Blacks
If you take black and white left-wing rhetoric seriously, blacks are not human beings like members of other races. They are first and foremost black; they are human beings defined before anything else by their color — not their humanity, their personality, their character, their mind or their heart. So much so that, according to white and black leftists, if you dissent from this racist view, you are now labelled racist.

The idiocy and inhumanity (literally) of this, the “progressive” view of black people, is easily demonstrated. Do any blacks see themselves first as black? When a black man, let’s call him James, looks into the mirror, does he first see a black person, or does he see James? When a white woman, let’s call her Karen (I’m playing with the left here), looks into the mirror, does she first see a white person, or does she see Karen? Does any human being first see his or her color?

Of course not. Yet, we are supposed to believe that the most important thing about a black individual is that he or she is black. And if we do not honor that fact — if we aim to be “colorblind” — then we are labelled racist.

This dehumanizing nonsense goes for racial truth these days. Thus, for example, we who are not black are supposed to acknowledge that we cannot possibly see the world the way a black person sees the world; we cannot possibly understand what it is like to be black. This is part of the dogma the left imposes on society through the media, through cancel culture (say that you are colorblind and you might lose your job and your reputation), and through racial sensitivity training seminars at colleges and in the workplace.

But all this does is promulgate the view that blacks are inherently different from all other people. As a result, the only way the left’s view of blacks differs from that of white supremacists is that the latter believe blacks are inherently inferior, whereas the left believes blacks are inherently different. But both the left and the white supremacists agree that race contains immutable characteristics.

Aside from its inherent racism, the progressive view of blacks is pablum. No one can see the world through another’s eyes. No one can fully understand what it is like to be any other human being. Do all whites understand how other whites see the world? One of the ongoing jokes in the public dialogues I have with Adam Carolla around the country is how much we think alike despite the fact that our backgrounds could hardly be more different.

Other than being white and male, we have essentially nothing in common. He is an atheist; I am a religious believer. He is Italian; I’m a Jew. He grew up poor and on food stamps in Los Angeles; I grew up in a solid middle-class home in Brooklyn. He had little formal education and never went to college; I grew up in a house of intellectuals and went to an Ivy League graduate school. Even though I cannot “relate” to his experience or he to mine, we are nevertheless very close because, in addition to that intangible thing that creates friendships, we have the same values.

On the other hand, I am a Jew, and George Soros is a Jew. Other than the same ethnic ancestry, we have absolutely nothing in common. I have far more in common with the black conservative intellectual Larry Elder. The notion that race or ethnicity bonds people is both stupid and racist.

The prominent black conservative John McWhorter, a Columbia professor, just wrote a review of “White Fragility,” the book the left most frequently recommends to explain America’s alleged systemic racism. The title? “The Dehumanizing Condescension of ‘White Fragility.’”

McWhorter writes:

“One of America’s favorite advice books of the moment is actually a racist tract.  The book diminishes Black people in the name of dignifying us.”

(I suspect it was The Atlantic’s choice to capitalize “black”; the syndicators of my own column once changed “black” to “Black” because they follow the Associated Press’ rules for English.)

“‘White Fragility’ is the prayer book for what can only be described as a cult.”

“A corollary question is why Black people need to be treated the way DiAngelo assumes we do. The very assumption is deeply condescending to all proud Black people.”

“Few books about race have more openly infantilized Black people than this supposedly authoritative tome. Or simply dehumanized us.”

“Her answer to white fragility, in other words, entails an elaborate and pitilessly dehumanizing condescension toward Black people. The sad truth is that anyone falling under the sway of this blinkered, self-satisfied, punitive stunt of a primer has been taught, by a well-intentioned but tragically misguided pastor, how to be racist in a whole new way.”

McWhorter understands that to see blacks the way the white and black left want people to see them is to dehumanize blacks. If blacks are black before they are human — if no nonblacks can relate to blacks, disagree with blacks or want to see past color to the person’s heart — black-nonblack relations will have been set back a half-century.

Incredibly, beginning this coming year, thanks to progressive teachers, there will be mandatory reading of racist tracts like “White Fragility” to dehumanize blacks. That any black would see this as progress is worthy of tears.


Prosecutor Criticized for Charging St. Louis Couple Who Pointed Guns at Protesters

A Missouri prosecutor faces heavy scrutiny at the national and state level for bringing criminal charges against a St. Louis couple who pointed guns at trespassers in late June to defend themselves and their property.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner filed the charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who became nationally known because of a viral video of them holding firearms outside their home as protesters marched past.

“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis,” Gardner, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The McCloskeys both were charged Monday with a single felony count of exhibiting a firearm in an angry or threatening manner. He held a semiautomatic rifle, she a handgun.

The couple has said that protesters tore down a gate to gain entry to their property June 28.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday that she discussed the case with President Donald Trump that morning.  “The president, I asked him about that this morning. He said it is absolutely absurd what is happening to the McCloskeys.

McEnany added of Gardner: There have been many cases brought to her attention of violent rioters that she has failed to charge. But instead, she’s charging the individuals who are defending themselves from violent protesters. You have 300 to 500 protesters who stormed the gates, tore down the gates, and trespassed on their property.

The White House press secretary noted that Patricia McCloskey said some trespassers threatened to kill the couple and occupy the house, while others shouted threats to burn down the house.

“They were completely within their right, and it is an egregious abuse of power,” McEnany said.

In a video announcement, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, the state’s top law enforcement official, said he would seek to dismiss the case. Schmitt, a Republican, called it a “political prosecution” and said citizens shouldn’t be targeted for exercising their right to self-defense. Missouri’s “castle doctrine” law allows residents to defend their property.

If it goes to trial, the case likely will boil down to whether a jury believes the couple reasonably believed they were acting in self-defense, said Amy Swearer, a legal fellow at the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation.

“The burden is on the state to prove it wasn’t reasonable self-defense,” Swearer told The Daily Signal. “There are so many questions to piece together for the facts and the timeline, I don’t envy lawyers from either side of this case. But it is good to have so much video, so it’s not just a he said/she said.”

Although there may be a legitimate question whether protesters were on the McCloskeys’ property, the couple asserted that some in the crowd were armed and shouting threats, Swearer said. The broader context includes the violent unrest that was happening in the area, she added.

The prosecution’s championing of the right to protest would be a difficult case to make, Swearer said. “The protesters were out of public property and in a private gated area,” she said. “It’s not the case that the McCloskeys went out of their way to silence anyone.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, tweeted Tuesday: “Every Missourian has the right to protect their family and their personal property.”

The previous day, Parson also was critical of Gardner on Twitter, noting that “the Circuit Attorney’s office has admitted there is a backlog of cases and dozens of homicides that haven’t been prosecuted, yet she has accelerated this case forward.”

Mark McCloskey, 63, and his wife Patricia, 61, are both lawyers.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., called the prosecution an abuse of power and last week asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the prosecution by Gardner as a possible civil rights violation. 

“This is an unacceptable abuse of power and threat to the Second Amendment, and I urge you to consider a federal civil rights investigation into the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office to determine whether this investigation and impending prosecution violates this family’s constitutional rights,” Hawley’s July 16 letter to Attorney General William Barr says, adding:

There is no question under Missouri law that the McCloskeys had the right to own and use their firearms to protect themselves from threatened violence, and that any criminal prosecution for these actions is legally unsound. The only possible motivation for the investigation, then, is a politically motivated attempt to punish this family for exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Indeed, this is part of a troubling pattern of politically motivated prosecutorial decisions by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney, who has not seen fit to prosecute many violent offenders, and who has expressed hostility to gun rights in the past. Recently, reports indicate that she declined to pursue charges against dozens of individuals arrested during a weekend of riots in the city.

Gardner was elected in 2016. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that her campaign was financed in part by the Safety & Justice Committee, a super PAC financed by liberal billionaire George Soros.

Gardner framed the prosecution as protecting the First Amendment right to protest, saying: “We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation will not be tolerated.”

She added: “The people of St. Louis have elected me to pursue equal justice under the law fairly and impartially, and that is what I intend to do.”


German state bans burqas and face veils in schools, saying they do not belong in a free society

A German state has banned the use of burqas in school, saying that the full-face Islamic covering does not belong in a free society.

Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany announced the ban on Tuesday. The state has already banned the use of such coverings for teachers.

State Premier Winfried Kretschmann said that it was rare for school girls to wear burqas but that a ban was required for the exceptional cases.

The new rule will apply to girls attending primary and secondary schools in the state. 

Kretschmann added that such coverings, which are usually worn by conservative Muslim women and girls, do not belong in a free society, although he admitted that banning them at university level was a more complex matter. 

Members of Germany's ruling CDU party have long called for a ban on full-face coverings in schools.

The country's left-wing Green party has been divided on the issue, but in Baden-Württemberg, Green party leaders were in agreement with the CDU, with state party leaders Sandra Detzer and Oliver Hildenbrand referring to the burqa and the niqab as 'symbols of oppression.'

Other party members have argued that a ban could stoke tensions and negatively impact cultural integration. 

It comes after a ruling earlier this year which saw a court in Hamburg overturn its own ruling on full-face coverings.

In February, a German court overturned a school's niqab ban after a 16-year-old girl was told she had to show her face to teachers.

Hamburg education officials had ordered the girl's mother to ensure that her daughter did not wear the veil at school, a decision which an administrative court overruled.

State law does not currently permit the authorities to impose such a ban, the court said in a statement.

The teenager, who is studying retail sales, has 'a right to unconditional protection of her freedom of belief' the statement added.

Hamburg's social-democratic education senator Ties Rabe immediately said that he would seek to change the state law.

Each German state has its own education ministry, and the 16 states have differing laws on headscarves in schools.

In 2015, Germany's Constitutional Court overturned a blanket ban on teachers wearing them, ruling that it was against religious freedom. However, eight of Germany's states maintain restrictions on wearing the hijab by female teachers.

Germany's neighbouring countries including The Netherlands, France, Austria and Denmark have introduced a so-called 'burqa ban' to varying degrees.


The Leftmedia's Very Effective 'Systemic Racism' Narrative

The Left has made significant gains convincing too many Americans to hate America.

A newly released Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 56% of voters believe that American society is racist and discriminates specifically against black and Hispanic Americans. Furthermore, a whopping 71% of Americans “believe that race relations are either very or fairly bad, a 16-point increase since February.” The Journal reports that the belief that minorities are discriminated against in American society has doubled since 2008.

The polling also makes clear that political viewpoints represent the biggest indicator for how Americans see the issue. As the Journal reports, “An overwhelming majority of Democrats, 90%, said black people are discriminated against, whereas 26% of Republicans agreed. A similarly large share of Democrats, 82%, believe American society is racist, a view held by 30% of Republicans.” And regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, roughly half of Americans now view it positively, up from 38% in 2016.

The big question is whether this poll is an accurate reflection of where America is as a country, or whether it’s a reflection of the power of mainstream media pollaganda. The answer is likely evident to anyone objectively viewing the data: the power of MSM pollaganda. There is a constant media drumbeat telling us how awful the U.S. is, down to its very founding. People are subject to it every day not only in the news but in sports commentary, TV shows, and social media. It’s honestly amazing that 44% of Americans aren’t suckered into believing the Left’s narrative.

And make no mistake: Exposing and fighting against racism is not what is genuinely behind this “anti-racism” movement. Instead, Marxists have weaponized Americans’ strong and instinctive aversion to racism to deceive people into joining — or at least abiding — an anti-American revolution. The vast majority of Americans hate racism, so to get Americans to hate America, the Leftmedia paints the false narrative of the country as a bastion of racism down to its very core.

In fact, no country has done more to combat genuine systemic racism than has the U.S. Why? Because at our core, America is a nation uniquely founded upon the belief that every human being is created with dignity and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. And American history is the testimony of a nation seeking (by no means perfectly) to genuinely live up to these founding ideals.

Radical leftists know that in order to move Americans to abandon and reject their noble heritage and to embrace the “social justice” lie of Marxist equity, they must be deceived into believing they are fighting the good fight against evil “systemic racism,” and that by doing so they will be on the “right side of history.” Sadly, what this poll indicates is that the Leftmedia has had significant success getting Americans to believe the lie. But it also serves as a motivator to challenge and stand against this bogus racist caricature of America. Their aim is to divide and destroy. Don’t fall for it.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

23 July, 2020  

President Trump is ending the Obama-Biden regulation to rezone neighborhoods along income and racial guidelines

President Donald Trump is ending the 2015 Obama-Biden era regulation Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation, and has removed requirements that more than 1,200 cities and counties make changes to local zoning in order to qualify for $3 billion of annual community development block grants.

Appearing at the White House Rose Garden on July 14, President Trump called enforcement of this regulation was a “key element” of former Vice President Joe Biden’s platform for president, saying it would “abolish the suburbs…”

According to Biden’s campaign website, “Biden will implement the Obama-Biden Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule requiring communities receiving certain federal funding to proactively examine housing patterns and identify and address policies that have a discriminatory effect.”

Trump explained, “Enforce Obama-Biden’s radical AFFH — that’s the AFFH regulation that threatens to strip localities of federal affordable housing funds unless they change their zoning laws to fit the federal government’s demands.  So what you have — I mean, I’ve been watching this for years in Westchester, coming from New York.  They want low-income housing built in a neighborhood.”

But with changes to the rule released in January, the zoning mandates have been repealed. Trump said, “I’m ending that rule.  I’m taking it out, so — I spoke with Ben Carson the other day.  We’re going to be taking it out.  I’ve watched that whole thing go, and now they want to make it twice as bad in the suburbs — in the suburbs. Mothers aren’t happy about that.  Fathers aren’t happy about that.  They worked hard to buy a house, and now they’re going to watch the housing values drop like a rock, and that has happened.  It dropped like a rock.  So we’re not going to do that; we’re going to do the exact opposite.”

Under the new rule that was finalized by the Trump administration on Jan. 14, “Jurisdictions are free to choose to undertake changes to zoning or land-use policies as one method of complying with the AFFH obligation; however, no jurisdiction may have their certification questioned because they do not choose to undertake zoning changes.”

This differed drastically from the original 2015 regulation had included an explicit requirement calling for changes to local zoning, stating, “This final rule, and Assessment Tools and guidance to be issued, will assist recipients of Federal funding to use that funding and, if necessary, adjust their land use and zoning laws in accordance with their existing legal obligation to affirmatively further fair housing.”

At the time, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives adopted an amendment by U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) to defund implementation of the regulation. Later, a more moderate provision by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) passed the Senate easily 87 to 9 in 2016 that barred the regulation from being used to affect local zoning.

The Collins amendment was eventually included in the 2017 omnibus, the 2018 omnibus, the 2019 omnibus, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, stating: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to direct a grantee to undertake specific changes to existing zoning laws as part of carrying out the final rule entitled ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing’ … or the notice entitled ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment Tool’…”

Now, there are plenty of non-discriminatory reasons why cities wouldn’t want the federal government to interfere with local zoning. For example, it might result in property values declining. Or, conversely, because demand for property would remain high in densely populated areas, changes to zoning might still result in high prices, thereby mitigating the effects of reform to make housing more affordable.

In 2018, I personally submitted comments to the Department of Housing and Urban Development noting Congress had explicitly barred implementation of AFFH as written and that, to comply, the regulation would have to be rewritten to remove the zoning requirements and making any changes voluntary.

The Department found further legal justification for revising the AFFH rule to remove zoning mandates under 42 U.S. Code §?12705(c)(1), which states, “the adoption or continuation of a public policy identified pursuant to subsection (b)(4) [which includes local zoning ordinances as a potential barrier to affordable housing] shall not be a basis for the Secretary’s disapproval of a housing strategy…”

This provision, per HUD, “prohibits HUD from disapproving consolidated plans because a jurisdiction adopts or continues zoning ordinances or land-use policies.” Meaning funds cannot be denied on the basis of a city or county’s lack of a plan to change zoning.

Of course, a future Biden administration might not see things the same way. Therefore, the President ought to press Congress to continue including the Collins amendment in future appropriations bills to prevent the federal government from dictating local zoning policy. In the meantime, President Trump on his own is ending federal dictates and restoring local government control over zoning — the way it should be.


Leftists’ War to Cancel American History

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week reached a new low in recklessness, even for her. She dismissed as no big deal the toppling of a Christopher Columbus statue by a mob who then tossed it into a nearby harbor in her hometown of Baltimore. "People will do what they do,” Pelosi said. “I don’t care that much about the statues.” Pelosi evidently doesn’t care much about mob rule either.

Most Americans do care about preserving the statues and other monuments dedicated to our nation’s heroes. Most Americans certainly do not believe that mobs should decide who does or does not deserve to be honored as part of America’s heritage. But leftists don’t trust the American people. The cancel culture crowd think they are entitled to cancel the American story of great progress towards a more perfect union and replace it with their own alternative of dystopian fiction. According to CNN anchor Don Lemon, for example, young people "have asked for decades" for the removal of certain statues and now "the chickens are coming home to roost." Lemon said that Americans for too long have been taught “propaganda” and added that "some things you have to un-learn so that you can become a better citizen." That sounds like what the Chinese Communists were saying during their cultural revolution.

Christopher Columbus is on the left-wingers’ hit list. No longer are elementary school students introduced to the rhyme that generations of students before them had recited, "In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Leftists demand that school curricula portray Christopher Columbus’s forays to the “New World” as the original sin of colonialist exploitation of indigenous peoples living in a heretofore untouched ‘paradise.’ Leftists’ stereotyping of Columbus as an evil imperialist motivated solely by greed and lust for power over hapless indigenous people is the false mirror image of their outrageous attempt to delegitimize the United States itself as the embodiment of white supremacy.

Human bondage already existed on the islands that Columbus visited, as well as cannibalism – not exactly an indigenous peoples’ ‘paradise.’ Moreover, acknowledging Columbus’s far from spotless record in how he treated the people he encountered in the lands he explored does not negate the historic importance of what he accomplished. Columbus deserves to be honored as a courageous visionary who set in motion by his explorations a chain of events that would lead ultimately to the creation of the world’s leading beacon of hope, opportunity and freedom.

The iconoclasts of the far left also demonize our nation’s founding fathers - their reputations trashed, and statues toppled or defaced. They were just a bunch of slave-owning white supremacists who should be reviled, not revered, according to the far left narrative.

Like Christopher Columbus, our nation’s founding fathers were neither saints nor devils. They were complex human beings who were imperfect to be sure. However, the founding fathers were visionaries who put into practice the principles of the Age of Enlightenment based on reason and science rather than superstition and divine right of kings. They had the wisdom and foresight to design a flexible system of self-government that could progress over time and move closer towards full realization of the nation’s founding ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Moreover, contrary to the far left narrative, not all the founding fathers were diehard slaveowners. John Adams, for instance, never owned any slaves. Benjamin Franklin’s two slaves were freed during his lifetime. He became the president of an abolitionist group called the Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage.

George Washington remained a slaveowner during his lifetime but arranged in his will for his slaves to be freed after his death. Towards the end of his life, Washington wrote, "The unfortunate condition of the persons, whose labour in part I employed, has been the only unavoidable subject of regret.” He expressed some sympathy for the emerging abolitionist cause and indicated that he would support the elimination of slavery if done through the legislative process.

Alexander Hamilton supported the idea of freeing those slaves who joined the Continental Army. Having emigrated to America from a Caribbean island where he observed slavery firsthand, he would later write that there was no reason why “one man should exercise any power or pre-eminence over his fellow-creatures. . . unless they have voluntarily vested him with it.”  But leftists today do not think that is good enough. They have even recently demanded the cancellation of the highly acclaimed musical ‘Hamilton,’ which depicted the life of the immigrant Alexander Hamilton, after it was shown on Disney+. Leftist critics bemoaned the musical’s romanticizing of Hamilton and the other founding fathers, and its glossing over their association with slavery. Hamilton did not own any slaves himself. However, his “sins” apparently included working for a slave-trading firm as a teenager before he emigrated to America and the fact that he married into a prominent New York slaveholding family.

#CancelHamilton" trended on Twitter after the musical’s showing on Disney+. Even a musical honoring diversity and the contribution of immigrants to American history is suspect because it dared to also honor America itself and its founders. Instead of defending what he was trying to do and pushing back against the expanding cancel culture, the show’s creator, Lin Manuel-Miranda, apologized. “That we have not yet firmly spoken the inarguable truth that Black Lives Matter and denounced systematic racism and white supremacy from our official 'Hamilton' channels is a moral failure on our part,” Manuel-Miranda said in a groveling video. "As the writer of the show, I take responsibility and apologize for my part in this moral failure."

Thomas Jefferson is the leftists’ favorite founding father punching bag, representing to them the preeminent white supremacist hypocrite among the founders. True, Jefferson did enslave more than six hundred people during his lifetime while publicly condemning slavery as contrary to the laws of nature that he espoused in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson held on to his slaves for his personal benefit even as he tried in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence to incorporate a specific paragraph denouncing slavery introduced by the British to the American colonies. Jefferson was unsuccessful because the Southern colony delegates insisted on its removal as a condition for supporting the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson endorsed the principle of gradual emancipation without setting an example himself in his lifetime. All of that can be legitimately discussed, however, without throwing Jefferson’s positive legacy into the dustbin of history. Thomas Jefferson’s personal shortcomings do not erase the fact that his more noble self was able to set down the principle of equality and inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that remain our nation’s North Star. Martin Luther King recognized this when he said that the words of Jefferson and the other “architects of our republic” were a “promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”

The cancel culture leftists want to destroy Americans’ liberties. In order to do so, they must delegitimize the America created by our founding fathers. They must destroy the symbols that generations of Americans have grown up revering. They seek to turn American history into the dark chronicle of horrors for which the ‘white supremacist oppressor’ class must be punished and atone. All freedom-loving Americans should stand up to these destructive mobs and cancel out their cancel culture hatred of the values we hold dear.


Reclaiming the Brainwashed Generation

As with legions of others in his generation, my nephew has been brainwashed by years of less-than- honest educators. When it comes to U.S. history, he knows precious little about the Constitution and proclaimed that he “doesn’t care much about the Constitution,” which actually protects him every day.

He claims that it is an old document and that while some parts of the Constitution might be good, “some parts are awful.” In a vigorous email exchange, when I asked him to identify an awful part, he took a long time to reply. Then he referred to slaves in the South being counted as 3/5th in voting – an issue which many people routinely misunderstand.

200 Years of Getting it Wrong

In yesteryear, as today, states with greater populations were allotted more representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Southern states wanted all slaves to be counted, but still to be treated as slaves, and not allowed to vote.

Combining resident white voters and resident slave non-voters would give pro slave states more representatives in Congress and thus more power to perpetuate slavery. Anything that the North could do to reduce the head count of slaves diminished the power of the pro slavery lobby. Ergo, the compromise to reduce the slave head count to 3/5th was an anti-slavery move.

The measure was not introduced to degrade the slaves as if they were 3/5th human. They were already degraded; they were slaves, for crying out loud! As Glenn Beck describes this situation in his book, Arguing with Idiots, northern states regarded the compromise as the only way to eventually end slavery. To be clear: 3/5ths of a person was not the value of a slave's life. It was the value counted in the U.S. Census.

A man named Gouverneur Morris assisted James Madison in drafting the provision. Morris was a contributing author to large sections of the Constitution. He described slavery as "a nefarious institution, the curse of heaven on states where it prevailed." In fact, Morris opposed the 3/5th compromise because he felt that it would enable the southern states enough representation to indefinitely maintain slavery. He believed that 1/40,000 was a more equitable measure for census purposes.

Slowly and Carefully

The 3/5th compromise represented a forward-thinking act by the anti-slavery faction to keep slaveholding states from wielding too much power. Still, my nephew and others who view the U.S. Constitution with contempt, refuse to understand the truth. Even when you carefully explain the scenario to them, the next day they revert to their reflective notion that the provision was passed to degrade slaves and that the U.S. Constitution is a piece of crap. How can one find common ground with such people?

If only my nephew were an isolated case. He's part of a generation that simply has no idea about America's contribution to the world, past and present. Unduly influenced by teachers and professors on a mission to propagate their Leftist views, my nephew has little if any objectivity when it comes to assessing the parts played by nations throughout the world. He doesn't know that the UK and the U.S. were the global leaders in ending the slave trade.

He doesn't know that Communism is responsible for 104 million deaths from 1917 to the present. Most amazingly, he doesn't know that every day people from around the globe risk everything they have to make it to the U.S., while virtually no one wants to leave.

The Brainwashed Generation Can Escape

Is he and his generation so far gone that they cannot be retrieved? That would be a shame. Fortunately, encouraging signs increasingly appear on the horizon. Brandon Straka, a gay man, realized that the mainstream media was feeding a non-stop series of lies to him. “Once upon a time, I was a liberal,” Straka said in 2018 to TV host Jeanine Pirro.

“For years now,” he told Pirro, “I have watched as the Left has devolved into intolerant, inflexible, illogical, hateful, misguided, ill-informed, un-American, hypocritical, menacing, callous, ignorant, narrow-minded and, at times, blatantly fascistic behavior and rhetoric.” Ultimately, Straka created #Walkaway helping thousands of followers to see the light.

Other people have launched other movements. Hope is on the horizon. My nephew might be redeemable.


Museum’s Racist Material on ‘Whiteness’ Wasn’t Its First Instance of Bias

One would reasonably expect to learn about history at a history museum. Unfortunately, at some museums, it seems you’re increasingly likely to receive an ideological sermon instead.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture recently created an online portal called “Talking About Race.”

It was doing that, the museum said, to promote conversations about race that begin with “honesty, respect for others, and an openness to ideas and information that provide new perspectives.”

On that page was a since-deleted graphic on “whiteness” that was not only offensive to, well, pretty much everyone, but was also quite racist.

“White dominant culture, or whiteness, refers to the ways white people and their traditions, attitudes, and ways of life have been normalized over time and are now considered standard practices in the United States,” the graphic read. “And since white people still hold most of the institutional power in America, we have all internalized some aspects of white culture—including people of color.”

And what are those “aspects of white culture”?

There were some negative ones, like “master and control nature,” and the hilarious “steak and potatoes; ‘bland is best.’”

But there were countless others that simply seemed like good life practices, regardless of one’s skin tone, things such as “self-reliance,” “adherence to rigid time schedules,” “delayed gratification,” and commitment to the “nuclear family.”

Elsewhere on the web page, the museum labels “white supremacy” as an ideology in which white people are deemed “superior to nonwhite people.”

But the graphic, likely unintentionally, seemed to be promoting white supremacy by insinuating that nonwhite people are lazy, irresponsible, and perhaps have internalized “whiteness” qualities such as being “polite.”

After the chart was spotted and posted by Claremont Institute President Ryan Williams on Twitter, an online backlash prompted the museum to remove it and apologize.

“It is important for us as a country to talk about race. We thank those who shared concerns about our ‘Talking About Race’ online portal. We need these types of frank and respectful interchanges as we as a country grapple with how we talk about race and its impact on our lives,” the statement said, according to the Miami Herald. “We erred in including the chart. We have removed it, and we apologize.”

Despite the apology, one wonders how such a graphic was deemed appropriate to put up in the first place.

Of course, the website still contains incessant attacks on “white privilege” and references to the book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by author Robin DiAngelo.

“White fragility,” according to Columbia University associate professor John McWhorter, who is black, is “about how to make certain educated white readers feel better about themselves” and actually promotes a “dehumanizing condescension toward black people.”

It’s infuriating that the Smithsonian or any other publicly funded museum would promote such material. But this sort of bias is becoming increasingly common.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has been embroiled in controversy and accusations of bias before.

When it opened in 2016, it failed to feature an exhibit on the career of Justice Clarence Thomas, currently the only black man on the Supreme Court. The museum initially only paid tribute to Anita Hill, the woman who leveled unproven accusations of sexual harassment against him.

What the latest incident, with the “whiteness” graphic, makes clear is how public memory and history should not simply be left to museums.

Many of those calling for the removal of “offensive” statues—which these days seems to include pretty much all of them—have suggested relocating them to museums.

But how can Americans trust museums to faithfully present history and not simply foist primarily hard-left political views on those who visit them or use their materials?

We see a similar problem with The New York Times’ so-called 1619 Project, which won a Pulitzer Prize. History is bent and distorted to fit a political narrative. It’s not about education, but re-education and indoctrination.

It’s clear that American institutions—whether they are our schools or national museums—are being used as vehicles to promote “critical race theory” and other divisive doctrines.

This radical transformation is accelerating. That’s why it’s essential for Americans who still believe in the truth to inform themselves and be willing to question and confront those who are cynically promoting this cultural revolution, which if left unchallenged will tear the country apart.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

22 July, 2020

‘Tolerant’ Liberals Sure Hate Jews

That the political left is a cesspool of hatred and bigotry is nothing new, a simple Internet search about college campus life over the past few years turns up disgusting, violent attacks on anyone not deemed “woke” enough. Not bowing down and kissing the boots of the Marxist ANTIFA or “Black Lives Matter” or whatever fascistic flavor of the moment Democrats are embracing to terrorize the public into submission has become so “normal” that even when it takes out a fellow useful idiot in the media, it barely registers as a news story anymore. But there is one form of hatred that doesn’t rate a blip on the radar of the leftist media, mostly because it is a pandemic among their fellow travelers: anti-Semitism.

Support police and they’ll come for you. Don’t sufficiently support protests, they’ll come for you. Celebrate the United States and men who founded it and they’ll come for you. Mention the biological fact that there are only two genders and they’ll come for you. Say vile things about Jews, or amplify those who do, and you’re likely to be met with muted crickets.

The latest example is Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posting an anti-Semitic quote from Adolf Hitler to his Instagram account. The quote was a fake, but the sentiment wasn’t. This wasn’t Jackson’s only dive into the anti-Semitic pool. Turns out he’s also a big fan of Louis Farrakhan who hates Jews more than he hates white people.

Jackson was forced into the least sincere of all human actions – the forced apology. In his, Jackson tried to justify his stupidity by claiming he wanted to “enlighten my people” by sharing what he thought was a Hitler quote. “I probably never shouldn’t have posted anything that Hitler did cuz Hitler was a bad person,” he added. Ya think?

“You know, I just hopefully everybody respects my path on my opinions to try to just enlighten my people and just let everybody know there’s no hatred involved,” Jackson finished.

Putting aside the absurdity of using what you think is a Hitler quote to “enlighten” anyone, other than as a cautionary tale, and the inherent bigotry of the phrase “my people,” Jackson isn’t unique or alone in his embrace of anti-Semitism.

There is no bigger or prouder anti-Semite in the country than Farrakhan, who only takes a break from rambling about Jews to attack white people. That an NFL star would amplify him should cause outrage. But it hasn’t, at least not in any measurable way.

After releasing his “hostage” apology video, the Eagles fined Jackson an undisclosed amount and that’s about it. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is currently groveling on apology 739 for saying he wouldn’t disrespect the American flag and he’s still being attacked by has-beens like Eminem.

Jackson’s “mistake” was using Hitler, not anti-Semitism. Hitler can’t be ignored, everyone understands what a monster he was (which is why the left is working so hard to portray the progressive socialist into a right-winger). Farrakhan, on the other hand, had many nice things to say about Hitler over the course of his career. Why does he get a pass?

The rabid anti-Semitism of Farrakhan has been long known, he’s said horrible things enough times on camera that living under a rock for the last 40 years is the only way to avoid it. Yet Louis is now almost mainstreamed by the left. If they hadn’t been able to rehabilitate Al Sharpton’s racism and anti-Semitism, Farrakhan was waiting in the wings.

Somehow, to many celebrities, cops are the enemy who needs to be destroyed, but Louis Farrakhan is someone to be celebrated. Chelsea Handler, Lisa Rina, Sean Hayes, etc., recently praised a video of him.

A streaming service from Fox Broadcasting, called “Fox Soul,” planned to air a speech by Farrakhan on the 4th of July, because what better way to celebrate the founding of the country than publicizing a racist? Once people noticed, it was canceled. But it was moved to something called “Revolt TV,” which is owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs. Not a single “mainstream” media outlet bothered to mention it.

Rapper and actor Ice Cube proudly promotes Farrakhan on social media. “The Honorable Louis Farrakhan continues to warn America to this very second and he’s labeled one of your ‘evil names’ and you turn your ears off.  Why is the truth so offensive that you can’t stand to hear it?” he recently tweeted (one of many similar tweets dripping with anti-Semitism from him).

While DeSean Jackson deserves scorn for his actions, why do these other people escape the same? Why is Louis Farrakhan acceptable? Why is anti-Semitism glossed over so casually? Black Lives Matter gets a pass for their hatred of Israel (it’s been framed as the movement being “hijacked,” but it’s not – it’s who leftists are). Leaders of the Women’s March had a history of anti-Jewish comments and you barely heard about it. In fact, the political left is marinated in hatred of Jews, starting on college campuses and ending in a relentless stream of attacks on Jews on the streets of New York City, and it barely creates a ripple of coverage.

The left claims to be against hate, but they aren’t. They use it, they foment it, they direct it. Liberals manufacture it and scream about it at the top of their lungs when it suits their needs, but when it comes to Jewish people, they’re blind, deaf, and mute.

Anti-Semitism is alive and well, and it’s being mainstreamed by some big names in liberal circles. The embrace of Louis Farrakhan is just the symptom, the disease is the liberals who believe it works.


UK City Council Chooses Law Over Chaos: Removes Unsanctioned Protest Statue

The City Council in Bristol, England chose to uphold the values of their citizens and the rule of law this week when they removed an illegal, unsanctioned protest statue. The statue, created in the image of Black Lives Matter activist Jen Reid, was placed without approval on a pedestal that had previously been vandalized by statue-toppling rioters.

The Bristol statue of 17th century philanthropist Edward Colston was erected in 1895, a memorial to his financial contributions to charities and schools in Bristol during his life. Like many wealthy Europeans during that point in history, Colston was involved in the Atlantic slave trade, a legacy that soured his once philanthropic reputation. That part of Colston's history became widely publicized and disparaged beginning in the 1990s and calls for the removal of his statue began shortly thereafter.

Rather than wait for the Bristol City Council to hear from the citizens of their city, however, and make a choice about what to do with the 125-year-old statue, vandals and rioters took matters into their own hands. Operating under the guise of achieving racial justice in the name of George Floyd, they toppled the Colston statue and chucked it into the Bristol Harbor in early June. They also painted graffiti with myriad accusations of racism and bigotry on the statue base.

But unlike the statue destroyers that have come to be embraced by elected leaders in the United States, the mob set against destroying monuments in Bristol went one step further. They created their own replacement statue and hoisted it onto the pedestal involuntarily vacated by Colston last month.

On Wednesday, protesters snuck back to the previous site of Edward Colston's statue in Bristol and installed their own replacement: a statue created by London artist Marc Quinn of Black Lives Matter activist Jen Reid with her fist raised in the air. Protesters and other advocates of statue destruction and various other forms of "racial justice" celebrated the sneaky, extra-legal move on the part of the protesters.

But the Bristol City Council saw it a bit differently. They saw the illegal placement of a politically charged statue in the place where one that had been vandalized and removed as a no-go for their community. The statue of Colston, still beloved by many in Bristol and admirers of history and art throughout the world, was funded and approved by the public more than a century ago.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees agreed with the decision, saying that while Reid's activism was notable, no permission was given for the public placement of her likeness.

"This is not about taking down a statue of Jen, who is a very impressive woman,” Rees said. “This is about taking down a statue of a London-based artist who came and put it up without permission."

The decision of the Bristol City Council and the support of the mayor seems almost antithetical to the rhetoric currently being delivered by Democratic leaders in the United States. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi flippantly responded to the vandalization and destruction of a Christopher Columbus statue in her home city of Baltimore when a reporter asked if a commission or the City Council should have been involved.

"People will do what they do," Pelosi said, ignoring the blatant acts of vandalism and destruction of property involved in the removal of the statue. Pelosi and other prominent Democrat members of Congress are known for repeatedly saying "no one is above the law" when referencing President Trump's tax records and forming partisan attacks against conservatives. However, when leftist protesters deface statues and burn cop cars, that refrain is seldom heard from the left.

Like the statue of Colston in Bristol, rioters threw the Baltimore Columbus statue into the harbor. Unlike the statue of Colston, Columbus was totally destroyed. Officials in Bristol were able to recover the water-bound Colston statue and take it to a safe location.

Condoning crimes such as trespassing, vandalization, and destruction of federal and private property has become commonplace among leftist American lawmakers looking to placate activists in recent days. President Trump has stood firm in his vow to punish lawbreakers, with varying support from members of the Republican Party.

Black Lives Matter activists bemoaned the removal of the statue of Reid just one day after it was illegally placed, before they got a chance to travel to the rural English community to see it. The council said the statue "will be held at our museum for the artist to collect or donate to our collection."


Reparations Sticker Shock

Quick: Picture in your mind a quadrillion of anything. Having trouble? Here's some help: The Great Lakes have a volume of about six quadrillion gallons, and it takes 210 years or so for a quadrillion gallons to cascade over Niagara Falls. Or, if entomology is your thing, we have around 10 quadrillion ants here on planet Earth at any one time.

We mention all this by way of preparing you for some sticker shock — namely, the price tag of a study on slavery reparations recently conducted by three college professors: $6.2 quadrillion. That's a six and a two followed by 14 zeroes. Or, to put it in a way that drives home the fiscal enormity of that number, if we were to divide 6,200,000,000,000,000 one-dollar bills into 16 even stacks, each of those stacks would reach the moon. (If you don't believe us, this graphic will help you check the math.)

We know what you're thinking: Not even Jeff Bezos has a spare six quad lying around, so what's the point? Well, one of our nation's two major political parties is currently dancing with this reparations devil, and Democrats are likely to keep dancing until Election Day — or at least until they think they've got 90% of the black vote sewn up for the cognitive calamity called Joe Biden.

And we shouldn't be surprised that the topic of reparations seems to reappear every four years. After all, that's when the Democrats are desperate to mobilize their most loyal constituency. So here we go again.

As Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner, "The nation's mayors on Monday backed a national call for reparations to 41 million black people, a program that could cost taxpayers $6.2 quadrillion. The U.S. Conference of Mayors released a letter backing a Democratic plan to form a reparations commission to come up with a payment for slavery."

This is how far left the Democrats have lurched. What had long been a fringe issue beset by all manner of legal and logical conundrums is now spoken of freely and opportunistically among mainstream Democrats. As Bedard notes, "The study suggests a payment of $151 million [for each of 41 million black American recipients], and the cost to every person would be $18.96 million. The calculation is somewhat complicated, but it essentially studies the unpaid hours slaves worked, calculates a price for massacres and discrimination, and adds in interest."

We suspect the average eighth-grader will need to bump up his lawn-mowing price if he's on the hook for $19 million.

In a column he penned last year, Jeff Jacoby pulled together the commonsense case against reparations. "Slavery was a toxic evil," he began, "and its bitter impact didn't end with emancipation. But any attempt to discharge the moral crimes of the 18th and 19th centuries with monetary payments in the 21st century is doomed to fail. The logistical and definitional obstacles alone would be a nightmare. The majority of white Americans have no ancestral link to antebellum slavery — they are descendants of the millions of immigrants who came to the United States after slavery had been abolished. Of the remainder, few had any slaveholding forbears [sic]: Slavery was abolished in most Northeastern states within 15 years of the American Revolution, while in most of the West it never existed at all. Even in the South at the peak of its 'slaveocracy,' at least 75 percent of whites never owned slaves."

Jacoby then addressed some of the complications: "To whom would reparations be owed? Millions of black Americans are recent immigrants or the children of those immigrants, and have no family link to slavery. Are they entitled to compensation for what slaves endured? How about whites whose ancestors were slaves? Or blacks descended from slaveholders? What of the 1.8 million biracial people who identified themselves in the last Census as both black and white? Should they expect to collect reparations, or to pay them?"

Slavery is and always will be the great stain on our nation's history — indeed, the great stain on all of human history. But no amount of money forcibly transferred from one group of innocent Americans to another group of aggrieved Americans will ever make it right. Nearly $30 trillion in "Great Society" wealth transfers since the mid-1960s have made this all too painfully clear.

Leftists don't want to hear any of this, of course, because the racial grievance industry is a lucrative one. But the solution to our nation's original sin will only arrive when all of us — black, brown, and white — commit to judging each other just as Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed it: not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.


UK Rightly Pushes Back on Gender Transitioning for Minors

On both sides of the Atlantic, advocates for transgender rights are increasingly substituting ideology for biological reality.

But while here in the U.S. the Supreme Court last month was writing into Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act legal protections for people who identify as transgender that the authors of the law never intended, the United Kingdom appeared to be moving in the other direction, standing up for common sense.

On the other side of the pond, just five days before the Supreme Court handed down its decision, bestselling “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling published an intensely personal essay in response to criticism of her position on the issue of gender identity.

In the essay, Rowling, who is British, revealed her past experiences with sexual assault and domestic abuse, and expressed concern about transgender activists’ attacks on single-sex spaces for women.

As a former teacher and a supporter of children’s charities, Rowling also stated her discomfort with the rush to medically transition children with gender dysphoria and especially the massive increase in young girls suddenly identifying as transgender.

Despite the vitriol she received in response from the left, Rowling refused to back down from her stance.

The comments by Rowling, along with other recent developments in the United Kingdom, show promising signs that the relentless advance of transgender ideology in medicine and public policy finally might be encountering some resistance across the Atlantic.

Britain’s minister for women and equalities, Liz Truss, recently announced plans to ban sex-change procedures for anyone under the age of 18.

Truss told a parliamentary committee April 20: “I believe strongly that adults should have the freedom to lead their lives as they see fit, but I think it’s very important that while people are still developing their decision-making capabilities that we protect them from making those irreversible decisions.”

Transgender activists frequently recommend those medical interventions—which include puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery—for children who suffer from gender dysphoria.

Parents of children questioning their biological sex are advised to unquestioningly affirm the child’s new, self-identified gender and help them to transition socially with the help of a new name, pronouns, and wardrobe.

Little attention is paid to the adverse effects of that treatment, however. As Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George have written, such interventions “should be prohibited”:

Prudent legislation is needed to prevent adults from interfering with a child’s normal, natural bodily development.

‘Gender affirmation’ procedures violate sound medical ethics. It is profoundly unethical to intervene in the normal physical development of a child as part of ‘affirming’ a ‘gender identity’ at odds with bodily sex.

Activists have frequently brushed off concerns about possible regret following gender transitions, ignoring evidence that shows that they carry a number of physical and psychological risks.

The use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones can lead to increased cancer risk, decreased bone density, and adverse effects on brain development. In addition, hormones and surgeries can sterilize children who would normally be considered far too young to make such a serious—and permanent—medical decision.

In contrast, a “watchful waiting” approach allows children time to accept their biological sex instead of rushing to alter it and can help address any underlying issues causing the distress.

Studies show that 80% to 95% of children experiencing gender dysphoria who do not transition eventually come to accept their bodies, while nearly all children who are placed on the path of social transition go on to pursue medical interventions.

The U.K.’s decision to prevent those under 18 from being subjected to those unproven procedures demonstrates the importance of considering the best medical and scientific evidence, even if it contradicts the activists’ narrative.

Britain’s National Health Service recently made another change related to its treatment of gender dysphoria in minors.

The Health Service’s website, which provides information about medical conditions and treatment, includes a section on gender dysphoria in children. A section on the use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues to prevent puberty in children who identify as transgender previously stated, “The effects of treatment with GnRH analogues are considered to be fully reversible, so treatment can usually be stopped at any time.”

That’s a common talking point for transgender activists, often employed to support early transitions while avoiding discussion of detrimental side effects or the lack of medical evidence supporting the use of puberty blockers to treat gender dysphoria.

Surprisingly, that section on the National Health Service website was recently updated to read:

Little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria. …

It’s also not known whether hormone blockers affect the development of the teenage brain or children’s bones. Side effects may also include hot flushes, fatigue, and mood alterations.

Rowling noted those concerns in a tweet, writing, “Many health professionals are concerned that young people struggling with their mental health are being shunted towards hormones and surgery when this may not be in their best interests.”

The National Health Service site also notes that the use of cross-sex hormones can lead to irreversible physical changes, such as deepening of the voice in females and breast development in males, as well as permanent infertility.

The changes to its site were made without fanfare, suggesting that the Health Service still fears activists’ outrage against even reasonable medical cautions.

Despite its own update, the Health Service continues to recommend and administer these medical treatments to minors. The Minister for Women and Equalities’ report on banning some of those treatments is not expected until later this summer, and its exact recommendations remain to be seen.

The changes to the Health Service’s website and the minister’s comments provide reason to hope that they will move toward a more cautious approach to treating children with gender dysphoria, protecting vulnerable youth from rushed, ideologically motivated—and often irreversible—interventions.

Policymakers in the United States would be well advised to do the same.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

21 July, 2020

The bonds that hold society together are breaking

PROFESSOR FRANK FUREDI says the boundaries that separate adults from children, men from women and humans from animals are being eroded

Teaching children to ‘know their boundaries’ is a vital part of their education.

This is because throughout the history of mankind, boundaries have played a key role in communities making moral distinctions between right and wrong.

But increasingly today, those distinctions have become blurred.

It is not merely the boundaries that divide nations that are under attack, with borders being weakened as politicians try to create super-states.

The boundaries that separate adults from children, men from women, humans from animals and private from public lives are also being eroded.

As a result, I fear that the bonds that hold society together are breaking. This, in turn, leads to another destructive influence – the fact that we are living in an age of non-judgmentalism.

Indeed, there is a reason why we use the phrase ‘crossing the line’ – it signals that someone has violated society’s accepted moral code.

It’s no wonder some politicians hate boundaries. Jean-Claude Juncker, former President of the European Commission – that behemoth which brought about the abolition of many of the EU’s internal frontiers through the Schengen Agreement – has described borders as ‘the worst invention ever made by politicians’.

The effect of such a mindset that considers national borders as artificial, exclusionary, unjust or anti-human has been a disaster.

By not drawing lines between nation states, how can we make important distinctions between different people? For borders are not just physical boundaries.

Removing them leads to a state of mind that ignores the history of human development during which walls and borders were constructed to create security and peace.

Now, however, national sovereignty is often belittled as an irrelevance in a globalised world. But without symbolic borders, people lose a large part of their national identity. The result? A cultural crisis.

In parallel with this dismantling of national boundaries, there has been a deliberate and fashionable blurring of lines between generations. As a result, many young people find it difficult to transition to adulthood.

The consequences can be witnessed everywhere. From birth onwards, children ought to develop within confines set by their parents and adult society.

Their successful passage to adolescence and, later, young adulthood requires clarity about boundaries between different life stages.

In the absence of these clear signposts, the line between childhood and adulthood becomes fuzzy, and everyone – adolescents and adults alike – becomes confused about their roles.

Conversely, this also creates the lamentable phenomenon of infantilisation. We see some adults obsessed with being ‘forever young’ and ‘cool’.

Parents and teachers go out of their way to become young people’s friends rather than their guides and mentors.

As a result, some parents behave as ‘overgrown boys and girls’ – and abrogate their responsibility to uphold a value system from which their children can learn.

The consequences can be seen in education, where the traditional distinction between school children and university students is fast disappearing.

In some instances, the infantilisation of students has become a caricature of itself, with universities providing anxious undergraduates facing exams with soft toys and pets to stroke in designated chill-out rooms.

Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School, in the US, both have resident therapy dogs in their libraries.

At the University of Canberra in Australia, pre-exam stress relief activities include a petting zoo, bubble-wrap popping, balloon bursting and a session titled ‘How can you be stressed when you pat a goat?’

Another area of society where boundaries that have existed for millennia are breaking down is gender. No longer are the sexes differentiated by anatomy and reproductive functions.

Advocates of such boundary-breaking argue that the division between the sexes ‘obstructs the development of sexual equality’ and ‘violates the identity of transsexual or intersex people’.

The speed with which the transgender culture has gone mainstream in Western society is remarkable.

While a tiny percentage of the population have the anatomical characteristics of both sexes, the overwhelming majority of people do not.

Nevertheless, non-binary, gender-fluid practices have become institutionalised and successfully permeate public life and popular cultures.

Indeed, gender self-identification now trumps long-standing conventions. It is sufficient for a biological male to identify as a female in order to gain access to women’s toilets, refuges or prisons.

Even hitherto female-only institutions, such as the Girl Guides, and some single-sex schools are now open to boys who identify as females. In the National Health Service, transgender patients can choose to be treated in either male or female wards.

Consequently, the boundary between men and women is frequently depicted as artificial and even oppressive, and those who transgress it are celebrated as inspirational role models.

The campaign to popularise gender-neutrality is not confined to winning hearts and minds. It is also committed to forcing people to adopt new non-binary pronouns such as ‘they’, ‘ze’, or ‘zee’.

In many parts of America, the policing of gender-related language is backed by sanctions against anyone who refuses to alter their vocabulary.

Directives issued in 2015 by New York City’s Commission on Human Rights state that landlords and employers who intentionally use the wrong pronouns with non-binary employees or tenants can face fines up to $250,000 (£200,000).

In a similar development, Anglo-American society has become so alienated from making value judgments that it has created an entire Orwellian vocabulary that spares people the responsibility of making moral judgments.

For example, some university exam boards are instructed to offer the verdict of ‘not passed’ instead of ‘failed’.

The main drivers of this trend are that ‘criticism is violence’ and that people, especially children, lack the resilience to cope with being judged.

One of the most significant developments of the boundary-less movement has been its success in undermining the traditional separation between what is considered public and what is private.

So we see the encouragement of emotional openness, with children instructed to share their deepest anxieties, and teachers urged to get in touch with their own emotions.

More widely, people are urged to ‘express themselves’ and to ‘share’. Individuals who publicly air their private woes are applauded for their ‘bravery’.

Whereas the public display of emotion was previously stigmatised and associated with the behaviour of immature adults, today it is often praised as an expression of maturity.

The younger members of the Royal Family regularly advise others to abandon their stoic disposition and embrace emotional openness.

For example, Prince William states that ‘keeping a stiff upper lip can damage health’, and that role models should open up about their mental health issues.

An extension of this trend is the way popular culture celebrates voyeuristic behaviour.

‘How do you feel?’ is now the only question that matters on reality TV shows, where the more you disclose, the more you are respected.

This is most unfortunate, for privacy – and deep private thought – is an essential part of human development.

Meanwhile, how telling it is that in this narcissistic age, the words ‘I’ and ‘me’ have become a central feature of the vocabulary.

As long as we continue to reject the notion of boundaries in all aspects of our lives – and become a non-judgmental society – we will remain much the weaker for it.


Intersectionality vs. America
As the nation grapples in the throes of a once-a-generation soul search, the battle lines of our cold civil war between the Americanists and the civilizational arsonists only continue to harden.

This week saw the stunning public resignation of Bari Weiss as a New York Times opinion editor and columnist. In her cri de coeur, Weiss lamented the monolithic intellectual hegemony forcibly imposed at the Times by the left’s ascendant neo-Jacobin radicals — the dutiful foot soldiers of what Wesley Yang calls the “successor ideology.” In her plea, Weiss identifies Twitter — a synecdoche, of sorts, for leftist mob rule — as the Times’ “ultimate editor.” What’s more, Weiss, a proud Jew and recent author of a book about fighting anti-Semitism, decried her cowardly Times ex-colleagues who’d complain about her “writing about the Jews again.”

Politically, Weiss is an old-school liberal centrist. But at the nation’s paper of record, traditional liberalism has been overrun by a successor ideology that is committed not to tolerance and pluralism but to multiculturalism, identity politics and the pseudo-intellectual grift that is “intersectionality.” The problem with these faddish schools of “thought” is both straightforward and terrifying: They are not merely totalitarian; they are at war with the very concept of America.

Under the tenets of the successor ideology, there is right and there is wrong. However, rather than using the barometer of moral truth, right and wrong are judged as our would-be ochlocracy defines the terms.

According to the partisans of identity politics, right and wrong do not rely upon neutral appeals to truth, justice, egalitarianism or any other criteria that, for millennia, have guided Western political theory. Rather, right and wrong rely upon hierarchical appeals to gender, skin pigmentation, religious belief (or, more often, nonbelief), immigration status, sexual orientation and other categories of assigned “privilege.”

To the multiculturalist or the intersectionalist, homogenous groupthink ought to be foisted upon an unsuspecting people, with the idiosyncratic beliefs and preferences of the less “privileged” necessarily elevated, by very identitarian nature of an expositor, over the beliefs and preferences of the more “privileged.” So “brown” Palestinian-Arabs must be elevated over “white” Israelis (itself a demographic mischaracterization). The insurrectionist, anti-Western civilization platform of the Black Lives Matter movement — which lists on its official website organizational goals such as “disrupt(ing) the Western-prescribed nuclear family” and “freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking” — cannot be called into question because the word “Black” is used in the name.

This is poisonous claptrap — a blight upon America’s founding ideals and a cancer upon the basic norms of civic comity without which a unified republic cannot endure. Two weeks ago, we celebrated the 244th birthday of a nation famously founded on the proposition “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” In a land conceived on that noble premise, there is no room for a politics of crass racial strife and other forms of rank identitarian subjugation. It is no exaggeration to claim that contemporary peddlers of such a morally bankrupt view of the world are the modern-day intellectual successors of the antebellum- and Jim Crow-era racists; they, too, viewed American society through a prism of race-based “right” and “wrong.” The two are flip sides of the same coin — a coin that is utter anathema to the Declaration of Independence.

On a more tangible level, a view of politics based on overarching hierarchies of “privilege” is also toxic to the sustainability of a civil society. Such a view of the world, predicated upon the diminution of individual moral agency and the pitting of identity-based groups against each other, sows dissension by its very nature. Those deemed “privileged,” or non-“woke,” are punished accordingly. White Christians always fit the bill. But so do Jews, despite their status as the world’s single most historically oppressed people and that we are living through a period of rising global Jew-hatred.

Thus, we see complaints about Weiss spilling too much digital ink about Jewish issues. We see professional athletes, like DeSean Jackson, invoke infamous anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan on social media. We see “#JewishPrivilege” trend on Twitter. By purporting to fight bigotry, the intersectionalists deliberately excuse — and affirmatively abet — another form of bigotry. Such is the nature of a zero-sum conceptualization of politics.

Our crossroads has never been clearer. Veer left for wokeness. Veer right for Americanism. Only one choice can save a country now teetering on the brink.


Nick Cannon’s Anti-Semitism Symptomatic of a Deeper Problem

The recent surge in anti-Semitic outbursts from entertainment figures—most recently Nick Cannon—is troubling to people of goodwill.

As a Hollywood actor and entertainer who has starred in more than two dozen films and scores of television shows, Cannon is a high-profile cultural influencer. On a podcast released June 30, he chose to use his wide-reaching platform to share age-old conspiracy theories of Jewish deception and control.

ViacomCBS severed its ties with Cannon on Tuesday. He subsequently offered a public apology.

On the podcast, he decried “the Rothschilds, centralized banking, the 13 families, the bloodlines that control everything, even outside of America.”

Cannon even denied the Jewishness of those we know to be Jewish: “You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people, when we are the same people that who [sic] they want to be. That’s our birthright.”

The “birthright” is a reference to God’s promises made to the Jewish forefathers of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Throughout the podcast, Cannon, who is black, repeatedly referenced “the history given to me by my elders,” the teachings of various professors, and books upon which he based his warped sense of history.

The hate-stoking conspiracy theories enthusiastically shared by Cannon are symptomatic of the underlying problem of community and religious leaders and educators who disseminate anti-Semitism behind a veneer of scholarship and theology. 

In the 21st century, an anti-Semitism previously hidden from general public consumption is now surfacing.

The idea that blacks are the “real Israelites”—and that actual Jews are imposters—is not a new idea, but it’s a form of anti-Semitism gaining broader public exposure as it’s popularized by the likes of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Regrettably, however, this isn’t just fringe stuff from the Nation of Islam; it’s becoming prevalent within other religious and academic communities. 

Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, warned about this “new anti-Semitism” back in 1992.

“We must begin by recognizing what is new about the new anti-Semitism. Make no mistake: This is anti-Semitism from the top down, engineered and promoted by leaders who affect to be speaking for a larger resentment,” Gates said, adding:

This top-down anti-Semitism, in large part the province of the better educated classes, can thus be contrasted with the anti-Semitism from below common among African American urban communities in the 1930s and 1940s, which followed in many ways a familiar pattern of clientelistic hostility toward the neighborhood vendor or landlord.

Gates bemoaned the faux scholarship behind supposedly academic works, such as “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews” published by the Nation of Islam and promoted by Farrakhan. The book twists the historical record into a screed of hate against the Jewish people. Farrakhan himself insists Jews are not the “real children of Israel.”

The problem identified by Gates nearly 30 years ago continues today.

For someone such as Farrakhan, this contorted view of the Jewish people isn’t merely an unsavory aspect of his personal belief system. It’s a core attribute of the message he delivers to millions of followers.

He infuses his sermons, writings, and appearances with falsehoods fostering hate. Yet supposedly mainstream politicians grant him credibility. The list is long: former Attorney General Eric Holder; former Democratic National Committee Deputy Chairman Keith Ellison, now the attorney general of Minnesota; Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; and former President Barack Obama.

In recent years, the Women’s March founders gushed about Farrakhan, and celebrities including Chelsea Handler have shared his propaganda.

Don’t think that this animus fueled by conspiracy theories based on ignorance targets only Jews. Cannon’s diatribe against the Jewish people shares a common thread with the vandals engaged in riots across the nation in their attempt to upend our constitutional order and free-market economic system. They possess a passion fueled by a dangerously inaccurate historical narrative.

In Europe and the United States, Holocaust education is often proposed as a counter to rising anti-Semitism. But that’s wholly insufficient to countering the perversion of history peddled by too many influential leaders.

Education about the history of the Jewish people must expand far beyond the evils of the Nazi regime. As my colleague Adrienne Price often says, “Jews are the children of the Exodus, not the children of the Holocaust.”

Jews brought the day of rest for rich and poor alike, monotheism, a code of law to live by, and countless contributions to culture in every society.

What could inoculate people against the anti-Semitic tropes currently being swallowed and regurgitated by public figures? A good start would be a basic education about ancient civilizations, an overview of the fundamental religious texts of the monotheistic faiths, and an understanding of the history of the Jewish people following the beginning of their expulsion from their homeland more than 2,600 years ago. 

The solution is not the so-called cancel culture. In a free society, bad ideas are defeated with good ideas, through reason and persuasion.

That requires action on the part of all of us. People of goodwill must boldly condemn those promoting this hate. Parents must better equip the next generation with a grounding in history in order to inoculate youth against philosophical poison seeking to corrupt their minds and destroy their hearts. Educators must dispel, rather than perpetuate, the myths.

Until then, no one should be surprised that a disciple of Farrakhan is parroting modern renditions of age-old anti-Semitic tropes. Without bare essentials of scholarship, even the intelligent fall prey to wild-eyed conspiracy theories.

Cannon’s belief in a grand scheme of Jewish deceivers controlling the world may indeed be sincerely held, but it’s a belief detached from reality, influenced by charlatans, such as Farrakhan, who almost surely know better. 

Now is the time to counter this very public display of anti-Semitism through engagement and education.


Australian Indigenous leader unloads on ‘privileged’ Meghan Markle for spreading the ‘false narrative’ of the Black Lives Matter movement

I have always disliked Meghan Markle. I saw a manipulator. Dragging Harry away from his family and into irrelevance was wicked

Indigenous leader Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has slammed 'privileged' Meghan Markle for spreading a 'false narrative' of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Alice Springs councillor called out the Suits star after she and Prince Harry filmed a video encouraging people to be 'a little uncomfortable' when tackling racism.

'Black Lives Matter continues to push a false narrative. There are a lot of people with a lot of goodwill who think by jumping on the bandwagon they are supporting Aboriginal Australians, but they are doing the exact opposite,' Ms Price told the Daily Telegraph.

Just weeks after her relative was bashed into a coma by her indigenous boyfriend, Ms Price said Black Lives Matter supporters only tend to care when the perpetrator is white.

'There is no interest in learning the truth. Aboriginal people are dying at a far greater rate at the hands of other Aboriginal people - that is something this movement is not interested in,' she said.

Ms Price described Markle as a 'woman of great privilege' who is 'completely removed from reality and circumstances on the ground'.

'Her lending her voice to the Black Lives Matter movement is silencing the voices of those people in the communities who are vulnerable to black-on-black crime,' she said.

Ms Price said said several of her family members have been murdered, including one woman who was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend a decade ago.

Since the alleged murder of African-American father George Floyd at the hands of a cop in Minnesota, Black Lives Matter supporters have been calling for police to be defunded.

But Ms Price said the push is 'ridiculous' when the 'most vulnerable members of society' are African-Americans.

She said that here in Australia, indigenous women and children who are suffering sexual abuse and family violence, need the support of police and authorities.

Black Lives Matter protests swept the U.S. and Australia in June, but Ms Price said the movement has actually created a 'racial divide' in our nation.

Prince Harry, 35, and Markle, 38, filmed the video earlier this month from their $11million California mansion during a call with young leaders from the Queen's Commonwealth Trust. 

As part of the discussion on 'justice and equal rights', the Duchess of Sussex said people have to 'acknowledge whatever mistakes we've all made'.

'You have to look at each of us, individually. What have we done in our past that we put our hand up to,' she said.

'This is a moment of reckoning where so many people go: 'I need to own that. Maybe I didn't do the right thing there. I knew what I knew, but maybe it's a time to reset in a different way.'

Referring to the changes that need to be made, Meghan said the change requires people to feel 'uncomfortable' but come through the other side. 

'We're going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it's only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place where a high tide raises all ships.

'Equality does not put anyone on the back foot, it puts us all on the same footing - which is a fundamental human right.'

Markle, who became the first mixed race person to marry a senior British royal, also highlighted the 'quiet moments' of unconscious bias as a key issue, drawing on her own 'personal experience'.

'It's not even in the big moments right? It's in the quiet moments where racism and unconscious bias lies and hides and thrives,' she said.

She added: 'So much of what I've come to the understanding of, especially in learning even more about it of late, and obviously having had personal experience with it as well, in people's complacency, they're complicit.'

Harry added that the Commonwealth needs to follow others who have 'acknowledged the past' and are 'trying to right their wrongs,' and admitted to having his own 'unconscious bias'.

'When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past,' he said.

'So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.'



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

20 July, 2020

UNDER SIEGE: Antifa Rioters Throw Cans, Shoot Fireworks at Cops in Battle for Columbus Statue

Chicago descended into a war zone on Friday night as a protest at the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park devolved into a violent riot, complete with assaults on police and an attempt to pull down the statue of the Genovese Catholic who connected the Old World and the New.

“Columbus was a murderer! Columbus was a thief!” rioters chanted, according to The Chicago Tribune. Hundreds of protesters took part in a Black Lives Matter rally that also championed Native Americans. At about 7 p.m., one of the protesters shouted that Chicago police had gone to protect the Columbus statue.

Black-clad rioters — who might be associated with antifa — rushed to the stone wall around the statue and began pelting nearby police with cans and fireworks. When some rioters attempted to scale the wall, police batted them away with their batons. One rioter shouted, “This is not the way!” as his fellows threw fireworks and other incendiary devices at police officers.

Police reinforcements arrived, and officers decided to use pepper spray to counter the rioters. Police reclaimed the statue, but the rioters remained close by. The rioters organized a bike chain to square off against police near the park.

The violent riot injured about 18 police officers, some of whom were hospitalized, police spokesman Thomas Ahern told The Chicago Tribune. The cops arrested about a dozen rioters, who face pending charges ranging from battery against a police officer to mob action. At least five civilians were hospitalized from the area, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford reported.

While the statue remained standing after the incident, it and the surrounding wall had been defaced with anti-police graffiti.

The true story of Columbus

Leftists have demonized Columbus, blaming him for the evils that followed his historic connection between Europe and the Americas. While the “Columbian Exchange” that followed his historic voyages did involve the enslavement of native Americans and the introduction of Old World diseases that decimated native populations, the exchange also introduced long-term benefits to both the Americas and Eurasia. Some of the foods from Europe and Asia helped Native Americans stave off food scarcity and starvation, and Europeans introduced written languages, the compass, the navigational map, and new forms of crop rotation.

As for Columbus himself, he is far from the simple villain many leftists make him out to be.

As Aileen Riotto Sirey, founder of the National Organization of Italian Women, and Angelo Vivolo, president of the Columbus Heritage Coalition, noted in an article for the New York Post, slavery was already in America before Columbus landed. “So were cannibalism and human sacrifice, neither tolerated in the Old World,” they noted. The great pre-Columbian American empires sacrificed enemies captured in war and even their own children. Some ate the flesh of enemies to take their strength.

Columbus aimed to introduce the value system that eradicated human sacrifice in Europe — Christianity. In fact, according to sociologist Robert Woodberry, the missionary spread of Christianity has promoted democratic values across the world. In fact, the brand of Catholic Christianity Columbus aimed to spread to the New World also condemned the abuse of Native Americans.

Columbus aimed to extend Christianity to regions where it did not exist. “This conviction that God destined him to be an instrument for spreading the faith was far more potent than the desire to win glory, wealth, and worldly honors,” according to historian Samuel Eliot Morison.

Historian Carol Delaney also debunked claims that Columbus supported genocide. “Columbus strictly told the crew not to do things like maraud, or rape, and instead to treat the native people with respect,” she told the Knights of Columbus. “There are many examples in his writings where he gave instructions to this effect. Most of the time when injustices occurred, Columbus wasn’t even there. There were terrible diseases that got communicated to the natives, but he can’t be blamed for that.”

Interestingly, Columbus also adopted an indigenous child as his son.

Columbus was far from perfect, but he was also not the villain oft portrayed today. Many wrongly demonize him as the scapegoat for the evils of European colonialism and slavery in the Americas. This simple view must be rejected.

Chicago police were right to defend the statue of Columbus, and rioters who proclaimed themselves on the “right side of history” are profoundly wrong.

While Americans on both sides of the aisle have loudly denounced the horrific police killing of George Floyd, the riots that broke out across the country in his name have destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 22 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black. America needs a return to law and order.


Does Jihadis’ ‘Conception of Islam' Really Rely on a 'Flawed Reading of the Koran’?

Robert Spencer

Maybe it’s something in the water over at National Review. The magazine claims to be conservative, and to be dedicated to upholding the values of Western civilization. Sometimes it lives up to that. Often it is sensible. More often, however, it is weak, cowardly, and submissive to the left. And sometimes it is so far away from the truth and common sense that it takes one’s breath away. Back in 2011, the magazine featured hard-left Soros operative Matt Duss, a friend and associate of the likes of Linda Sarsour, hitting David Horowitz and me for committing the trumped-up leftist propaganda sin of “Islamophobia.”

This new piece, “Reclaiming the Path of Moderation in Islam,” is not nearly as appalling as the magazine’s publishing of Duss, which was tantamount to the Washington Post publishing me criticizing Sarsour. The new article is a fairly standard workout of the establishment Republican position that Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism, and NR is nothing if not weak Romneyite establishment Republican gruel. But it is still yet another example of the magazine’s loss of the plot.

The subtitle is “Fundamentalists are gaining momentum across the Muslim world, but their conception of Islam relies on a flawed reading of the Koran.” Ah yes, I do believe we have heard that before, about six million times: if only Islam were properly understood, you see, then it would be as cute and cuddly as a child’s teddy bear, but these “fundamentalists” (a word that arose from controversies within Protestant Christianity and is essentially meaningless in an Islamic context) get it all wrong.

The author, young Mathis Bitton, an NR intern, doesn’t explain why these “fundamentalists” all misunderstand Islam in essentially the same way, or how this “flawed reading of the Koran” captures the imagination of so many young Muslims across the world, such that the presumably true and peaceful version they supposedly learn at home and in mosques is powerless in the face of its appeal. One would think that if the true, peaceful Islam were as easy to access and understand as young Bitton suggests here, “deradicalization” programs wouldn’t prove to be such a singular failure everywhere they’re implemented, and jihad groups’ recruitment efforts among peaceful Muslims wouldn’t be so consistently successful.

Bitton tells us that according to “the leading scholar” Mohammad Hashim Kamali, “the Koran teaches believers that ‘religious diversity is divinely willed, which inspires, in turn, coexistence with, and tolerance of, others as a spiritual and not just an ethical imperative.’”

After Demonizing All Who Opposed Jihad Terror, Catholic Mag Wonders Why No One Speaks Out Against It
“Religious diversity is divinely willed” echoes the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together that Pope Francis signed along with the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar. That document says, “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.” This is a Qur’anic idea (10:99), as Bitton also notes. But the Qur’an does not say that Muslims are to accept this state of affairs complacently. In fact, the Qur’an teaches exactly the opposite: “And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” (3:85) And not only will Allah not accept any religion except Islam, but the believers must fight unbelievers “until religion is all for Allah” (Qur’an 8:39). More on that below.

Bitton also informs us that “beyond a set of metaphysical claims, Islam proposes a way of life, a culture, and a political project. It is also a religion of jihad, that is, of spiritual conquest.”

The eighth sura of the Qur’an is entitled “The Spoils of War” (Al-Anfal). What kind of “spoils of war” ensue from a “spiritual conquest”? In that chapter, we read this: “And know that anything you obtain of war booty – then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the traveler” (8:40). How does one turn over to Muhammad or the Islamic authorities a fifth of the war booty from a spiritual conquest?

But Bitton does go on to contradict himself, and to let slip that the Qur’an has more in mind than a “spiritual conquest”:

Time and again, the Koran invites believers to “fight [the enemies of Islam] until there is no persecution” (al-Baqarah 2:193), and to “fight in the way of God against those who fight against you” (al-Baqarah 2:190). But these endorsements of defensive warfare, of which terrorists make extensive use, all belong to a specific part of the Muslim corpus: the story of the Prophet Mohammed at war. In times of conflict, Islam does seem to endorse certain forms of violence that can, if interpreted along literalist lines, justify murderous actions committed against supposed enemies and perceived persecutors.

The Qur’an does enjoin defensive jihad, but it also mandates offensive jihad. Bitton doesn’t quote this: “And fight them until there is no fitnah and religion is all for Allah.” (8:39) Or this: “Fight them until there is no fitnah and worship is for Allah” (2:193). How can jihad warfare be purely defensive if it is not to end until religion is all for Allah, or as Islamic law has it, until non-Muslims have either converted to Islam or (in the case of the People of the Book) accepted the hegemony of Islamic law? If fighting can’t stop until religion is all for Allah, it can’t stop when the aggressor stops attacking.

Muhammad’s earliest biographer, an eighth-century Muslim named Ibn Ishaq, explains the progression of Qur’anic revelation about warfare. First, he explains, Allah allowed Muslims to wage defensive warfare. But that was not Allah’s last word on the circumstances in which Muslims should fight. Ibn Ishaq explains offensive jihad by invoking Qur’an 2:193: Muslims must fight until Allah alone is worshipped. Ibn Ishaq gives no hint that that command died with Muhammad.

Ibn Ishaq’s explanation of the progression of Qur’anic revelation is what leads jihadis — and mainstream Islamic theologians — to state that coexistence has been abrogated by the commands to wage defensive and offensive jihad. The great medieval scholar Ibn Qayyim (1292-1350) also outlines the stages of Muhammad’s prophetic career: “For thirteen years after the beginning of his Messengership, he called people to God through preaching, without fighting or Jizyah, and was commanded to restrain himself and to practice patience and forbearance. Then he was commanded to migrate, and later permission was given to fight. Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to restrain himself from those who did not make war with him. Later he was commanded to fight the polytheists until God’s religion was fully established.”

National Review should not be so irresponsible as to publish this nonsense, which will only foster even more complacency among establishment Republicans regarding the jihad threat. Despite leftist rioting claiming all the headlines, that threat still exists.


A Black Portland Cop Says Rioters Are Racist. Leftists Immediately Confirm It

A black police officer says there are racist white people stage-managing the riots in Portland, Oregon and “they’re not even from here.”

Officer Jackhary Jackson was featured in a video released by the Portland Police Bureau explaining what it’s like to be on the front lines after more than six weeks of rioting.

His observations are in line with what others are seeing in the riots since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May.

Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters are being imported to Seattle and Portland. Minnesota officials initially were convinced that rioters who burned down the Third Precinct and other buildings, causing hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, were from elsewhere, but the majority of arrested rioters were from the state. Some rioters who did travel to Minneapolis to riot, burn and loot were rolled up by the feds. The federal Department of Justice has begun to arrest and prosecute rioters who crossed state lines to commit riot, arson and other crimes.

It’s been obvious that the violent protests, allowed by a politically pliant Portland city hall, haven’t been about George Floyd for a very long time. The idea is to foment chaos and violence and to keep it going. The willingness of the elected officials to tolerate civil unrest, at the expense of other peoples’ security, is scandalous. The police officers’ union has accused the Leftist politicians in Oregon and specifically Portland of defending the violence.

Racist Rioters Get Support From City Hall

Officer Jackson finds it ironic that “if you’re at a Black Lives Matter protest you have more minorities on the police side than you do in a violent crowd.”

He says the rioters scream racist things at black officers and accuse him of “hurting my community” because he’s a cop.

And you have white people screaming at black officers ‘you have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen.’ You as a privileged white person telling someone as a person of color what to do with their life and you don’t even know what I’ve dealt with what these white officers that you’re screaming at. You don’t know them. You don’t know anything about them. I got to see folks that really want change like the rest of us that have been impacted by racism and then I got to see those people get faded out – by people who have no idea of what racism is all about. Never experienced racism.

It gets worse.

‘Frightening’ Rioters Who ‘Don’t Know History’

Officer Jackson said the rioters, most of whom are white, are “using are the same tactics that are used against my people. And they don’t even know the history. They don’t know what they’re saying. Coming from someone who graduated from PSU with a history degree, it’s actually frightening. You know they say if you don’t know your history you’ll repeat it and and watching people do that to other people.”

White protesters stage-manage the riots.

A lot of times someone of color – black, Hispanic, Asian, come to the fence and directly want to talk to me. ‘Hey, what do you think about George Floyd? What do you think about what happened about this? I go up to the fence, someone white comes up ‘F the police, don’t talk to him.’ That was the most bizarre thing because I could see it coming. I even had a young African American girl tell me ‘why is it you guys aren’t talking to us?’ Honestly, I think this was the 23rd day of doing it and every time I try to have a conversation with someone who looks like me someone white comes up – blocks them – and tells them not to talk to me. And right when I said that, this white girl pops up in front of us and said, ‘he said that was going to happen.’ And straight up, ‘I’ve been called the n-word. She’s been called the n-word, why are you talking to me this way? Why do you feel that she can’t speak for herself to me? Why is it that you feel you need to speak for her when we’re having a conversation?’

White Rioters Hit Black Cop With Racist Epithets and Rocks

Officer Jackson says in addition to being told his “you have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen” he’s been pelted with rocks, bottles of frozen water. He wonders why it was that a black-owned-business was the first one looted.

Then when you go to a gentrified community and one of the pictures I saw, one of the first places that was looted was a black-owned business, I mean, they, they’re not even from here. They don’t even know what they’re doing. They say they are peacefully protesting, but it’s not peaceful. It’s violent. My cousin attended one of the marches and he left. He said ‘this has turned into something else. This is weird.

You know what’s weirder? The way Leftists trolling the police Twitter timeline immediately confirmed that they are racist.

Several called Officer Jackson a “token”:  No good cops in a racist system PPB. Interviewing a Black cop is tokenizing. I’d rather see defunding and abolition to create a truly just and equitable form of community care.

Here’s another way to call Officer Jackson a token: Trot out the black man.  Great performance, a real well written publicity piece.

Someone immediately did a back ground check on the officer in an attempt to intimidate him by doxxing him. Recently, antifa’s hackers doxxed the entire Portland Police Bureau officer’s roster.

Oregon Politicos Defend Antifa and BLM Rioters

Politicians find it politically convenient to blame President Trump for riots that have been going on for weeks.

Portland’s mayor and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden have blamed President Trump for injuring an imported antifa protester from Texas who got hurt while attacking federal officers. The federal officers are ordered to protect the federal courthouse, which had been under attack for days.

Wyden called the rioter a “peaceful protester” and claimed that the officers deployed to protect the courthouse were President Trump’s “secret police.” Yes, Oregon politicians are that unhinged.

Wyden and Mayor Ted Wheeler, along with their fellow elected Leftists might want to heed Officer Jackson’s words before they line up behind racist antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters.


How to cancel ‘cancel culture’

If we were to rework the famous lament by German pastor and theologian Martin Niemoller, it might go something like this:

“First, they came for the ­authors, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t an author.

“Then they came for the comedians, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a comedian.

“Then they came for the scientists, the economists, the academics, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t one of them.

“Then they came for the journalists, and I didn’t speak up because I was not a journalist.

“Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Each week brings more episodes of what, rightly or wrongly, we call “cancel culture”. This week, writer and editor Bari Weiss resigned from The New York Times citing the paper’s “illiberal environment”. Weiss wasn’t cancelled, but she is leaving because intolerance at the heart of cancel culture has settled into the NYT.

The New York Times hired Weiss after admitting that its one-eyed coverage of the 2016 presidential election failed readers. With another presidential election looming, Weiss fired off a powerful letter to NYT publisher AG Sulzberger lamenting that “intellectual curiosity” had become “a liability at The Times”.

“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor,” she wrote in reference to the narrow range of views favoured by the newspaper, and the ousting of NYT opinion editor James Bennet for running an opinion column that upset the sensibilities of some NYT staff.

Diversity of opinion took another hit this week when influential writer, editor and author of The Conservative Soul, Andrew Sullivan, announced his resignation from New York magazine. Posting on Twitter, Sullivan said that it was “pretty self-evident” why he was leaving, and he would discuss the “broader questions involved” in his final column due out on Friday in the US.

We can throw our arms up in dismay, frustration, even outrage at the daily loss of intellectual ­diversity. But it will be much more productive if, for the sake of democracy, we stand up against the blatant intolerance of cancel culture that has been repackaged by social justice activists as “the reckoning”.

Our modern liberal democratic project is just that. It’s recent. And it’s not writ in stone that it will succeed. It is a wholly human project that needs more people to defend it than not against those trying to replace it with something less liberal and less democratic.

And the heavy lifting will come down to each of us because elites can’t be relied on. University leaders rarely defend intellectual freedom. Business leaders promote faux diversity that doesn’t include differing opinions. The Morrison government has an economic crisis on its hands. And we are paying for a human rights commissioner who remains a mystery to most Australians because he hasn’t uttered a peep about the dangers of rising intolerance towards freedom of expression. Keeping your head down is no way to defend our most fundamental human right.

The sad truth is that cancel culture has been happening in different ways for many decades. Salman Rushdie copped a fatwa from Islamist extremists for writing a book called Satanic Verses. And now fatwas of a different kind come from within the West, our own mob culture hunting down dissidents and wrecking careers over differences of opinion.

The rot set in when we attached legal consequences to offence. It was an invitation for people to take offence and then impose their own version of justice without heading to a court or a human rights commission. We have a marketplace of outrage that routinely dismantles a marketplace of ideas and social media platforms that provide the perfect breeding ground for more short-form outrage and mob rule, rather than nuance, thoughtful ­argument and debate.

While we might disagree on whether any particular episode is cancel culture or not, we can surely recognise a growing intolerance towards people expressing a ­diverse range of views. That intolerance delivers a triple whammy. First, it hinders our ability to sift the good ideas from the bad ones. Second, by shutting down robust debates, cancel culture will create unhinged, self-professed martyrs who thrive in online echo chambers, nurturing their hatred and bigotry far away from logical argument. And finally, the practitioners of cancel culture will stoke deep resentments that can easily be exploited by leaders who may not be defenders of a truly liberal democracy.

Earlier this week, long-time art curator Gary Garrels resigned from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art after a staff petition sought his removal for “his toxic white supremacist beliefs regarding race and equity” when curating art collections. At a recent meeting over Zoom, staff confronted him with an earlier comment he made following a presentation about new acquisitions by artists of colour. Garrels is reported to have said, “Don’t worry, we will definitely still continue to collect white artists.” During the meeting last week, Garrels, who is one of America’s most prominent curators, said that not collecting the work of white men would amount to “reverse discrimination”.

Museum staff sought and succeeded in getting rid of the curator. And next up is the banishment of art by white people. This is nothing short of cultural apartheid.

When mobs tear down statues, that is a form of cancel culture familiar to the Taliban. In a vibrant democracy we should have robust, passionate debates about these matters and then decide whether a statue remains, is removed or needs better explanation.

When staff at publishing house Hachette threatened to stop working on a new children’s book by JK Rowling last month, that is cancel culture too. To its credit, Hachette defended free speech as a cornerstone of publishing, saying: “We will never make our employees work on a book whose content they find upsetting for personal reasons, but we draw a distinction between that and refusing to work on a book ­because they disagree with an ­author’s views outside their writing, which runs contrary to our ­belief in free speech.”

Cancel culture is killing comedy. Comedian Ricky Gervais says his mockumentary series The ­Office couldn’t be made today. The BBC cancelled an episode of Fawlty Towers last month because it might offend some people. True, the broadcaster corrected the mistake after a public furore, but note that the default setting was to cancel a comedy because they didn’t think we could be trusted to watch something from a different era.

If comedy stops being confronting for fear of being cancelled by a new generation of self-­appointed cultural dietitians, we will lose more than our sense of humour. We will lose our ability to explore difficult subjects in myriad ways.

Over the last fortnight, the “Letter on Justice and Open Debate” published in Harper’s magazine and signed by 150 artists, authors, academics and other public intellectuals has attracted both kudos and criticism. Slamming it as “late, limp, and self-serving,” Gerard Baker in The Wall Street Journal pointed out that “only a handful of them spoke up when the mob was trying to cancel conservative thinkers”.

Sure, it’s a shame that some public intellectuals took so long to stand up for intellectual diversity. But, it’s also a case of better late than never. This is also how good ideas come to the fore when they are defended. Slowly, more and more people come to realise which ideas are better, why they matter, and why they need defending over and over again from bad ideas that have a habit of re-emerging.

Cancel culture is one of those really bad ideas. When illiberalism spreads, it’s only a matter of time before the cancellers come for you.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

19 July, 2020

Why it's us parents are to blame for the age of the narcissists

Ever since I was at school, I’ve been fascinated by the strange tale of the Children’s Crusade. It began in the year 1212, with a boy wandering across France and Germany.

As the boy told vast crowds of wide-eyed admirers, he had been chosen by Jesus to lead a crusade of children to the Holy Land and convert the Muslims to Christianity.

In an age of intense religious faith, obsessed with saints and heretics, the boy’s message struck a powerful chord.

Soon he had amassed tens of thousands of young followers, who airily dismissed their parents’ tearful protests and joined the boy on his long march south.

For weeks they walked, weathering storms and sunshine, towards the very edge of Europe. And then — well, I’ll come to that later.

Today, when we live in an age of children’s crusades, this story feels unsettlingly resonant. We, too, are fixated with saints, such as the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, and heretics, such as the novelist J.K. Rowling.

Thanks to her harangues about climate change, Miss Thunberg has even landed her own BBC TV natural history series, which, according to the press release, ‘will follow Greta’s international crusade’.

Yet she is not a politician, and still less a scientist. She is, quite literally, a child.

Why do we abase ourselves before her adolescent hectoring? And why do we indulge so many other teenagers and twentysomethings, from the woke warriors who want us to tear down our statues to the student mobs who want to rewrite the entire university curriculum?

With admirable timing, one of Britain’s most influential academics has just produced an answer. In his new book Why Borders Matter, the sociologist Frank Furedi suggests that parents themselves are to blame, having failed to set proper rules and boundaries, spoiled their children and raised a generation of infantilised, entitled narcissists.

Professor Furedi’s book has other provocative things to say, too. But given the past few weeks’ disturbing scenes of screaming mobs and Twitter tantrums, it’s his thesis on parents and children that is most striking.

As he points out, the dividing line between generations is probably more blurred today than it has ever been. Parents and children play together — including on video games — in ways that would have been unthinkable even in the 1970s and 1980s, when I was growing up.

They share similar enthusiasms, watch the same films, listen to the same music.

And they even dress the same, with fathers and sons in identical combinations of jeans and T-shirts, or mothers taking fashion tips from their daughters. That certainly wasn’t the case for most of the last century.

In many ways, this unprecedented closeness is worth celebrating. Parents are probably kinder than ever before. The old rule that children should be seen and not heard has virtually disappeared.

Physical violence has become very rare, and children can talk more freely to their parents (even if they don’t want to).

But two other aspects of this story are rather less edifying.

First, most children are becoming adults later and later. Many millennials — born approximately between 1981 and 1996, so now in their mid-to-late 20s and 30s — are still living like teenagers.

They drift from one temporary job to another. They marry later, and have children later — if at all. They spend their money on rent and entertainment, rather than on a mortgage and family.

They are, in fact, literally irresponsible — which I mean not as an insult, but as a statement of fact.

Is this their own fault? No: far from it. And in fairness, the process has deep roots.

My own family history tells the story. More than a century ago, my grandfather left school at 14 to become an office boy.

By the time he reached his early 20s, he was leading what we would consider a fully adult life, with a wife, a steady office job and regular financial obligations.

His childhood pleasures were fully behind him, and the behaviour of today’s twentysomethings would have struck him as the stuff of some mad fantasy.

Yet today, the world my grandfather took for granted has simply ceased to exist.

For young men and women, steady, stable jobs are much harder to find, which explains why so many stay in education for longer.

The days when you joined a firm as an office boy and retired as a member of the board have gone for good: on average, most people tend to change jobs every five years, with rates even higher among the young.

As for perhaps the ultimate symbol of adult responsibility, home ownership, it has become more elusive than ever. More than half of the baby-boom generation owned their own home by the time they were 30.

By contrast, the proportion among millennials has fallen to less than a third, and is even lower in London and the South-East.

According to some housing experts, perhaps one in three millennials will never own their own home, while half will rent well into their 40s.

In other words, the system might have been designed to prevent young people from taking on responsibilities, as their parents and grandparents did at the same age.

Why does this matter? If you don’t give people a stake in the system, a steady job and their own home, you can hardly expect them to defend it when it comes under attack.

And if you treat people like children, then they’ll act like them — as we’re now finding out, both online and in our city centres.

The most pernicious development of all, though, is surely the exaggerated appeasement of youth, epitomised by the Thun-berg cult.

As Professor Furedi argues, this has been coming for a long time. Ever since the late 1960s, when the liberal media fawned before such titanic thinkers as John Lennon and Mick Jagger, there has been a sense the only opinions that matter are those of the very young.

During the Brexit debate, for instance, I lost count of the number of times I heard ultra-Remainers complaining that older voters had ‘betrayed’ their children’s future, or rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of elderly Leave voters’ impending deaths.

As Professor Furedi points out, one People’s Vote placard read: ‘Adults Ruin Everything. Stop Brexit.’ But what sane person sides with an unseasoned teenager over an experienced adult?

During the recent Black Lives Matter protests, too, it has been blindingly obvious that there is one rule for the young and another for everybody else.

So although mass gatherings are banned during the pandemic, the police actively aided and abetted mass gatherings of youngsters shrieking about the supposed racism of their elders.

Even the BBC — or rather, especially the BBC — worships at the cult of youth. In recent months, its programming has become ever more slavishly directed at teenagers and 20-somethings, while staff are now expected to declare their ‘preferred pronouns’ in their emails, as demanded by a handful of militant transgender activists.

Yet at the same time, the corporation has just ditched the Andrew Neil Show, despite the fact that the 71-year-old veteran is by far its best political interviewer.

And to cap it all, the BBC has scrapped free TV licences for the over-75s, whose opinions and values are routinely dismissed as reactionary relics.

Other societies, especially in Asia, respect the wisdom of their elders. We don’t. We pack our senior citizens off to care homes, out of sight, out of mind and prey to the coronavirus. No wonder the future belongs to China!

So is this all the fault of the parents, as Professor Furedi argues? Well, I certainly don’t think they — or rather, we — are blameless.

Adults, after all, are often just as irresponsible as their offspring. You have merely to read the gossip columns to know that self-indulgent sexual misbehaviour is certainly not confined to teenagers and millennials.

Indeed, if you were drawing up a charge sheet against my own generation, Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, it would be hard to know where to stop.

We’re probably the laziest, most gluttonous, most obese and most self-indulgent generation in history, from our obsession with fast food to our enthusiasm for cheap flights. (And no, I’m no saint, before you ask.)

Even our political life betrays the same fundamental irresponsibility. What other generation would have indulged the self-aggrandising showmanship of Nigel Farage, or the risible sub-student-union posturing of Jeremy Corbyn?

So it’s not surprising that our parenting style is not exactly a model of discipline and seriousness.

Too many parents refuse to set rules and boundaries, from screen time (now at least four hours a day on average) to bedtime. And far too many treat their children as sages, role models or even moral guides.

Parents need to stand up to their children. They should teach the time-honoured values of discipline and self-restraint, as well as the trendier ones of creativity and self-expression.

And instead of hammering into their children how ‘special’ they are, parents would surely do better to teach their offspring a little humility.

After all, in a world in which more than 100 billion people have lived throughout history, how many children are truly special, except to their parents?

Still, parents aren’t solely to blame. Many institutions seem determined to grovel before the cult of the young.

I think, for example, of the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford, which recently scrapped a subsidised ticket scheme sponsored by the oil giant BP.

The scheme had allowed the RSC to offer cheap £5 tickets to local youngsters — a generous and laudable gesture, you might think.

But when a handful of politically-engaged schoolchildren complained about the link with BP, the theatre bosses meekly agreed to ditch it. You could hardly find a better example of self- defeating cowardice.

Some of the worst examples, inevitably, are our universities, whose well-paid bosses are never happier than when pandering to a tiny minority of entitled activists.

My blood still boils when I think of the spineless foolishness of the University of Liverpool, which recently renamed a hall associated with the reforming Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone, because his father once owned slaves.

But the issue goes deeper than statues or buildings. It never ceases to amaze me that many university lecturers annually genuflect before their students, asking them if they would like the classes to be a little easier, or the marks a little higher; and whether they would like them to teach something different instead.

Who cares what the little sods think? You’re the experts, aren’t you?

I don’t deny that it’s natural and healthy for teenagers and for 20-somethings to demand change, from Miss Thunberg at the UN to the anti-racism activists in our city streets.

But it’s equally healthy for their elders, sometimes, to say no. A decent society depends upon a balance between young and old, novelty and tradition. When that balance tips too far, as it has, then something has gone badly wrong.

That brings me back to the Children’s Crusade — perhaps the greatest indictment of juvenile folly in history.

According to the legend, the children got to the shores of the Mediterranean, where a couple of merchants offered them safe passage to the Holy Land.

You can guess the rest. The children arrived, not in Jerusalem, but in the slave markets of North Africa. There was no escape. Their parents never heard from them again.

For those who think that young people have all the answers, there’s surely a lesson there.

The young are not always more virtuous, and they’re certainly not always wiser. And often they need to pipe down and grow up. Because as any parent surely knows, even the brightest child is often totally, utterly, irredeemably wrong.


Violence to History the Mob Will Love

The inescapable problem of “period pieces,” i.e. movies set in the past, is that much of the past has been lost. History is incomplete and some of it is highly debated. So, there will likely be a fair amount of invention in your average period piece. Certainly, the dialog between historical persons is apt to be invented, created out of whole cloth. Given that, the trick in a period piece would seem to be in balancing the demands of ticket buyers who want an engaging drama with the imperative to not inflict violence on known history.

On the cable recently, I screened the 2018 movie Mary Queen of Scots. This flick would surely qualify as a period piece, a biopic. It’s about the woman who may have had a stronger claim to the English throne than did Elizabeth I. But the film makes so many errors in history that it may make hardcore history buffs highly irritated.

In your average historical drama, this viewer can forgive certain inventions and even some departures from what is known as long as we have a compelling story. But this Mary flick features one deviation from history that is so blatant and so unnecessary that it may make one want to relegate the film to the dustbin of, well, history. That error is in casting.

The film’s casting decisions don’t merely fill in the blanks for facts which have been lost; they are deliberate choices to rewrite history, and they make what could have been an enjoyable drama into some multicultural propaganda piece.

The main miscast roles were for Lord Thomas Randolph, Bess of Hardwick, and David Rizzio. These were all white folks, kids, yet were played by non-whites. In addition, a number of supernumerary roles were played by non-whites.

Our Mary here was directed by one Josie Rourke in her film debut. Ms. Rourke’s other directing has been for the theatre, for which she has an impressive number of credits. Since Rourke was new to cinema, much of the blame for the miscasting in her film debut must be directed at the studio execs that allowed her to pull such a stunt.

On December 10, 2018, Refinery29 ran “Why Mary Queen Of Scots Isn't Another All-White Biopic” by Rebecca Farley (brackets in the original):

“We know that the characters that Gemma and Adrian and Ismael Cruz Cordova [play] were white,” Rourke told Refinery29. “So those are people of color playing those who were historically not people of color.”

Rourke added, “That is very influenced by my theater background, where that sort of thing is done. When I sat down with [the studio] early, before we got down to a lot of stuff, I said to them, ‘Just so you know, I’m not going to direct an all-white period drama. That’s not something I’m going to do.’ And they were really hugely supportive of that.”

So, it turns out the studio execs were to blame for loosing this ahistorical period piece on an unsuspecting public. If the top studio negotiator had had any judgment, he’d have put on his best John Wayne voice and told Josie: Seems to me you don’t want to work with us, little missy.

When Laurence Olivier played Othello in 1965, he took pains to look the part. Lord Larry also smeared himself with dark makeup for Khartoum, in which he played the Mahdi. The same was true for Jon Vickers when he sang Verdi’s Otello at the Met, which included a big afro. But no concessions to verisimilitude are demanded by director Rourke; her actors don’t apply pancake and narrow noses to look like the people they play. (Rather than Olivier and Vickers’ honoring of Othello’s black countenance, maybe Rourke thinks them guilty of blackface.)

Like Olivier, Orson Welles in 1951 also played the Moor on film and made an effort to look the part, although not with the same zeal as Olivier. Moreover, in 1936 Welles staged “the Scottish play” with an all-black cast. The production acquired the nickname “The Voodoo Macbeth.” That’s because Welles switched the setting from Scotland to the Caribbean. (Click on the Voodoo link to discover how the federal government was involved with Welles’ production.)

Imagine how black folks would feel were some “creative” Hollywood director to cast a white boy as MLK or Nelson Mandela. They’d be miffed, to say the least. But even if a white actor took pains to look the part, some blacks would still disapprove; they’d want a black to play a black. If, however, all the historical blacks in such a film were played by whites and all the historical whites were played by blacks, then we might have something no one could object to.

Rourke said of her film that it is “absolutely a restorative piece… the past becomes the present.” Sheer cant! Of what, exactly, is this film “restorative”? This movie lover actually feels sorry for Rourke’s minority actors; she’s seems to be using them to further some pet idea about equality or inclusion or diversity. But Rourke is also “using” history. It’s doubtful that many African-Americans would plunk down good Yankee dollars just to see folks who look like them in the Court of Queen Elizabeth I.

It’s a pity that the studio didn’t rein in Rourke’s excesses, because some aspects of the film are not without merit. She might have created a fine film, even with the ahistorical business of the meeting between Elizabeth and Mary. Actually, more than 200 years ago Friedrich Schiller incorporated such a meeting between the two monarchs into his play Mary Stuart. And that play formed the basis for Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda, which retained the meeting. But again, there seems to be no evidence that such a meeting occurred.

One aspect of the times that Rourke does well is the friction between Mary and John Knox. The Calvinist clergyman believed women particularly sinful and comes off as quite the misogynist. The film’s beginning, which is of Mary’s beheading, is also done quite nicely. When she goes to the chopping block, her attendants yank off her cloak to reveal Mary all dressed up for her last moments on Earth in a vivid red gown. (I’m a sucker for such dramatic touches.)

Why is this casting of minority actors, including very dark ones, such a big mistake? It’s because it’s jarring. It’s distracting. It puts the audience off the scent of the real issues Mary was facing. Had the studio any sense, they would have informed their fledgling director that what works in the theatre often doesn’t translate to the silver screen: (We do cinema here, Josie, not live theatre. Movies last forever, whereas live plays are quickly lost in the mists of time. So, kiddo, we need to give these roles to white actors. But we do think you’re on to something. So here’s the drill: let’s cast only Mary as a black. We think we can get Whoopi Goldberg to play this Mary Queen of the Scots gal, or maybe even Oprah.)

Would the casting of an all-white cast to play white historical characters have been so monstrous, so “racist”? Of course, it would; just about everything is racist nowadays. The only Americans who aren’t racist are the “woke” mobs tearing down statues of abolitionists.

Aren’t we all getting a little tired of hearing about race all the time? Frankly, m’dear, I’m sick to death of race. Maybe Josie should have pulled an Orson: made the entire cast black and set her film in the Caribbean. Or maybe she could have tried to work up a little reverence for the past.


How to Teach Americans to Hate Their Own Country -- And How Not To

What has inspired young Americans to rage against monuments to people who fought and died for justice and equality?

In recent days, America has produced an astounding spectacle. Americans desecrated and demanded removal of their own statues to their own heroes, including African Americans who fought for the Union; Hans Christian Heg, a Norwegian immigrant and dedicated abolitionist who modeled courage and gave his life in the Civil War; Taduesz Kosciuszko, the Polish-born designer of West Point who left money in his will to purchase freedom for American slaves; the World War II Memorial to the men and women who actually did fight fascism; and the Emancipation Memorial, a monument paid for by freed slaves, dedicated in a speech by Frederick Douglass, and the first American monument to feature an African American. In Iran, mullahs gloated that Americans themselves were now chanting "Death to America."

Black Lives Matter proponents claimed, "It's just property, easily replaced." No one said "It's just property, easily replaced" when arsonists burned black churches, and no one would say that had vandals spray painted a pig and the f-word, not on a statue to Kosciuszko, but on the MLK monument. Clearly, the vandals knew that they were, piece by piece, no less than Chinese communists bulldozing Tibetan monasteries or Nazis dynamiting synagogues, engaging in acts of anti-American cultural genocide.

What inspired young Americans to go on this feverish rampage against the people who lived for, fought for, and died for the justice and equality that rioters claimed to support? Many blamed American education. I could relate.

Years ago, I was a new PhD looking for a job. I received rejection letters mentioning hundreds of qualified applicants. I was desperate. A very kind department chair offered me a part-time assignment.

I received the class textbook: Race, Class, and Gender in the United States by Paula S. Rothenberg. The book is "required reading at over 1,000 colleges." Rothenberg's "publisher estimates that her books have reached well over half a million students." I couldn't wait to plunge into its almost 700 influential pages, and to map out how I'd communicate its hefty contents to my students.

I began to experience a nameless discomfort immediately upon reading the preface to the anthology. Rothenberg talks about events, persons, and trends that any intelligent person might recognize as unconnected. These include environmentalism, Nelson Mandela serving time in prison, smoking on airplanes, and surgeries intended to "reassign" gender. I wondered what scholarly discipline qualified Rothenberg to expatiate on these diverse topics.

Rothenberg anoints herself with the authority to bring these diverse puzzle pieces together. Her unifying thread is the destructive privilege enjoyed by white, heterosexual, Christian, American men. Her authority is derived from her virtuous desire to overturn these men's hegemony, and to free the oppressed from their chains.

A blue-collar child of immigrants, I had learned in academia, from Alan Dundes, my mentor, that scholarship requires disciplined focus, a proven set of topic-specific research tools, and certified membership in a community. Any average Joe might have an opinion about, say, virus replication, but unless you've spent your life studying virus replication, unless you are using the tried-and-true tools for analysis of virus replication, and unless you've been admitted to the community of others engaged in the same study, your opinion about virus replication really doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Dundes demanded that his scholars master at least two languages. If you are going to make sweeping generalizations about the human condition, you require intimate knowledge of at least one other, non-American culture. A true scholar never falls into the error, Dundes pointed out, of saying something like, "The folktale Cinderella proves that Americans … " Cinderella is an international folktale, told from ninth-century China to Medieval Italy to Walt Disney. If you want to use Cinderella to make a point about America or Americans, you must find what feature is unique in American tellings of the tale.

Paula Rothenberg never received a PhD, as she recounts in her memoir, Invisible Privilege: A Memoir about Race, Class, and Gender. She worked for a while on a dissertation addressing Charles Sanders Peirce's theory of truth. Rothenberg was studying philosophy, not sociology, anthropology, history, or statistics. I could find no theory, and no academic bona fides, that qualified Rothenberg to make the sweeping generalizations she makes about America or Americans.

Though on different topics, many of the otherwise disjointed works in the Rothenberg anthology feature a protagonist obsessed with personal unhappiness, and locating the source of that unhappiness in malicious, heterosexual, white, American men. Maz Jobrani could not find work in Hollywood. Clearly, this was because white men would not allow a Muslim to thrive as an actor. Noy Thrupkaew insists that white men conspire to oppress poor Asian-Americans by praising the academic successes of well-off Asian Americans. Male-to-female transgender person Susan Stryker rages against "hegemonic" words like "man" and "woman." Stryker chafes to "pull down the patriarchy." Stryker's life is full of pain: "To the extent that I am perceived as a woman … I experience the same misogyny as other women, and to the extent that I am perceived as a man … I experience the homophobia directed toward gay men." Sharlene Hesse-Biber attributed a student's bulimia to the fact that "Guys don't like fat girls." Fat girls, poor Asian-Americans, transgender persons, Muslim actors, all are in pain because of oppressive white men.

Patriarchy or patriarchal are mentioned 36 times in the book, white supremacy or supremacist, 29 times, white privilege, 55 times, racism or racist 506 times, variations of oppression 233 times. The phrase white men appears 31 times. White men "have control;" they constitute "the ruling group." White men never "do dirty work." White men never feel "haunting fears" or "deep shame." Rather, white men enjoy "the manhood of racism, sexism, and homophobia."

Rothenberg's anthology, she tells us, "views the problems facing our country and our communities as structural, and seeks to contribute to the conversation about fairness and justice." What is that structure that, as she puts it, is "destroying lives and families"? Rothenberg's answer: "patriarchy and white privilege." Her job is to "explore the interlocking nature of these systems of oppression as they work in combination and impact virtually every aspect of life in U.S. society today." "Intersectionality," she says, is a term that "captures the complexity of multiple and simultaneous forms of oppression." All the previously mentioned bad things, from Mandela's prison term to smoking on airplanes, have been "hierarchically constructed" to advantage white, heterosexual men.

When addressing the success of Asians in America, Rothenberg makes clear that that success, like everything else in America, has been manipulated by the unseen hand of white, heterosexual, American men. Asians have not succeeded; rather, the all-powerful white man has "racially positioned" Asians differently than how he has "racially positioned" African Americans. Similarly, the white man manipulates media to "stereotype" Muslims as terrorists. There is no real Muslim terrorist; there are no victims to jihad terror. There is only the white man manipulating media to harm Muslims.

Every student at the university must take this class, because white men's privilege has blinded us all, and without the class, we would go through life metaphorically walking into walls. Rothenberg reassures the reader, "It is impossible to make sense out of either the past or the present without using race, class, gender, and sexuality … Much of what passes for a neutral perspective across the disciplines and in cultural life smuggles in elements of class, race, and gender bias and distortion. Because the so-called neutral point of view is so pervasive, it is often difficult to identify … Learning to identify and employ race, class, and gender as fundamental categories of description and analysis is essential if we wish to understand our own lives and the lives of others."

We can't go through life seeing people as just people. We must see them as representatives of their skin color and other identities. Rothenberg will instruct us. "We should never lose sight of the fact that any particular individual has an ethnic background, a class location, an age, a sexual orientation, a religious orientation, a gender, and that all these characteristics are inseparable from the person."

We must never fool ourselves into thinking that we are aware of reality. In fact, Rothenberg will tell us what reality is. What we had thought of as "reality," she puts in scare quotes. Her opinions expressed in her book actually are reality, without quotation marks. "Racism, sexism, heterosexism and classism operate on a basic level to structure what we come to think of as 'reality' … Differences may appear to be 'natural' or given in nature, they are in fact socially constructed" to form "systems of oppression." We must jettison the idea that the "United States extends liberty and justice and equal opportunity for all." What will disabuse us of this foolish notion? "The reality presented in these pages." Note the lack of quotation marks around that use of the word reality.

Losing faith in America might depress some students, Rothenberg acknowledges. Never fear! Rothenberg is also Glinda, the Good Witch. She presents the reader with "examples of people working together to bring about social change. The task is enormous, time is short, and our collective future is at stake."

Rothenberg's story, from the bad old days when white, heterosexual, Christian, American men screwed over everyone else on the planet, to the bright future where people work together to bring about social change, is told in the language of progress. She uses terms like "still." People still oppose gay marriage! People still smoke on airplanes! But humanity is marching towards an inevitable progress. Every day, in every way, humanity is getting better and better. We've had a black president! We almost had a woman president! Progress is to be measured by how far away we get from white men, and how close we come to their opposite number: people of color, women, and handicapped and transgendered people.

The degree to which such ideas now dominate education cannot be underestimated. Douglas Murray wrote in 2019 that identity politics have penetrated even into the hard sciences as taught in elementary school. He cites Seattle Public Schools K-12 Math Studies Framework which includes the following, "Power and oppression … are the ways in which individuals and groups define mathematical knowledge so as to see 'Western' mathematics as the only legitimate expression of mathematical identity and intelligence. This definition of legitimacy is then used to disenfranchise people and communities of color. This erases the historical contributions of people and communities of color." Yes, this is woke math instruction for kindergartners through twelfth graders.

How do students react to this kind of education? On social media, I came across a group of recent college graduates discussing their experience of the class I had been hired to teach. With their permission, I repost their conversation here.

"The class was the single biggest load of crap ever. I found it extremely offensive to all ethnic groups. The class did however teach me the most important skill in life, just say what people want to hear at all times, contain all actual feelings, and you will be fine. 'Know your audience.'"

The message of the class, he said, was, "If you aren't white, you suck at life and should basically kill yourself because there is nothing you can do in life to improve tomorrow. If you are white, go kill yourself you dirty capitalist pig Nazi and try not to rape any women before you do it."

A second person posted: "That class was the biggest waste of time, energy and paper … Trees did not deserve to die for this class to exist."

A third poster: "I was kicked out of that class once, and for no reason either."

The first poster asked, "Did you try to express your opinion?"

"Yeah," he replied. "I shared an experience I had."

Another asked, "Was it a story of you experiencing racism? If so, that's probably why. White people never experience any type of racism of any kind. As a Jewish kid, when I saw a swastika drawn on my locker, you know what I did? Nothing, because I had a feeling there was no point."

Though Rothenberg's books enjoy many positive reviews on Amazon, her negative Amazon reviews echo the impression shared by the young men quoted above. One Amazon reviewer writes, "White people are demonized. Males are emasculated and belittled. The word 'normal' is used, quotations included, as an actual insult. To be an upstanding member of society who happens to be White, male or Christian is, according to Rothenberg, a very real crime, worthy of very real punishment … this book should be treated not only as a piece of blatant propaganda that would make the Führer blush, but as a warning: Americans, if you're 'normal,' if you're self-respecting and decent in any way, but you just so happen to be male, Christian or especially White, they ARE coming for you."

Another reviewer writes, "Purely a Marxist totalitarian charade with extremely one-sided analogies. To Paula Rothenberg; if you hate the U.S.A. and freedom, then leave it for a communist country!"

And another, universities "force this bias down the throats of the unknowing students who are only reading the book to pass the class. The articles within this book are ONLY focused on the leftist views of race, class, and gender … If I have to read this book (which I did), I'd like to see some rebuttals, or some OTHER viewpoints."

Her fellow scholars have also taken issue with Rothenberg's book. Professor Julius G. Getman is a noted labor historian and attorney. In his 2011 University of Texas Press book, In the Company of Scholars, Getman points out that the materials Rothenberg chose for her anthology "present a single point of view: women and people of color as innocent victims, white males as oppressors." Rothenberg's definition of racism, that makes it impossible for anyone who is not white to be a racist, is "elitist," "patronizing," "racist," and "factually in error." Getman says, though, that "A good course can be taught using a slanted text so long as the slanting is recognized and compensated for by the instructor."

It wasn't just the book's slant that discomfited me. I deeply value separation of church and state and the sanctity of the individual conscience. I didn't want anyone telling me what to believe, and for me it would be a sin to use my paltry power as a professor to impose my ethics on my students. I cherished my ideal of the Ivory Tower: The Ivory Tower was for discovering objective truths. The Church guided me on the moral way to handle those truths, but it was not for me to force anyone into my church.

Rothenberg's book contains the word "should" 180 times. "Asian Americans should participate in racial justice struggles." "We should never lose sight of the ethnic background" of people we meet. We "should" describe ourselves as experiencing "internalized sexism." The word "black" "should be capitalized."

This book was not empowering students with neutral knowledge obtained and arranged in a scholarly manner that they could choose to use to build the lives they wanted. This book, rather, was the scripture of a religion, that was indoctrinating students in how they should live their lives. If they did not mouth, however insincerely, Rothenberg's shahada, they would not pass, and they would not acquire the degrees for which they were paying.

That professors teach this book in a manipulative and coercive way is demonstrated on the web. One syllabus requires that students give the teacher a detailed autobiography. In subsequent assignments, students are to self-identify as "how you fit into both oppressor and oppressed group." Many such online assignments sound like "struggle sessions," where students are required to share intimate details of their private lives, only for those details to be used later to categorize them as oppressors or the oppressed, whether they wanted to be so categorized or not. Struggle sessions are tools of psychological manipulation, not scholarship.

Not just the book's slant, nor its moral coercion, concerned me. I was also gravely troubled by the vacuum into which its contents were to be injected. My students had not been prepared by grammar school, high school, or other college classes to assess the book's assertions. They lacked training in scholarly skills, and they lacked raw knowledge of basic facts. My students thought that the Atlantic Slave Trade was the only slave trade that had ever existed. They thought they knew everything about the Crusades, to wit: Christian Europeans during the Middle Ages decided to invade Muslim lands and force Muslims to become Christian. They believed that contemporary terror attacks, like 9-11, were somehow justified revenge for the Crusades.

Students had no knowledge, at all, that the Crusades were preceded by hundreds of years of warfare by Muslims against Christian populations in the Middle East and Europe. They became astounded if I shared with them the information in Dr Bill Warner's dynamic battle map showing the hundreds of battles and slave raids jihadis prosecuted against formerly Christian lands like Syria, Egypt, and Turkey, as well as Spain, Italy, and France. They were shocked when I told them that Muslims lived under Christian rulers in the Middle East and often were not pressured to convert to Christianity.

They had no idea that anyone, anywhere, had ever died in the introduction of communism. Once I told them that, yes, people died, I invited them to guess numbers. When I told them that one good estimate was 100 million, they were floored. They would often say, "Why hasn't anyone ever told us this?"

I would ask my students, "What group of people did the Nazis, as part of an organized program, mass murder first and last?"

Students would always guess "Jews."

When I told them that the first and last group that Nazis murdered as part of an organized program were handicapped people, they were uncomprehending. They thought that Nazis mass murdering Jews was an expression of Christian anti-Semitism. They had no real understanding of Nazism.

I faced a quandary. I needed the job. I genuinely loved my boss and wanted to please her. I also did not want to undermine the university's intentions with the course. I was being paid to teach X. So I decided to teach X. I assigned works from Rothenberg's anthology. I made a few adjustments, though.

I told my students that they were permitted, indeed, expected, to express any opinion they wanted in class, as long as they did so in an academically respectable way. Name-calling and other incivility would not be allowed. I assured my students that their grades would have nothing to do with their opinions. I told them that truth is the north star, and that real scholarship provides tools for them to get as close to truth as possible.

The student reaction to this policy both touched and saddened me. Students told me that my class was special and unique because they were allowed to say what they thought. They told me of being ejected from, harassed in, or failing, other classes because they expressed their opinion.

I told them that a major component of the class would be a research paper, and that we would work together using time-tested methods of academic research. I created a guide, "How to Write a Research Paper." They would pick the topic, and they could reach any conclusion that the evidence they unearthed suggested to them.

Many students had no idea how to conduct academic research. No idea how to formulate a question, how to access peer-reviewed sources, or even what peer-reviewed sources were, or how to differentiate between fact and opinion. Their initial attempts were often impassioned screeds emphatically stating their opinion, and advocating what other people should do. I told them that it wasn't their job, as scholars, to write rabble-rousing purple prose, or to preach a sermon telling other people what they should do. I said it was their job to discover, synthesize, and report, in clear prose, objective facts. They said they'd always gotten good grades on such papers in the past.

Not a few students told me that this class feature was one of their favorite assignments in their college career. They had the opportunity to discover more about something that mattered to them.

One student, an African American woman named "Angie," told me she wanted to write a paper proving that the use of Ebonics in academic settings helps black students. Over the weeks of the project, as she performed her research, I could see her mind challenged by what she was discovering. For her original research, she wrote two job application letters, one in Ebonics, and one in standard English. She showed the letters to potential employers. The employers told her that they would prefer to hire the author of the letters written in Standard English. Angie's confrontation with objective facts changed her mind about the topic. She sent me an email years after having been my student, thanking me for the impact my teaching had on her life.

In addition to the above class policies, I did the following.

I told my students about Polish Haitians. Napoleon brought Poles to Haiti to suppress the world's first successful slave uprising that resulted in a new country controlled by former slaves. Most of the Poles died of yellow fever. Of those that survived, many, true to the Polish tradition of "For Your Freedom and Ours," fought beside the slaves for their freedom. Their descendants, many of them blue-eyed, survive in Haiti to this day.

I told them about William Wilberforce, John Brown, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, all influential opponents of slavery. I told them about Ben Franklin's co-founding of an anti-slavery society before America was even a country. I told them about Levi and Catherine Coffin, two of the hundreds of Americans who created and maintained the Underground Railroad. I quoted from the letters of average Union soldiers who fought and died to end slavery. For example, "citizen soldier" Alvin Coe Voris wrote, "God's terrible wrath must be visited upon the authors of the abominable crime of American slavery." I told them about the unbroken chain of inspiration stretching from Henry David Thoreau to Leo Tolstoy to Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King.

I told them about Julius Rosenwald, a child of Jewish immigrants who worked in the rag trade from the time he was 16. He made a fortune and dedicated that fortune to the uplift of African Americans. He funded Booker T. Washington, enabling his career. He underwrote more than five thousand schools, shops, and teacher homes for African Americans.

A diehard Jersey girl, I told them, of course, about Frank Sinatra, and his public and private activism to end Jim Crow. Nelson Rockefeller funded Martin Luther King, once handing his aide, Clarence Jones, a suitcase jammed with $100,000 in cash. White Americans didn't just give money to the Civil Rights Movement. Viola Liuzzo, a dirt-poor coal-miner's daughter and married mother of five, gave her life; she was shot to death for her activism. The Rev. James Reeb was clubbed to death. Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were two more white Civil Rights martyrs. My students had never heard of them, nor had they ever heard of any of the people or movements mentioned above. What they had read about, in their anthology, was whites as oppressive racists.

We talked about the Muslim Slave Trade. According to Prof. John Azumah,

"While the mortality rate of the slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of the slaves dying in transit in the Tran-Saharan and East African slave market was a staggering 80 to 90%. While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines in harems and for military service. While many children were born to the slaves in the Americas, the millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the United States today. Very few descendants of the slaves who ended up in the Middle East survived. While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated, and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth." While about 388,000 enslaved Africans were brought to the US, "a minimum of 28 million Africans were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East. Since at least 80% of those captured by the Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave markets, it is believed that the death toll from 1,400 years of Arab and Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been as high as 112 million."

We talked about some other difficult topics. The Armenian Genocide, the Cambodian Genocide, and the Rwandan Genocide. We talked about Darfur, Biafra, and China's occupation of Tibet. They had thought that "genocide" was something that white people do. Turkey, they learned, has yet to acknowledge that the Armenian Genocide ever happened, and it charged its Nobel-Prize-winning novelist, Orhan Pamuk, with a crime for so much as mentioning it. We talked, briefly and not in detail, about Imperial Japan's unspeakable war crimes. Scholar Brian Victoria showed that Imperial Japan used Zen Buddhism to justify its crimes. They had thought that only white Christians capture, torture, and perform obscene medical experiments on helpless victims.

We talked about Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the ironically named "Minister for Family Welfare and the Advancement of Women." She was the first woman to be charged with "genocidal rape." She ordered her Rwandan troops, "before you kill the women, you need to rape them." Spiked plants were used.

I introduced my students, albeit briefly, to this dark material for a scholarly reason. The Rothenberg approach castigates America for having had slavery. Rothenberg breaks Alan Dundes' simple rule of scholarship. You can't use Cinderella to make a sweeping generalization about America, because Cinderella is told around the world. If you want to use that tale, or any cultural product, to make a statement about a culture, you must determine what differentiates the American expression of Cinderella, or any other cultural product from other, international versions.

Rothenberg refuses to take the simple scholarly step of asking, What makes America's slavery history unique? White Americans are the only people who could have owned slaves who fought a bloody, devastating war to end slavery and to free their enslaved brothers and sisters, and they did so with Christian and American ideals as their inspiration. In contrast, Slavery is still practiced around the world. It was outlawed in Saudi Arabia only in 1962, and in Muslim Mauritania only in 2007. In June, 2020, an anti-slavery activist told the BBC that slavery is still widespread in Mauritania.

In Rothenberg's text, only whites hate, and whites only ever hate, and never help, and non-whites are only, ever, powerless victims. By introducing students to the above facts, I hoped that they would realize that the story is not "Whitie must be erased for the good of mankind," but rather an older story, the problem of evil that exists in every heart, behind every skin tone, in every era. In wrestling with the problem of evil myself, I found my solution in Christ. I hoped that they would find their own solution.

Black Lives Matter rioters tearing down statues and their media allies are acting out the selective outrage that Rothenberg inscribed and modeled in her text. In Rothenberg's book, and in modern liberal media, only whites hate, whites only hate, and never help, and non-whites are only, ever, powerless victims. Truth is that which serves the party. Neither Rothenberg nor National Public Radio penetrate Islam's many and canonical supports for still-extant slavery. Scholar David Wood has thoroughly exposed the anti-black racism and its support for slavery, including sex slavery, inscribed in Islam from its earliest and most sacred texts. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here … and too many others to mention. NPR produced, on July 1, 2020, a broadcast linking white supremacy to Christianity. In leftist media and academia, it is always, only, white, Christian Americans who do bad things. There is no universal problem of evil that we must all confront and deal with, regardless of our skin color or gender. Thus, no universal solution must be sought. Humiliating, disempowering, or getting rid of whitie is enough. "White lives don't matter … Abolish whiteness," said Cambridge professor Priyamvada Gopal. After which, she was immediately promoted.

"Say his name! George Floyd!" BLM orders us. BLM also orders us to flush down the memory hole names like Justine Ruszczyk, Genesis Rincon, Jazmine Barnes, Brandon Hendricks, or Amaria Jones. Victims of black shooters must be erased, along with statues to Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.

This isn't just about fairness or patriotism. It's about scholarship. To focus on slavery in America and to leave students, who have spent an entire semester and a lot of cash to take a class completely unaware of the much larger Muslim slave trade, is to trash any concept of scholarship.

Like Rothenberg, I did not want to leave my students depressed. I told them that I had the solutions to all the dark material we were plowing through. I said I had it right on my desk, and if they'd close their eyes for a moment, I would lift it up and show it to them. They closed their eyes, and I lifted the solution for them to see. I was, of course, holding up a mirror.

I told them that no matter what world problem perturbed them, there were others out there working on it. I listed a few such organizations on the blackboard, including those fighting slavery, female infanticide, illiteracy, and environmental degradation. I told them that when I feel sad about the state of the world, I donate some money.

I offered a quote, "The love of a single heart can make a world of difference." The author of this quote is Immaculée Ilibagiza. During the Rwandan genocide, she had to hide in a three foot by four foot bathroom for three months with seven other women. Ilibagiza is a devout Catholic. I did not mention her Catholicism to my students. I did not want to proselytize them, only to let them know something. I wanted my students to know that some who have been through the darkest night have managed to survive, thrive, and share their light with others. I wanted my students to know that that kind of personal power is rooted not in self-pity, not in resentment, not in rage or vengeance or the rush to destroy, or self-definition as a perpetual victim. I wanted my students to know that that power is rooted in forgiveness, hope, love, and the drive to nurture and create. And I wanted them to know that that was a choice open to them.


Opinions divided on whether Australia could effectively ban extremist far-right organisations

It's good that such bans are only talk at this stage.  The big issue is in defining who is "extremist far-right".  In America, conservative family-oriented organizations are sometimes branded as "white supremacist" or the like simply because they are conservative. One man's moderate can be another man's extremist.

To me all American Leftists are racist extremists because of their support for "affirmative action".  So any bans should be founded on a very clear definition of "far right" and "extremist" that is widely agreed on both sides of the political spectrum.

To me the only justifiable bans, if any, are on people who actually practice violence.  Big talk is common but it is mostly just hot air.  And where do we find any Australian Rightists practicing violence, let alone ones who are members of a violent group?  The repeated acts of violence by Muslims surely make them a group of political extremists but that seems to be OK somehow.

The only Australian "Far Rightist" who actually attacked and killed people as far as I can remember was Brenton Tarrant and he was very much a lone wolf.  And he was as much a Greenie as a Rightist.  And he didn't even carry out his attacks in Australia, sadly for New Zealanders.

So there are undoubtedly some Australians with views that could be described as "far Right" but what harm have they done?  They don't seem capable of energizing even one-another into violence, let alone people in the population at large.

Neo Nazis are undoubtedly extremists with some views that identify them as Rightist so what harm have they done in Australia?  I did a close-up study of them some years ago (See here and here) and found not even advocacy of violence among them.  They would say "I wish.." for violence against someone but showed not the slightest disposion to do anything about it personally.

So if even Australian neo-Nazis are non-violent in practice where are the "extremist far-right" organizations that need to be banned?

Terror analysts say there is growing pressure on Australia to ban extremist far-right organisations as other nations take decisive action on the issue.

Labor's home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally this week called on the Morrison government to send a signal that extremist views won’t be tolerated by officially listing and banning right-wing organisations.

The United Kingdom, the United States and Canada have all moved to ban extremist right-wing groups in their jurisdictions.

Deakin University counter-terrorism expert Professor Greg Barton said Western democracies around the world are increasingly being forced to consider taking stronger against the extreme far-right.

“There certainly is increasing pressure from Western democracies to ban right-wing extremist groups both in the political realm and the social media realm,” he told SBS News.

“(But) this is the very challenging area, we don’t have such clear egregious examples that we can easily move – often I think in practice this will apply to individuals not organisations.”

Currently, there are no such groups on Australia’s banned terrorist organisation list. 

There are currently 26 groups on the Australian list - 25 of those are Islamist organisations and the other is the Kurdistan Worker's Party.

ASIO has warned that right-wing extremism poses an increasing threat in Australia as groups become more organised.

Counter-terrorism expert Leanne Close from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute told SBS News there were at least a dozen right-wing groups emerging in Australia.

She said they can be defined by a nationalistic and anti-Islamic approach, a focus on cultural superiority and behaviour that trends towards violence.  

“I know ASIO will always be keeping an eye on whether these groups are moving to a call to action,” she said.

“(But) the situation in Australia at the moment is... not as dire as places like the US and the experience that possibly the UK is having in relation to right-wing extremism.”

Earlier this week, the British home secretary Priti Patel moved to outlaw the far-right terror group Feuerkrieg Division, which has advocated the use of violence and mass murder as part of an apocalyptic race war.

In February, the United Kingdom also formally banned extremist right group the Sonnenkrieg Division and recognised the System Resistance Network as an alias of National Action – another right-wing group on the list.

In April this year the United States designated the Russian Imperial Movement, a white supremacist group, as global terrorists.

Canada has itself listed right wing extremist groups Blood and Honour and Combat 18 as terrorist groups.

Senator Keneally said the time has come for Australia to take stronger action against those that posed a right wing-extremist threat.

"The proscription of a right-wing organisation - international or domestic - would send a powerful message that these extremist views will not be tolerated,"" she wrote in an article for ASPI's The Strategist.

The coronavirus pandemic has also fuelled the spread of extremist messages.

Counter-terrorism analyst Professor Clive Williams has warned against specific bans on targeted groups.

“I don’t think it is a good idea to ban right wing groups because once you ban them it drives them underground and makes them much more cautious about their communication,” he told SBS News.

“The threat really from right-wing groups can be monitored fairly well because at the moment they are not particularly security conscience and they are relatively easy to infiltrate.“

Under Australia's national security laws, before an organisation is listed, the home affairs minister must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that it "is directly or indirectly engaged in preparing, planning, assisting or fostering the doing of a terrorist act, or advocates the doing of a terrorist act".

Mr Barton said the splintered nature of right-wing extremist groups means authorities in Australia remained more likely target the behaviour of individuals rather than implement targeted bans.

“Most of this is not going to be about banning a group … it’s going to be working out the individual behavioural level and communications,” he said.

“There does seem to be an awareness we are going to have to do something.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

17 July, 2020  

The Truth Behind Cancel Culture

The story of leftists boycotting a Hispanic food brand over disagreement with Trump

On December 5, 1955, African Americans refused to ride the city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest the segregation of seats. Blacks in the back, whites in the front. This protest marked the spark of the Civil Rights movement as it lasted just over a year, ending on December 20, 1955. It is regarded as the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system. A boycott has a specific goal in mind. A boycott isn’t merely about disagreeing with someone’s opinion. It requires a sacrifice from its participants — taking aggressive action, but accomplishing a greater good for others.

Fast-forward 65 years later.

Boycotting is one thing. Cancel culture is another. Cancel culture demands perfection of opinion. In other words, if your opinion doesn’t line up with the “culture,” then your thoughts are deemed dirty, disgusting, and damaging. If you violate these undisclosed “rules,” then you are vilified, dominated, harassed, and bullied. This narcissistic culture is by nature pretending to have some sort of moral high ground by which they hurl insults at others to control them.

A tweet from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is illustrative:

“Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo.’”

Igor Volsky tweeted: “The CEO of @GoyaFoods is at a White House event saying we’re ‘blessed to have a leader’ like Trump. Make your shopping decisions accordingly.”

The cancel culture believes:

I can say whatever I want, but you can’t say whatever you want.

You don’t need to think because I think for you.

Two wrongs make a right.

But here’s the antidote to cancel culture in three words: “I’m not apologizing.”

The chief executive of Goya Foods, Robert Unanue, said that he would not apologize for his previous statement that the U.S. is “blessed” to have President Trump as a leader.

The CEO said of America, “It’s such an honor and such a blessing to be here in the greatest country in the world, the most prosperous country in the world, and we continue to grow. That’s what we’re here to do today.” He went on to say, “Today, it gives me great honor — and by the way, we’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a [leader] like President Trump, who is a [builder], and that’s what my grandfather did. He came to this country to build, to grow, to prosper. We have an incredible builder, and we pray. [We pray] for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country that we will continue to prosper and to grow.”

Did you hear that? A man. An American. An unapologetic Patriot. Unlike so many that get bullied by cancel culture, Unanue was not going to cower to the pressure. I hope people like Drew Brees and the rest of the crumbling conservative crew will take a page out of his book. He told “Fox & Friends,” “It’s suppression of speech. In 2012, I was called by Michelle Obama to Tampa and they wanted the African American community and the Hispanic community to eat more nutritionally. They called on us as the most recognized Hispanic brand in the United States and I went. You’re allowed to … praise one president, but not allowed to make a positive comment [about Trump]. All of a sudden that’s not acceptable.” He said, “It’s a double standard.”

I love when the cancel culture gets put in its place. The cancel culture won’t win if we do our part. What can we do? Parents, don’t spoil your children. Teach them personal responsibility. Teach them how to value the small things in life and be grateful. This way, they won’t covet what others have and feel they are entitled to the things of others. End cancel culture one house at a time.


BLM subscribes to the ideas of racists

The founders of communism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, were inveterate racists.

One of the great ironies of the Black Lives Matter movement is the fact that it is rooted in and promotes Marxism. BLM ostensibly claims to exist to fight against the injustice of racism against black Americans. Indeed, BLM justifies its radical calls to “defund the police” with dubious claims of America’s law enforcement being “systemically racist.”

However, if BLM’s cause was truly a fight against actual racism, then why has the movement not fully divested itself from one of history’s most prolific racists, Karl Marx? Marx and his contemporary and friend Friedrich Engles are, of course, the fathers of that most murderous of political philosophies, communism. Communist tyrants have murdered well over 100 million people.

But both Marx and, more significantly, Engles were also notorious for their racist ideas. Both men viewed blacks specifically as lesser humans and more closely related to “the animal kingdom” than other races. In fact, Marx and Engels believed that race was a primary determiner for one’s economic status and ability. Using this belief, they developed a system by which they “radicalized skin-color groups, ethnicities, nations, and social classes, while endowing them with innate superior and inferior character traits,” as noted by Erik van Ree of the Institute for East European Studies of the University of Amsterdam. “They regarded race as part of humanity’s natural conditions, upon which the production system rested. ‘Races’ endowed with superior qualities would boost economic development and productivity, while the less endowed ones would hold humanity back.”

And yet, despite this reality, BLM cofounders Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza are unapologetic in their embrace of Marxism. “The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an ideological frame,” Cullors stated back in 2015. “Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.”

The actual reason behind the rioting and destruction and the tearing down of statues has very little to do with race. In reality, BLM Marxists are attacking the ideology of individual Liberty, which our Founding Fathers espoused, fought for, and established. In truth, race has almost nothing to do with the BLM movement; it just serves as a cover to deflect broad criticism for its anti-American revolution. But the irony and rank hypocrisy of blacks “fighting racism” by espousing the ideas of white racists isn’t lost on us


Idiots at USA Today Apparently Ignorant of the American Eagle


We certainly didn’t have to wait long this week for someone in the mainstream media to step in it and embarrass themselves because of their Trump Derangement Syndrome. USA Today decided to fact-check claims that some Trump campaign swag was Nazi because it featured — and I kid you not — an American eagle.

Before we delve into this lunacy about the eagle in question, it should be noted that USA Today is the CNN of newspapers. Just as CNN would have no audience whatsoever if it weren’t being broadcast to people stuck in airport terminals, USA Today wouldn’t have any readership if it weren’t being given away for free in hotels all over the country. Honestly, I rarely read it when I’m on the road and it’s delivered to my hotel room door every weekday.

It’s also rather laughable that the paper was presenting this as a “fact-check.” Trump must be the most fact-checked president in history. Barack Obama enjoyed eight years of a fact-free presidency while never, ever being fact-checked by the swooning MSM.

Back to the eagle. Victoria has the full story here, and I think her opening paragraph sums it up nicely:

"It’s official, the useful idiots on the Left and never-Trumper clan have simply lost their damned minds. The American eagle on your money is now deemed a cancelable object because President Trump’s campaign store put an eagle on a tee-shirt that they claim, if you squint your eyes and look a thousand yards out there somewhere there’s a Nazi symbol."

The Bald Eagle was chosen as the national symbol back in 1792, so it’s not like all of this snuck up on USA Today. This “fact-check” is indicative of how invested the MSM is in keeping this “all Trump supporters are Nazi racists” false narrative going. Some idiot intern of theirs was probably watching Man in the High Castle, for the twelfth time while trolling the Trump campaign site and decided that the picture of the eagle on the t-shirt was literally Hitler or something.

To say that the paper got dragged for this Nazi eagle nonsense on social media would be a monumental understatement. The morons stuck with the original post though. The USA Today Twitter account did issue a hilariously tone-deaf clarification that said, “Worth noting, the eagle is a longtime US symbol, too.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if the social media millennial who wrote that tweet didn’t know that about the eagle until just then.


Cultural battle more than a matter of opinion as New York Times columnist Bari Weiss resigns

Bari Weiss, a high-profile editor and writer for the New York Times NYT 3.04% opinion section, resigned on Monday (Tuesday AEST), citing what she said was unchecked bullying from colleagues and depicting the news organisation as a place where the free ­exchange of ideas was no longer welcome.

In a letter to New York Times publisher AG Sulzberger was posted on her website the next day, Weiss wrote that she has been “the subject of constant bullying by ­colleagues who disagree with my views”.

“We’re committed to fostering an environment of honest, searching and empathetic dialogue between colleagues, one where mutual respect is required of all,” Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said in response on Tuesday.

The company declined to comment on many specifics of Weiss’s resignation letter.

Weiss also described the Times’s opinion section as a place where intellectual curiosity had become a liability. “Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold, only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world?” she wrote.

The Times’s opinion section came under fire last month for publishing an article by senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, that urged the US government to deploy military troops to deter looting amid protests sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

The piece was criticised by many Times reporters and editors, who said it endangered their black colleagues covering the protests and contained factual errors.

James Bennet, the Times’s editorial page chief, resigned shortly afterwards, and his deputy, James Dao, was removed from the company’s masthead and reassigned to the newsroom.

A few days before Bennet’s resignation, Weiss wrote on Twitter that a “civil war” had engulfed the Times newsroom between an older guard that supported civil libertarianism and a “woke” new guard that felt the comfort and safety of the individual trumped core liberal values.

“Here’s one way to think about what’s at stake: The New York Times motto is ‘all the news that’s fit to print’. One group emphasises the word ‘all.’ The other, the word ‘fit’ ” she wrote on June 4.

The argument elicited widespread public criticism from many of her colleagues, who called her interpretation misguided.

Other newsrooms have been facing staff protests concerning such issues as racial accountability, including Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington Post.

In her resignation letter, Weiss wrote that she felt the Times had not learned the lessons of the 2016 presidential election, including “the importance of understanding other Americans.”

Instead, she wrote: “Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor.”

In a statement, Kathleen Kingsbury, acting editorial-page editor for the Times, said: “We appreciate the many contributions Bari made to Times Opinion. I’m personally committed to ensuring the Times continues to publish voices, experiences and viewpoints from across the political spectrum in the opinion report.”

Separately, Andrew Sullivan tweeted on Tuesday that this would be his last week at New York magazine as writer-at-large. He wrote: “I’ll be discussing the broader questions involved in my last column this Friday.”

Sullivan joined the magazine in 2016.

Similarly to Weiss, Sullivan has been at the centre of controversy for writing critically of what he argues is the curtailing of free speech on campuses and beyond, and what he describes as a hardening ideological orthodoxy taking hold in academia, at corporations and in civic society.

In a note to New York’s staff on Tuesday, editor-in-chief David Haskell wrote that the “decision to part ways was mutual”.

Sullivan couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Weiss has long been an outspoken critic of cancel culture — what critics describe as censorship attempts against ideas that stray from liberal orthodoxy — and has written about the #MeToo movement and foreign affairs.

Read Bari Weiss’ resignation letter in full:

Dear A.G.,

It is with sadness that I write to tell you that I am resigning from The New York Times.

I joined the paper with gratitude and optimism three years ago. I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers. Dean Baquet and others have admitted as much on various occasions. The priority in Opinion was to help redress that critical shortcoming.

I was honoured to be part of that effort, led by James Bennet. I am proud of my work as a writer and as an editor. Among those I helped bring to our pages: the Venezuelan dissident Wuilly Arteaga; the Iranian chess champion Dorsa Derakhshani; and the Hong Kong Christian democrat Derek Lam. Also: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Masih Alinejad, Zaina Arafat, Elna Baker, Rachael Denhollander, Matti Friedman, Nick Gillespie, Heather Heying, Randall Kennedy, Julius Krein, Monica Lewinsky, Glenn Loury, Jesse Singal, Ali Soufan, Chloe Valdary, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Wesley Yang, and many others.

But the lessons that ought to have followed the election — lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society — have not been learned. Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.

Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing moulded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.

My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.” Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by co-workers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some co-workers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post axe emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.

There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I’m no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.

I do not understand how you have allowed this kind of behaviour to go on inside your company in full view of the paper’s entire staff and the public. And I certainly can’t square how you and other Times leaders have stood by while simultaneously praising me in private for my courage. Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.

Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity — let alone risk-taking — is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.

What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinised. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.

Op-eds that would have easily been published just two years ago would now get an editor or a writer in serious trouble, if not fired. If a piece is perceived as likely to inspire backlash internally or on social media, the editor or writer avoids pitching it. If she feels strongly enough to suggest it, she is quickly steered to safer ground. And if, every now and then, she succeeds in getting a piece published that does not explicitly promote progressive causes, it happens only after every line is carefully massaged, negotiated and caveated.

It took the paper two days and two jobs to say that the Tom Cotton op-ed “fell short of our standards.” We attached an editor’s note on a travel story about Jaffa shortly after it was published because it “failed to touch on important aspects of Jaffa’s makeup and its history.” But there is still none appended to Cheryl Strayed’s fawning interview with the writer Alice Walker, a proud anti-Semite who believes in lizard Illuminati.

The paper of record is, more and more, the record of those living in a distant galaxy, one whose concerns are profoundly removed from the lives of most people. This is a galaxy in which, to choose just a few recent examples, the Soviet space program is lauded for its “diversity”; the doxxing of teenagers in the name of justice is condoned; and the worst caste systems in human history includes the United States alongside Nazi Germany.

Even now, I am confident that most people at The Times do not hold these views. Yet they are cowed by those who do. Why? Perhaps because they believe the ultimate goal is righteous. Perhaps because they believe that they will be granted protection if they nod along as the coin of our realm — language — is degraded in service to an ever-shifting laundry list of right causes. Perhaps because there are millions of unemployed people in this country and they feel lucky to have a job in a contracting industry.

Or perhaps it is because they know that, nowadays, standing up for principle at the paper does not win plaudits. It puts a target on your back. Too wise to post on Slack, they write to me privately about the “new McCarthyism” that has taken root at the paper of record.

All this bodes ill, especially for independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they’ll have to do to advance in their careers. Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.

For these young writers and editors, there is one consolation. As places like The Times and other once-great journalistic institutions betray their standards and lose sight of their principles, Americans still hunger for news that is accurate, opinions that are vital, and debate that is sincere. I hear from these people every day. “An independent press is not a liberal ideal or a progressive ideal or a democratic ideal. It’s an American ideal,” you said a few years ago. I couldn’t agree more. America is a great country that deserves a great newspaper.

None of this means that some of the most talented journalists in the world don’t still labour for this newspaper. They do, which is what makes the illiberal environment especially heartbreaking. I will be, as ever, a dedicated reader of their work. But I can no longer do the work that you brought me here to do — the work that Adolph Ochs described in that famous 1896 statement: “to make of the columns of The New York Times a forum for the consideration of all questions of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion.”

Ochs’s idea is one of the best I’ve encountered. And I’ve always comforted myself with the notion that the best ideas win out. But ideas cannot win on their own. They need a voice. They need a hearing. Above all, they must be backed by people willing to live by them.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

16 July, 2020  

Feminist critic shot


Tragic news last weekend. One of the world’s leading men’s rights lawyers, Marc Angelucci, was shot dead outside his home in Los Angeles. Police investigations are underway, but no details are yet available regarding the circumstances of the murder.

His death is a huge loss. Marc was the most extraordinary, brilliant, and utterly tireless advocate for men. He’d spent decades battling and winning high profile cases including challenging unfair treatment for male domestic violence victims, he’d helped draft and enact legislation to stop paternity fraud, testified before judicial committees, and won a series of key cases overturning male-only draft registration.

Those of you who have seen Cassie Jaye’s movie, The Red Pill, will have seen Marc discussing some of his big cases. Marc also spoke at the International Conference on Men’s Issues at the Gold Coast in 2017 – which was where I first met him, although I was lucky enough to sit with him at Cassie Jaye’s wedding in June, 2018 where I so enjoyed his endearingly warm, open manner, and enthusiasm for the many causes we had in common. We are pictured here with Warren Farrell.  

Yesterday the National Coalition for Men, where Marc was Vice-President, published a tribute which summarised many of his lasting achievements but noted also those striking personal qualities:  “Marc was a man full of joy and love, a true pleasure to know for all of us fortunate enough to be able to call him our colleague and/or friend. If Marc Etienne Angelucci didn’t exist, we would need to invent him, though honestly the man so far exceeded any dreams any of us could possibly have for an unbelievable combination of shining personal qualities and amazing professional achievements. While wildly successful on the legal front, he was a fabulously down-to-earth, loving man.”

Late last year I finally managed to persuade Marc, a man who was always snowed under with work, to do a podcast with me. I hope you will have a chance to listen to it now and hear this truly inspiring individual talk with such passion about his fight for fair treatment for men.


From Bettina Arndt newsletter:  newsletter@bettinaarndt.com.au

Obama Granted Clemency to Terrorists and Traitors, But Democrats Are Angry About Roger Stone

I wonder if the Homburg hat was a deliberate provocation to the Donks.  It is old-fashioned and hence conservative these days

Soon after it was announced that President Trump had commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone, the outrage mob mobilized. Nancy Pelosi went on CNN to suggest that a law should be passed limiting the president’s clemency powers.

“There ought to be a law, and I’m recommending we pass a law that presidents cannot issue a pardon if the crime that the person is in jail for is one that is caused by protecting the president, which this was. It’s appalling,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Adam Schiff couldn’t help invoking the debunked Trump/Russia theory when he responded. “Stone lied and intimidated witnesses to hide Trump’s exploitation of the Russian hack of his opponent’s campaign,” he tweeted. “With Trump there are now two systems of justice in America: One for Trump’s criminal friends and one for everyone else.” Cory Booker echoed the same talking point in his own tweet, “There should not be two justice systems in the U.S.—we can and we must do better.”

This is hardly the first time Democrats have claimed to be outraged at Trump’s acts of clemency. Last year, President Trump granted full pardons for Army First Lt. Clint Lorance and Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who’d been accused of war crimes for taking actions to defend themselves on the battlefield.  Yet, when President Trump pardoned them, it immediately sparked controversy and outrage.  Earlier this year, Trump commuted the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, once again, sparking outrage from Democrats and calls for investigations.

But, these same people who pounced on Trump’s acts of clemency yawned and looked the other when Barack Obama commuted the sentence of terrorists and traitors.

Just before leaving office in 2017, Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Bradley Manning (you may also know him as Chelsea), who leaked hundreds of thousands of sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks. A traitor in every sense, in 2013 Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison. But, Bradley Manning became a hero of the political left for declaring himself to be transgender, and Obama made his controversial commutation literally just days before leaving office. Manning maintains hero status amongst the left today.

Obama also commuted the sentence of convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, the leader of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN), a Puerto Rican terrorist group. FALN was responsible for 130 attacks in the United States, and at least six deaths. An unrepentant Lopez-Rivera was serving a 70-year sentence when Obama set him free. The Congressional Black Caucus had repeatedly lobbied for Lopez’s release during the Obama years, and the commutation was met with praise from Democrats like Bill de Blasio, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, Bernie Sanders, and others.

Obama also granted clemency to hundreds of drug offenders he claimed were non-violent offenders who deserved a second chance, because of racism or something. It later came out that many of the people he released were actually violent offenders guilty of gun crimes. Obama granted more acts of clemency than any president since Truman, though he saved much of that executive use of power for the latter months and days of his presidency.

I’m sure there were some individuals Obama granted clemency to who legitimately deserved it, but who in their right mind believes granting clemency to an unrepentant terrorist or a traitor responsible for the biggest national security breach in history was just?

Roger Stone was caught up in a bogus investigation over bogus allegations of Russian collusion, but Democrats would rather see him in jail than the leader of a terrorist group responsible for the deaths of American citizens. In Obama’s system of justice, all it takes to above the law is to claim to be a victim of racism, an unrepentant terrorist, or transgender.


‘White Supremacy’ Is the New ‘Homophobia’

My purpose in this article is not to compare “white supremacy” to “homophobia.” Nor is it to deny the existence of white supremacists. Instead, my purpose is to expose tactics of intimidation, shaming, and manipulation. In that regard, “white supremacy” is the new “homophobia.”

Allow me to explain.

The term homophobia can be traced back to George Weinberg, “a psychotherapist who, in the mid-1960s, observed the discomfort that some of his colleagues exhibited around gay men and women and invented a word to describe it.”

As Dr. Weinberg explained, “I coined the word homophobia to mean it was a phobia about homosexuals. It was a fear of homosexuals which seemed to be associated with a fear of contagion, a fear of reducing the things one fought for — home and family. It was a religious fear, and it had led to great brutality, as fear always does.”

But in the years following, the terms homophobia and homophobe became weaponized, used as offensive weapons in the culture wars.

If you opposed same-sex “marriage,” you were a homophobe.

If you believed a child deserved a mother and a father, you were a homophobe.

If you affirmed the teachings of the Bible, you were a homophobe.

And if you were a homophobe you were also a bigot, a hater, a bad person, even a Nazi.

What fair-minded, decent person would want to described like that? And who wants to have a phobia?

It’s the same today with the terms “white supremacy” and “white supremacist.”

Initially, they were used to describe people who openly believed in the supremacy of the white race over other races.

In American history, they were slave traders and segregationists. They were the KKK of the past and the alt-right of today. (According to the ADL, “Alt right, short for ‘alternative right,’ is a repackaging of white supremacy by extremists seeking to mainstream their ideology.”)

White supremacists have also been antisemites, Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis, and members of the skinhead subculture.

White supremacy is ugly and bad, and no decent, fair-minded would want to be called a white supremacist.

That’s why these terms, just like homophobia and homophobe, have been weaponized today.

If you are a Trump supporter, you are a white supremacist.

If you differ with any part of the BLM movement, you are a white supremacist.

If you resist the mob, you are a white supremacist.

If you don’t believe in reparations, you are a white supremacist. After all, if you were not a white supremacist, why would you resist reparations?

If you don’t agree with tearing down statutes of Washington and Jefferson, you’re a white supremacist. After all, they owned slaves, so if you want to honor their legacy, you must be a white supremacist.

The “logic” is irresistible.

If you simply do not believe that America today is, by and large, a white supremacist nation, then you are a white supremacist. Your very denial of white supremacy is proof that you are a white supremacist.

And if you are a white Christian conservative, by default, you are a white supremacist.

On March 15, 2018, I tweeted, “I’m a little suspicious whenever left-leaning Christians raise charges against white evangelicals — who just happen to be strong social conservatives.”

In response, Ashton wrote, “This political right-wing Christianity isn't Christianity. It's white cultural supremacy shamefully using Jesus as a shield. Repent @DrMichaeILBrown and @ericmetaxas.” (For related accusations, see here.)

There you have it. If you’re a Christian-based social conservative you are part of the political right wing. And if you are part of the political right wing, you are a white supremacist. And since you claim to be a Christian, you are “using Jesus as a shield.”

To be sure, this is just one tweet. But it expresses common talking points. And it follows the standard strategy of trying to shame one’s opponents into silence.

In the recent past (and until today), the tactic was to brand everyone who opposed any facet of LGBTQ activism a homophobe. Do you have a problem with drag queens reading to toddlers? You’re a homophobe! You don’t want first-graders learning the definition of gender-queer? You’re a hater and a bigot. Homophobe!

Now, if you like President Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech, it’s because you’re a white supremacist.

Forget the fact that he said, “We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion, and creed.  Every child, of every color — born and unborn — is made in the holy image of God.”

Or that he said, “Our opponents would tear apart the very documents that Martin Luther King used to express his dream, and the ideas that were the foundation of the righteous movement for Civil Rights.”

Or that he said, “We must demand that our children are taught once again to see America as did Reverend Martin Luther King, when he said that the Founders had signed ‘a promissory note’ to every future generation.  Dr. King saw that the mission of justice required us to fully embrace our founding ideals.  Those ideals are so important to us — the founding ideals.  He called on his fellow citizens not to rip down their heritage, but to live up to their heritage.”

It doesn’t matter. The speech was delivered at the foot of Mt. Rushmore, a monument to white supremacy, by a white supremacist president. That says it all.

It doesn’t matter that Trump said that “we are the country” of black heroes like Frederick Douglass.  And the Tuskegee Airmen. And Harriet Tubman. And Jesse Owens. And Ella Fitzgerald.

Or that Trump announced that he will establish a National Garden of American Heroes, including “leaders of the abolitionist movement” and “the first all-volunteer African-American regiment of the Union Army in the Civil War.” Individual statues would be devoted to Douglass, King, and Tubman, as well as Jackie Robinson.

It doesn’t matter. If you support this National Garden, you are a white supremacist. Obviously!

Along with other commentators, I have pointed to the current misuse of the term “white supremacy.” But it’s important that we compare it to the use of “homophobia,” which continues to be an effective tactic for labeling and silencing those who differ.

Let’s catch this early. Let’s expose it. And let’s reserve the term “white supremacy” for those who deserve it.


Liberal’s All-Out Assault On Free Speech

In 1964, comedian Lenny Bruce was convicted in New York City on obscenity charges. It wasn’t for anything he did, it was for what he said…while doing stand-up comedy. It seems absurd now that an American could face jail time, as did the owner of the comedy club where he’d uttered the offending words (he was sentenced to four months in prison but died of an overdose while appealing the case).

What destroyed Lenny Bruce has ultimately destroyed itself - those words are now commonplace on basic cable television, and sometimes broadcast networks. The words were “banned” by social conservatives at a time when nearly everyone in power was what would have been called a social conservative. Societal norms were that you not only shouldn’t say those words in public, but you couldn’t.

There was no real pushback, by politicians anyway, against the restrictions. “Liberal” celebrities spoke out in support of Bruce, but his conviction stood until he was posthumously pardoned by then New York Governor George Pataki in 2003.

While the “conservatives” at the time were the ones imposing penalties on speech, it’s now the liberals seeking to do the same, and worse.

The idea of criminalizing so-called “hate speech” has been popular with college-aged liberals for a while now. While normal people laughed at those stupid college kids needing safe spaces when someone was on campus saying things they didn’t agree with and requiring “trigger warnings” before engaging in normal human conversations on subject that might cause them to need a diaper change, liberals were busy looking for an opportunity to use this childishness to their advantage. They found it…by becoming them.

Adults, chronologically anyway, began embracing what they should have grown out of and joined the outrage mob. Ideological corporations like CNN and MSNBC took up the cause of being the nation’s tattletale, tracking down people who’d posted things deemed impure of thought by the progressive left and exposing them, leaving it to the mob to inform employers in the hopes of ruining lives.

This Nazi tactic has been institutionalized by groups like Media Matters (which is somehow a tax-exempt non-profit) and Sleeping Giants. Sleeping Giants exists explicitly to enforce conformity of speech in public. They go after websites publishing unacceptable words and have damaged many by getting cowardly corporations to block out their ability to sell ads.

While it seems like these fascists are on the ascension, and in many quarters they are, they are also suffering from what always plagues leftists – greed and jealously.

Who would’ve thought there was so much money in advocating for the poor and oppressed? There is.

The admitted Marxists who run Black Lives Matter are raking in the cash. ANTIFA leaders aren’t missing any meals. Al Sharpton has a TV show in addition to his race-baiting extortion racket. All manner of grievance grifters are starting organizations and milking moneyed liberal suckers hoping to prove their purity, show that they’re “allies,” to avoid the rage for anything they may have said or done in the past that could be deemed unacceptable now. It’s a profitable scam, with tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars sifting through the hands (bank accounts) of these “leaders.”

But with money and power comes the greed to control it and the source of its power (the mob), and jealously over who gets that control and the attention that accompanies it.

A group of leftists signed a letter this week begging for permission to continue to speak their minds. They weren’t seeking approval to disagree in the way normal people think of the word -- they all agree with progressive dogma -- they just differ on tactics and degrees of government control. These “intellectuals” even framed their letter as an attack on President Trump, in the hope that their show of solidarity with purists would give them some leeway and forgiveness should they ever run afoul of the mob. It didn’t work.

The signatories were denounced as “rich, mostly white” apostates. In the tradition of begging for mercy, shown during the Maoist purge called the Cultural Revolution, the slightest pushback was met with denunciations. Some signatories renounced their own actions, which were little more than a pleading to be able to think.

Nothing in that letter was a defense of conservatives who experience violence when invited to speak on college campuses. None of it could have remotely be read as an embrace of free and open debate or a defense of the concept of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. It was the equivalent of asking to be allowed to support a “public option” in Obamacare rather than a full government takeover of health care – simply a matter of degrees.

That wasn’t good enough. If you are a 99.9 percent ally of the left, you are their 100 percent enemy. Even asking for the leeway to possibly, at some point in the future, be allowed to deviate on a potential issue (which was what the letter was really doing) was not good enough.

There were calls for firings, public pressure brought to silence signers, and a second letter, this one by other liberals arguing that the first letter deserves scorn because it wasn’t woke on the right issues.

Here are a few choice passages from this second, much longer, letter denouncing the ability to disagree, marginally, with fellow leftists:

“In truth, Black, brown, and LGBTQ+ people — particularly Black and trans people — can now critique elites publicly and hold them accountable socially; this seems to be the letter’s greatest concern.”

“The letter reads as a caustic reaction to a diversifying industry — one that’s starting to challenge institutional norms that have protected bigotry. The writers of the letter use seductive but nebulous concepts and coded language to obscure the actual meaning behind their words, in what seems like an attempt to control and derail the ongoing debate about who gets to have a platform.”

“The signatories claim that “books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity.” This could be a reference to American Dirt, a book by Jeanine Cummins — a non-Mexican white woman who recently began identifying as Puerto Rican — about a Mexican bookseller, which was roundly criticized by Latinx writers and authors like Myriam Gurba and Los Angeles Times writer Esmeralda Bermudez.”

These are just a few, but the whole thing is worthy of mockery.

It ends the way every progressive declaration does – in a woke-off, with participants trying to out-victim each other. “Their letter seeks to uphold a ‘stifling atmosphere’ and prioritizes signal-blasting their discomfort in the face of valid criticism. The intellectual freedom of cis white intellectuals has never been under threat en masse, especially when compared to how writers from marginalized groups have been treated for generations. In fact, they have never faced serious consequences — only momentary discomfort.”

Over at Sleeping Giants, a woman named Nandini Jammi announced she was leaving the fascistic sect she co-founded not because she suddenly realized they were everything they’d claimed to be campaigning against, she quit to form her own group because she wasn’t getting enough credit for their group’s “successes.”

The subtitle of her resignation column is, “How my white male co-founder gaslighted me out of the movement we built together.”

Jammi’s beef is about attention and power, probably money too. Someone’s funding this stuff. With her own group, she controls all of it.

Each of these intrasquad slap-fights are akin to the fight between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks – two sides of the same coin hoping to be the ones wielding the sword of power over everyone else. They want to be the arbiters of what is acceptable and what isn’t and be able to punish accordingly. They want to decide what can and cannot be said, and what happens if you cross their blurry, ever-moving line of conformity.

These are dangerous people, all of them. Their impulses and ideology are totalitarian. That they demand and obtain the ruination of heretics without the power government under their control, just imagine what they’d do with it.

People never believed Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and other leftists were as fanatical as the signs indicated they were or that they’d go as far as they did in the last century and were horrified to learn they were wrong. When someone tells you who they are, believe them – especially when it’s horrible.

Lenny Bruce would still be arrested today, not because his words were obscene, but because they offended the sensibilities of leftists. That they’re eating their own now, when they expect to obtain power in the fall, think about how hungry they’ll be if they win and the rest of us are the only meal around.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

15 July, 2020  

Lifting Lockdowns Not the Culprit Behind New Surge in Coronavirus Cases, Doctor Says

Massive protests and proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border explains the recent surge in coronavirus cases far better than lifting lockdowns, Scott Atlas, M.D., a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, told Fox News this weekend. Bucking various health experts who have defended the George Floyd protests in the name of fighting the “virus” of racism, Atlas ventured to state the obvious: that people “protesting, sharing megaphones, screaming” is a “setup to spread cases.”

Most of the new cases in the Southwest — in California, Arizona, and Texas — are sprouting up in counties closest to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“When you look in the southern counties of California, Arizona and the bordering counties of Texas — with the Mexico border — these are where most of these cases are really exploding,” Atlas told Fox News. “And then you look at the Mexico map and in Mexico, that’s where their cases are. Their cases are in the northern border zone states. And it turns out the timeline here correlates much more to the Mexico timeline of increasing cases than anything else.”

The doctor insisted that the lifting of lockdowns — the re-opening of various states — likely did not lead to the surge in new cases.

“When you really look closely at these so-called re-opening policies, whether it’s in Georgia or Florida or Texas, you know, we didn’t really see a big correlation of cases and hospitalizations from that,” Atlas said. “That’s really not true. That’s sort of some sloppy thinking, I think, again. We really … have to look closely at why these things are happening.”

He argued that “California didn’t really reopen. Yet they have cases coming up.”

Then Atlas touched on one of the main issues — the massive protests in the wake of the horrific police killing of George Floyd.

“They correlate mainly to two things — the big thousands and thousands of people with protesting, sharing megaphones, screaming. That’s a setup to spread cases,” the doctor said. “And also when you look at the analysis of the border counties, there’s a tremendous amount of cases coming over the border and exchanging with families in the northern Mexico states.”

The doctor warned that hospitals are getting crowded not just because of new cases but because hospitals are finally addressing “regular medical care” again. “We have locked that down before and that policy kills people. So we don’t want to go back to that,” he said. Indeed, the original lockdowns often put a halt to all “elective” surgeries, including heart surgeries and cancer treatments.

The doctor presented a two-part solution: “really protect the high risk in a more diligent way than we are, the very highest-risk group” and “increase the hospital capacity.”

Atlas’s remarks attributing the rise in coronavirus cases to the protests are important. Many left-leaning politicians, journalists, and even public health officials have insisted that the George Floyd protests and other mass demonstrations would not spread the coronavirus. Even last week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the George Floyd protests while urging New Yorkers to avoid “large gatherings.”

Left-leaning news outlets have condemned President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies as a vector for coronavirus spread while giving a pass to — or even celebrating — the massive protests.

Yet even Mayor Jenny Durkan (D-Seattle), in her order to finally clear out the antifa occupation of CHOP, admitted that the lawless rioters who seized six blocks of her city had indeed spread coronavirus.

If Democrats wish to convince Americans that they are the Party of Science (TM), they must at least acknowledge the obvious about the protests.


Are We 'Fragile' or Just Colorblind?

Two years ago, the nonfiction shelves had a bestseller by author Robin DiAngelo called White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Generally, a popular nonfiction book will stay on the bestseller lists for a few weeks, but recent events have given DiAngelo’s book a second bite of the apple.

As described there, the book “Refer(s) to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially… White fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue.” More succinctly, according to Dr. Jesse Lile — who wrote on the book last year at The Federalist — DiAngelo’s diatribe is “an inherently racist concept.”

Lile pointed out that the definition of white fragility — a term DiAngelo coined back in 2011 in the widely read International Journal of Critical Pedagogy — presents an automatic contradiction in terms: “According to [DiAngelo’s] definition, if a white person voices any disagreement, such disagreement may be categorized as argumentation (which is assumed to be fueled by anger, fear, guilt). Therefore it is one’s white fragility that causes him or her to disagree.”

“On the other hand,” Lile continues, “if a white person disagrees but doesn’t voice it (because he or she knows it will only draw such criticism and censorship), he or she remains silent or chooses to exit the conversation, and this too is due to white fragility. This means that whatever one does, he is termed fragile unless, of course, that individual agrees openly and submits to the label.”

And yet DiAngelo managed to create a 169-page bestselling book out of that one-note samba. Go figure.

It’s in that vein that we as a society can’t progress beyond the argument that, despite the fact that one is a subset of the other, it is only acceptable to proclaim “Black Lives Matter,” never that all lives matter.

While Dr. Lile can be dismissed as right-leaning (and therefore automatically racist), DiAngelo’s conundrum is receiving criticism from the Left as well. In a surprisingly critical look at the book (surprising since it was published in The Washington Post), reviewer Carlos Lozada noted, “Even as it introduces a memorable concept, ‘White Fragility’ presents oversimplified arguments that are self-fulfilling, even self-serving. The book flattens people of any ancestry into two-dimensional beings fitting predetermined narratives. And reading DiAngelo offers little insight into how a national reckoning such as the one we’re experiencing today could have come about. In a ‘White Fragility’ world, nothing ever changes, because change would violate its premise.”

Longtime leftist scribe Matt Taibbi was even more acidic, asking “Have the people hyping this impressively crazy book actually read it?” Then he drops the gloves: “DiAngelo’s writing style is pure pain. The lexicon favored by intersectional theorists of this type is built around the same principles as Orwell’s Newspeak: it banishes ambiguity, nuance, and feeling and structures itself around sterile word pairs, like racist and antiracist, platform and deplatform, center and silence, that reduce all thinking to a series of binary choices. Ironically, Donald Trump does something similar, only with words like ‘AMAZING!’ and ‘SAD!’ that are simultaneously more childish and livelier.”

In the end, though, the biggest problem with DiAngelo’s book is the premise that all who are white are guilty and must prove their innocence, which is impossible because they’ve never experienced being the innocent black person. Put another way, DiAngelo’s theory has no falsifiability. So much for Martin Luther King’s ideal of judging on character instead of skin color.

Sadly, we live in a time when Robin DiAngelo’s book is flying off the shelves, and demand for her services (which don’t come cheap — DiAngelo recently charged the University of Kentucky $12,000 for two hours of her seminar time) is at its peak. She may be laughing all the way to the bank, but we are all poorer for the Left having lent credibility to this rubbish.


The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

Bruce Bawer

If you had told me a couple of years ago that a book like Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism would be topping the bestseller lists and receiving accolades from all over, I wouldn’t have believed it.

And I’m speaking as someone who, in my 2012 book The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind, warned about the dire ascendancy of identity studies, which are far less about education than about ideological indoctrination and the promotion of social activism.

Although I focused in my book on Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Queer Studies, and Chicano Studies, I devoted a few pages to DiAngelo’s then-fledgling field, Whiteness Studies, which, given the current preoccupation with white racism, is now poised for prominence on a level outstripping even those behemoths.

There is a key difference between Whiteness Studies and other identity studies: to quote David Horowitz, “Black Studies celebrates blackness, Chicano studies celebrates Chicanos, women’s studies celebrates women, and white studies attacks white people as evil.”

Strangely, Whiteness Studies almost didn’t make it.

The election of Barack Obama made it difficult for practitioners to assert with a straight face that black Americans were still victims of brutal systemic white racism—the discipline’s principal claim. “Having Obama is, in a curious way, putting us behind,” Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era and now president of the American Sociological Association, admitted to CNN in 2012.

Charles Mills, a distinguished professor of philosophy at CUNY whose books have titles like The Racial Contract, Blackness Visible, and Black Rights/White Wrongs, agreed, lamenting that Obama’s election had fooled many white Americans into thinking the U.S. was now “post-racial.” Among those who had been “fooled” was the African American linguist John McWhorter, now an associate professor at Columbia University, who in a December 2008 article for Forbes pronounced that racism was no longer a serious problem in the U.S.

Had this view become more pervasive, it would have been disastrous for Whiteness Studies, whose argument for its own existence is that the poorest white Americans continue to enjoy social and cultural privileges that people like Oprah and Obama don’t.

Even if you’re a white person who’s been passed over in college admission, hiring, and/or career advancement because of affirmative action, you’re still, in the view of Whiteness Studies, more privileged than a black person who’s benefited repeatedly from racial preferences.

Fortunately for Whiteness Studies advocates, Obama’s presidency proved to be anything but post-racial. He never missed a chance to tell Americans that race relations remained deplorable. That gave Whiteness Studies a shot in the arm.

In February 2015, The New York Times reported that elite primary and secondary schools in New York had begun holding “white privilege” seminars and courses. After Obama’s departure from the White House, the annual White Privilege Conference has grown apace, and the lists of course offerings in Whiteness Studies have expanded.

If you sent your child to Northwestern, he or she could sign up for “Deconstructing Whiteness,” a “6-week caucus” in which “undergraduate students who identify as white” can explore their own “biases and white privilege.” At Duke, your son or daughter could have taken Whiteness 101, described as “an entry point for students who want to address racial privilege and how it operates in society.” Students were told about “the history of whiteness in America” and encouraged “to become anti-racism advocates for change.”

Not only are white Americans suddenly preoccupied with their own supposed racism; in an effort to understand and eradicate it, they’re turning to merchants of Whiteness Studies ideology. Writers such as DiAngelo, who rejects colorblindness as a goal and paints a picture of a world in which race is the alpha and the omega, and Ibram X. Kendi, who considers it racist to fret about fatherless black homes, black-on-black crime, or the black achievement gap (and has two books on Amazon’s top ten), have become fashionable. 

Whiteness Studies has become big business. That marks a major step down from ordinary identity studies, which at least recognize factors other than sex and race as determinative of individual status.

By contrast, Whiteness Studies, as a rule, sees the world in strictly black-and-white terms, even in circumstances where race is all but irrelevant.

Take the case of Peggy McIntosh, whose 1989 essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” is one of the field’s founding documents. The daughter of a top Bell Labs scientist, McIntosh grew up in the wealthy suburb of Summit, N.J., was educated at Radcliffe, the University of London, and Harvard, married the son of a former president of Barnard College, and has spent her career on college faculties. In short, she’s extremely privileged. But the nature of her privilege isn’t racial.

As William Ray observed in a 2008 essay for Quillette,

"McIntosh confuses racial privilege with the financial advantages she has always been fortunate enough to enjoy…One is left to wonder why, given her stated conviction that she has unfairly benefited from her skin color, there seems to be no record of her involvement in any charity or civil rights work…Nor, as far as I can tell, has she spent any time teaching the underprivileged or working directly to better anyone’s condition but her own. Instead, she has contented herself with a generous six figure salary, and has not shown any particular eagerness to hand her position over to a more deserving person of color."

What about black practitioners of Whiteness Studies? Typical of them is Yale’s Claudia Rankine,  who last year published a 6,000-word piece in The New York Times Magazine about her encounters with everyday racism.

Rankine explained that as she travels around the world “giving talks about my work,” she’s surrounded by white men. “That I was among them in airport lounges and in first-class cabins spoke in part to my own relative economic privilege, but the price of my ticket, of course, does not translate into social capital. I was always aware that my value in our culture’s eyes is determined by my skin color first and foremost.”

By contrast, Whiteness Studies, as a rule, sees the world in strictly black-and-white terms, even in circumstances where race is all but irrelevant.
If McIntosh chooses to portray her economic privilege as racial privilege, Rankine acknowledges her own economic privilege only to deny its impact on her social status, which, she insists, is solely race-determined.

Rankine’s examples of racism are astonishingly lame. At one airport, “a white man stepped in front of me” and she had to tell him to wait his turn. This has happened to everyone; but to Rankine, this incident, upon which she expatiates at length, reveals deep truths about “white privilege” and “white solidarity” in “white spaces;” to this man, she instructs us, her presence in his “white space” represented “an unexpected demotion.”

Even when a white stranger seated beside her on a plane chides the flight attendant for forgetting Rankine’s drink, Rankine interprets his act as a manifestation of “white male dominance.” She compares notes with him: although both have “Global Entry,” he never gets flagged by the TSA, while she’s sometimes stopped. One wonders: Are these the worst run-ins Rankine ever had with white people?

Rankine is Whiteness Studies: an exceedingly privileged person whose “work,” as she puts it, consists of pointing to ridiculously minor events in her lush life as evidence that she’s miserably oppressed. In fact, she owes her privilege to her ability to keep banging on about her oppression.

It’s a shabby way to make a living—mischievous, drenched in hypocrisy. It certainly has nothing to do with serious research, scholarship, or education. It’s social activism, based on grotesque misconceptions about how society works.

Such destructive nonsense has no proper place in an institution of higher learning. Like other identity studies, it’s a waste of time and money, having little or nothing to do with expanding a student’s knowledge of the world; but, even more than other identity studies, it’s malicious and dangerous, designed to sow hatred and intensify racial discord.


The Agenda of Black Lives Matter Is Far Different From the Slogan

Visit the Black Lives Matter website, and the first frame you get is a large crowd with fists raised and the slogan “Now We Transform.”

This agenda isn’t what most people signed up for when they bought their Spanx or registered for Airbnb.

The goals of the Black Lives Matter organization go far beyond what most people think.

Many see the slogan Black Lives Matter as a plea to secure the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans, especially historically wronged African Americans. They add the BLM hashtag to their social-media profiles, carry BLM signs at protests, and make financial donations.

Tragically, when they do donate, they are likely to bankroll a number of radical organizations, founded by committed Marxists whose goals aren’t to make the American Dream a reality for everyone—but to transform America completely.

This might be unknown to some of the world’s best-known companies, which have jumped on the BLM bandwagon. Brands like Airbnb and Spanx have promised direct donations.

True, others like Nike and Netflix have shrewdly channeled their donations elsewhere, like the NAACP and other organizations that have led the struggle for civil rights for decades. These companies are likely aware of BLM’s ­extreme agenda and recoil from bankrolling destructive ideas. But it requires sleuthing to learn this.

Companies that don’t do this hard work are providing air cover for a destructive movement and compelling their employees, shareowners and customers to endorse the same. Just ask BLM leaders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal TometiIn a
revealing 2015 interview, Cullors said, “Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.”

That same year, Tometi was hobnobbing with Venezuela’s Marxist dictator Nicolás Maduro, of whose regime she wrote: “In these last 17 years, we have witnessed the Bolivarian Revolution champion participatory democracy and construct a fair, transparent election system recognized as among the best in the world.”

Millions of Venezuelans suffering under Maduro’s murderous misrule presumably couldn’t be reached for comment.

Visit the Black Lives Matter website, and the first frame you get is a large crowd with fists raised and the slogan “Now We Transform.” Read the list of demands, and you get a sense of how deep a transformation they seek.

One proclaims: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear-family-structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another.”

A partner organization, the Movement for Black Lives, or M4BL, calls for abolishing all police and all prisons. It also calls for a “progressive restructuring of tax codes at the local, state and federal levels to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth.”

Another M4BL demand is “the retroactive decriminalization, immediate release and record ­expungement of all drug-related offenses and prostitution and reparations for the devastating impact of the ‘war on drugs’ and criminalization of prostitution.”

This agenda isn’t what most people signed up for when they bought their Spanx or registered for Airbnb. Nor is it what most people understood when they ­expressed sympathy with the slogan that Black Lives Matter.

Garza first coined the phrase in a July 14, 2013, Facebook post the day George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin. Her friend Cullors put the hashtag in front and joined the words, so it could travel through social media. Tometi thought of creating an ­actual digital platform, BlackLivesMatter.com.

The group became a self-styled global network in 2014 and a “fiscally sponsored project” of a separate progressive nonprofit in 2016, according to Robert Stilson of the Capital Research Center. This evolution has helped embolden an agenda vastly more ambitious than just #DefundthePolice.

The goals of the Black Lives Matter organization go far beyond what most people think. But they are hiding in plain sight, there for the world to see, if only we read beyond the slogans and the innocuous-sounding media accounts of the movement.

The group’s radical Marxist agenda would supplant the basic building block of society—the family—with the state and destroy the economic system that has lifted more people from poverty than any other. Black lives, and all lives, would be harmed.

Theirs is a blueprint for misery, not justice. It must be rejected.


Hollywood's identity crisis: Actors, writers and producers warn of 'reverse racism' in the film industry which has created a 'toxic' climate for anyone who is a white, middle-age man

As the wooden boards are taken down from shopfronts and studio lots grind slowly back to life, Hollywood is basking in an unseasonable heatwave.

The famous boulevards shimmer in 40C haze and warm Santa Ana winds fan the Beverly Hills mansions.

Shaken by #MeToo, paralysed by Covid-19, the $50 billion film industry is finally emerging from a four-month lockdown – only to find a new and very different world, where tension is rising as surely as the thermometer.

For if the very public Black Lives Matter protests have polarised America, the silent fallout has now reached Hollywood.

A revolution is under way. White actors are being fired. Edicts from studio bosses make it clear that only minorities – racial and sexual – can be given jobs.

A new wave of what has been termed by some as anti-white prejudice is causing writers, directors and producers to fear they will never work again. One described the current atmosphere as 'more toxic than Chernobyl', with leading actors afraid to speak out amid concern they will be labelled racist.

The first sign came with one of the most powerful black directors in Hollywood, Oscar-winning Jordan Peele – the man behind box office hits such as Get Out and Us – stated in public that he did not want to hire a leading man who was white.

'I don't see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie,' Peele said. 'Not that I don't like white dudes. But I've seen that movie before.'

As one studio executive responded privately: 'If a white director said that about hiring a black actor, their career would be over in a heartbeat.' Few doubt it.

Peele is more vocal than most about his hiring policy, but his outlook is increasingly widespread. Dozens of producers, writers and actors have spoken to The Mail on Sunday about the wave of 'reverse racism' pulsing through the industry.

speaking on condition of anonymity, the executive confirmed that the climate is now toxic for any 'white, middle-aged man in showbusiness'. Their careers, 'are pretty much over'.

They continued: 'We're only hiring people of colour, women or LGBT to write, star, produce, operate the cameras, work in craft services. If you are white, you can't speak out because you will instantly be branded 'racist' or condemned for 'white privilege'.

'The pendulum has swung so far, everyone is paralysed with fear by the idea anything you say could be misinterpreted and your career ended instantly. There are a lot of hushed conversations going on, but publicly everyone is desperate to be seen to be promoting diversity and too terrified to speak out. It's imploding: a total meltdown.'

The failure to nominate actors of colour for the Oscars has been seen as a stain on Hollywood in recent years. But there are fears that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction – and that the movie and TV industries are 'on the edge of a collective nervous breakdown'.

The latest buzzword in Tinseltown is 'Bipoc' – an acronym for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour – and 'Menemy', which means a white, male enemy of the diversity movement. 'Everyone wants to be able to check all the boxes for each new hire,' according to one Oscar-nominated insider.

'Directors normally have a say about who is in their project. Not any more. It's all about 'Bipoc hiring'. And it's coming directly from the heads of the studios who know their jobs are on the line. White middle-aged men are collateral damage. They are the Menemy.'

An actor in his 50s who has worked on some of the biggest shows of the past 20 years described how, during a recent audition, the casting director told him he was 'perfect for the part' but that they had been instructed to hire 'a person of colour' for the role. 'I get it, I really do,' the actor said.

'I understand Hollywood still has a long way to go before people of colour are properly represented on screen but how am I supposed to pay my mortgage, put food on the table? Everyone is terrified. And you can't say anything because then you set yourself up for public crucifixion.'

Dismissing such complaints, however quietly expressed, Selma director Ava DuVernay, now one of the most powerful black women in Hollywood, wrote on Twitter: 'Everyone has a right to their opinion. And we – black producers with hiring power – have the right not to hire those who diminish us.

'So, to the white men in this thread… if you don't get that job you were up for, kindly remember… bias can go both ways. This is 2020 speaking.'

It might seem an irony, then, that Hollywood has long been seen as the heart of liberal America. Leading figures from the industry have a reputation for lecturing the world on issues of human rights, diversity and the environment, from George Clooney's campaign to end the genocide in Darfur to Leonardo DiCaprio's missives on global warming.

But 'wokeness' is not only increasingly pervasive, it seems impossible to navigate. Killing Eve's Jodie Comer – celebrated for playing a bisexual assassin – last week faced intense criticism on social media for dating US sportsman James Burke, said to be a card-carrying Trump supporter, solely on the basis that he supported the President.

And Halle Berry had to apologise for 'considering' taking on the role of a transgender man in a forthcoming film project (instead of leaving it to a real transgender man).

Such is the culture shift that one studio is now preparing to shoot a film with an all-black cast and crew – a project which should normally give cause for celebration.

But when a white woman, a highly respected executive, was tasked to 'oversee' the production on location, she was told she would receive no on-screen credit. A source from the studio behind the project said: 'The kids making the film are fresh, great new talent. But they are kids. None of them are over 25. Most of them have never been on a movie set, let alone a movie which costs $20 million. They don't know the basics about how union rules work, about taking regular breaks or how long you can shoot in a day.

We need to protect our investment and make sure they get up on time and shoot what they need. Otherwise, we could have a multi-million- dollar train out of control.

'We're sending this woman, who is brilliant, to run things on the ground. But she won't get any title credit. People won't admit it, they can't admit it, but reverse racism is definitely going on. You could argue that it's a good thing, that this swinging of the pendulum so far the other way is only fair after years of white privilege. But at what cost? Surely it is best for everyone if people are hired on the basis of talent and ability? I can tell you, we are hiring people based purely on their ethnicity, gender and social-media profiles.

'If you are brown and female and gay then come on in. We're all getting diversity training. We're walking on eggshells during every Zoom meeting. It's got to the point where, if there's a person of colour in the meeting, we can't hang up before they do, for fear of it being considered offensive.'

One film editor who did dare to speak out has seen his career all but destroyed. Nathan Lee Bush, who has shot commercials for corporations such as Budweiser and Nike, criticised a post on a private Facebook group which read: 'I NEED AN EDITOR! Looking for Black Union Editors.'

Bush, who is white, described the advert as 'anti-white racism' and wrote: 'Look what we're asked to tolerate. The people openly and proudly practising racism are the ones calling everyone racist to shut them down, and anyone who dares to speak up is cancelled, their livelihood and dreams stripped from them by a baying mob.'

But voicing his concerns proved disastrous. One of Bush's main clients, the US restaurant chain Panera Bread, vowed never to work with him again and Bush has since been forced to apologise. 'I was literally just playing a video game when I casually wrote those words,' he said later.

'All I was trying to say is: 'Is the antidote to past discrimination based on skin colour more retributive discrimination based on skin colour?' I should have, however, realised this was not the time to bring it up. To anyone I offended, I'm very sorry.'

It has taken several tumultuous years for this perfect storm to gather. It began with the scandal over Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement. Now, as one insider puts it, the industry faces a 'tsunami which has turned everything upside down'. Some will say the change is overdue as, for all the warm words, Hollywood remains a privileged enclave.

Just five years ago, lack of diversity at the annual Academy Awards ceremony spawned the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

While last year's box office hits – films such as Black Panther, Get Out and Crazy Rich Asians – were a huge success, their casts, predominantly black and Asian, were not represented in the major acting awards. This year's winners – Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger and Laura Dern – were all white.

Then came Black Lives Matter spawned in the wake of protests over the killing of George Floyd in May after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Demonstrations were held across America, the Confederate flag was burned and 'racist' statues toppled – while along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, protesters mingled with the (predominantly white) stars immortalised on the sidewalks.

Studios including Disney, Warner Bros, CBS and Netflix have shared messages of support for the BLM movement, and have vowed to spend millions to promote diversity and inclusion. New York Times writer Reggie Ugwu said: 'The industry is in the clutches of an extremely public identity crisis in which the fresh, multicultural image it aspires to is undermined by the observable evidence.'

But while the intentions are undoubtedly good, many fear it will have the opposite effect. One Emmy Award-nominated white writer said: 'I've never known people so fearful. Houses are being put up for sale. People are moving out because even when things get back to normal after the pandemic there's going to be no work.'

'It's about fairness,' another writer said. 'I've spent the past three years mentoring young, black writers. But now I'm out of a job and it's nothing to do with my abilities as a writer. People think of Hollywood as a place where dreams come true but for people like me, it's turned into a nightmare.'

Do you believe in thought crime? In picking people off, one by one, till everybody agrees with just a single point of view? Each week, we see this world come a little closer.

Many of the victims are famous. But people who are not remotely well known are writing to me every week to say that they, too, now fear for their livelihoods.

Still more are keeping their heads down, fearing what will happen if they dare to speak out against the dogmas of the time and the new totalitarians who promote them.

There's been a steadily rising tide of conformity in recent years. Increasingly, we have been told what we are allowed to say, hear, see and know.

Swarming over the internet, the Left-wing mob is waging a campaign to silence dissenting voices and get free-thinking people removed from their jobs. And they have succeeded. Now the wokerati want to enter the bedroom and say who we may sleep with, too.

Take last week's attempt to 'cancel' the Killing Eve actress Jodie Comer. Her crime? Nothing she has said or thought.

Instead, the online trolls had been enraged to discovered who she is dating. The supposed culprit is an American lacrosse player called James Burke.

His crime? Mr Burke is alleged to be a registered Republican and a Donald Trump supporter. Cue an internet meltdown and a demand by activists that Comer be prevented from working again.

It's ludicrous. How can anyone demand that we restrict ourselves to partners who are in 100 per cent ideological alignment with the views of a Left-wing sect?

The bullying of inoffensive Jodie Comer might be a new low, but I've seen it coming for some time.

Two years ago, a 26-year-old racing driver called Conor Daly lost his sponsors because of something said in the 1980s. Daly competes in the full-blooded series run by Nascar – the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – which is much-loved in the southern USA.

Yet consider this: Daly was not alive at the time of the alleged offence. How had he mis-spoken before he'd even been born?

The answer is he hadn't. Daly lost his sponsorship because his racing driver father was alleged to have made a racial slur three decades earlier. And there was no reprieve.

This totalitarian instinct has crept up on us with amazing ease. It is the product of a vindictive Leftism which used only to reside on certain US university campuses.

Yet today, boosted hugely by the internet, this half-baked ideology, tribal and dogmatic, obsessed with the language of racial, sexual and gender politics, is running riot.

All decent attitudes, not least the British idea of fair play, have been driven out. It is perfectly normal to have a point of view and argue it. It is perfectly fine to dislike and even disdain some ideas. Who doesn't?

But no one has the right to get people fired or made unemployable because of views that differ from their own, let alone because of their partner's views.

That is neither democratic nor acceptable. It is fascism. Red fascism, but fascism all the same.

It is important we face up to this. Extremism can occur on all political sides. Every political and religious movement can become a focus for bitter people and radical malcontents. But in our age, the bullying totalitarians come from an ever-more assertive political Left.

Take last week's letter to Harper's magazine, signed by 153 artists, writers, and scholars. The letter called for an end to 'cancel culture' which sees online mobs trying to intimidate and 'de-platform' people simply because of their views.

As it happens, the letter was Left-leaning, including the compulsory attack on President Trump. The signatories, likewise, were almost all from the Left, suggesting little interest in 'reaching across the aisle'. But the sentiments were hard to disagree with – or so you might have thought.

The luminaries named at the bottom of the letter were picked off one by one. Did they know they were signing their name alongside the appalling 'transphobe' J. K. Rowling? Did they know a solitary conservative, George W Bush's former speechwriter, David Frum, had signed the letter? Soon enough, some signatories were apologising for signing in the first place.

At a certain stage of growing up, most of us come to understand that worldwide agreement with our own set of personally held views is not achievable, even if it were desirable. Which it isn't.

Today, however, we are dealing with an army of overgrown babies who never did make that realisation. They never did learn that the world is diverse in its opinions.

At university, they were told something positively dangerous: that people who disagree with them are not merely wrong, not merely ignorant, they are ill-informed bigots. And that, in order to achieve justice, these people must be cleared out of the way.

The world these activists are creating is vengeful and vicious, and increasingly dull.

Last week, a clip from a recent BBC comedy show, The Mash Report, was posted online. Even for those of us who long ago gave up bothering trying to find anything funny on the BBC, it was jaw-droppingly awful.

It included a segment of two unfunny comedians agreeing with each other in an unfunny manner.

At one stage the female comedian declared 'free speech is now basically a way adult people can say racist stuff without any consequences'. There was no hint of irony.

Wrong-headed certainty like this is ruining comedy like much else, as Ricky Gervais said just a few days ago. Who would dare to make a dangerous joke today? Much safer to make political sermons on the BBC under the guise of 'humour'.

Some people – especially if they are white and male – think the best way to get through this madness is to shut their eyes and swear allegiance to the big lies and presumptions of the time. They have seen how the mob comes for anyone who says something controversial.

Today, charities, public sector bodies and whole corporations are increasingly filled with people who have been told what to say and what to believe. Some have been told by their bosses what books they should read – a sinister development.

Last month I received a leaked letter sent out by an NHS boss in Birmingham. She had told those working under her to read four books on 'white privilege' so they could 'correct' their attitudes.

This is wrong, and people should stand against it while we have the chance. The woke warriors might like it were we to live in a dictatorship run by them. But we don't – not yet, at any rate.

We live in a democracy. One in which people have the right to voice their opinions and still have the right to date free-minded individuals who disagree with the mob.

The bullies want to stop the rest of us talking or thinking. It's time the rest of us answered back.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

14 July, 2020  

How has America got policing so wrong? 25 US police chiefs toured Scotland. What they saw left them visibly changed

This article promises more than it delivers.  The lesson learnt from Scotland seems to be more emphasis on de-escalation techniques. But such techniques are already a big part of police training.  Still, seeing examples of de-escalation working was probably beneficial.

What the article glides over is that America is an armed society whereas Scotland is largely a disarmed society. So the risk of an officer being shot is very different -- leading to much more caution in the USA.  An American cop can often not afford to give a villain a break

It is a late Saturday afternoon in Washington, DC, and Chuck Wexler, one of America’s leading police reform strategists, is at his office desk, a cotton scarf bunched around his neck ready for quick deployment as a face mask, a sign of these strange times.

The streets of America’s major cities have been awash with Black Lives Matter protesters for a fortnight. Incredibly, news has just broken that another unarmed black man has been shot in Atlanta and the city’s police chief will soon be forced to resign.

A former right-hand man to Boston’s police commissioner, Wexler has led the country’s foremost crime strategy think tank, the Police Executive Research Forum, for 26 years. He is one of the architects of the city’s Community Disorders Unit, known nationally for successfully prosecuting and preventing racially motivated crime, and is the man America’s top police chiefs call for advice when facing complex or volatile situations in their jurisdictions.

Wexler says that his experience working with police in England, Scotland and Ireland, where police are not routinely armed, was instrumental in his thinking — and continues to help him push for change in the attitudes of the US police hierarchy.

“It was something of an epiphany for me, around the time that the Ferguson (police shooting in St Louis) incident happened in 2014 … I was at a police recruit graduation ceremony in Scotland and I asked a young constable how he’d handle someone with a knife and not having a gun. There was a knife epidemic in Scotland at the time. He said, ‘No problem … I have my baton, my spray … first, I would step back.’ I thought how is it that when police handle it one way, someone dies, and in another place where they handle it differently they live.

“We knew from our studies that 40 per cent of the fatal officer-involved shootings in the US involved persons with knives, rocks, bricks — not guns. I went back to DC excited, full of ideas of how we could train our officers differently, emulate the UK models and see if we could reduce the 400 or so deaths that The Washington Post had identified could be prevented each year. Perhaps I was being naive, but nobody paid any attention. Then I had another idea: I thought I’ll show them first-hand.”

Wexler ended up inviting 25 of the top police chiefs in the US to come to Scotland with him to try to show them how officers in other countries were doing things differently. He insisted they pay their own way and made clear “there were no hotels or fancy food and they’d sleep in police barracks”. He says he watched attitudes visibly change during the trip, learning also that exposing the leadership group to each other led them see that they were already doing significant work individually in their jurisdictions but simply didn’t know it.

For example, he says, SWAT teams from Houston, Texas, already were working on “slow down” protocols, using time and distance to de-escalate. In New York, $21m had been deployed to retrain officers: “If I told them about Scotland, they were dismissive, but when we could show them other big US forces were responding and changing, they thought: ‘Well, we can learn from them.’ ”

Also accompanying Wexler to Scotland was American philanthropist Howard Buffett, son of respected investor Warren Buffett. Howard Buffett immediately took an interest in police de-escalation practices and, with the support of his foundation, PERF turned its guiding principles into a police training program called ICAT: Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics.

“Chuck Wexler pushes the limits so others can see the benefits of change,” Buffett told Inquirer.

Wexler has since led several major projects including a new strategy to encourage police to deal with the opiate epidemic in the US as a health rather than law enforcement issue.

PERF has campaigned to encourage all US police forces to adopt body cameras and has written new guidelines for police handling of sexual assault allegations along with a slew of recommendations and strategies aimed at fostering police-community trust. Last year, PERF developed a new protocol to help train officers to identify and defuse the toxic epidemic of “suicide by cop” situations in which people, often mentally ill and affected by drugs or alcohol, create violent stand-offs that lead to their death at the hands of the law.

Recent calls to ‘‘de-fund’’ the police, he says, are a reaction to the anger many citizens feel about the use of excessive force. PERF supports and has long advocated efforts aimed at reorganising resources, perhaps creat­ing different networks of first-responder teams to triage emergencies. In some cases, this has meant turning to mental health and drug and alcohol crisis teams first rather than police. But, Wexler says, police reform needs investment to accomplish real change.

In Camden, New Jersey, where 40 per cent of residents fall below the poverty line, officials with the help of PERF and its leadership disbanded its police department and replaced it with one under county control, guided by progressive policing techniques and leadership. This has resulted in a reduction in violent crime, and police were photographed marching alongside protesters in the wake of Floyd’s death.

Wexler says one of his team’s most difficult jobs is the constant review of body cam and citizen phone footage of violent incidents involving police. But the team uses the videos as teaching lessons in its ICAT program.

“The most awful part is to see someone’s home, to see their child there on the second floor, who has not taken their medication and is standing there with a knife and the officer is trained to issue orders and then, if necessary, use deadly force,” he says.

“Once again, I’m reminded of while I was in Scotland, when a constable asked me why a US officer had said that the most important duty he had was to ‘get his officers home safe at night’. She said to me: ‘Why do they say that? We would never say that. For us it is about getting everyone home safe at night. It’s a human right.’ ”

Floyd’s death, says Wexler, is a watershed moment and he wants to ensure that the momentum for change in US policing is not lost in the wake of the chaos and suffering created by the COVID-19 crisis.


The spectre of censorship and intolerance stalks today’s left

Says moderate Letist, Nick Cohen, writing in  "The Guardian":

The attacks on the signatories of a letter fearing the future of free speech proved the letter’s point

The usual Leftist view

The task that appears most urgent today is the destruction of the authoritarian right. Not because the authoritarian right is more malicious than the authoritarian left, but because it holds power across the west. Liberal-minded people making an informed calculation must surely decide to avoid distractions and concentrate their fire on the enemy that matters. Or so a seductive argument goes.

If you are an American voter, your sole priority should be the removal of Donald Trump. If you are British, you must concentrate on building a viable opposition to a Conservative party whose neglect and stupidity have wrecked the economy and killed tens of thousands. The slogan “no enemies to the left” is never more appealing than when it can be dressed in language that appeals to those who pose as tough-minded.

The usual view is wrong

But it won’t wash, and not just because the motives of those who scour the web to find evidence of the sins of others are those of the inquisitor and stool pigeon. In the world of practical politics, refusing to confront leftish authoritarianism leaves you with two options. You will either lose and deserve to lose, for you should have known that every time the far left has taken on the authoritarian right in the west it has lost. Or, and this may be worse, you will win and repent your failure to check that your new bosses were worthy of your trust.

According to the supposedly tough-minded view, signing a letter to Harper’s protesting at the stifling of debate can only weaken “our side”. A defence of the signatories should begin by noting that they were telling the truth when they complained that “writers, artists, and journalists … fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement”. Note the precision. The signatories were not saying it is wrong for people to lay into others: freedom of speech is the freedom to criticise or it is nothing. Their point was that many live in fear of campaigns to destroy them if they don’t mouth the right opinions.

I’m surprised such a statement of the obvious could be controversial. No honest observer can deny that the dominant factions in the modern progressive movement reject freedom of speech. They punish opinions they disagree with when they have power; and the more power they have, the more they will punish. You may think the censorship justified, but to deny its existence is absurd. Tellingly, few bother to deny it now. Occasionally, you can see them raise the exhausted excuse from the grave that only the state can censor. On this reading, Islamists killing cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, or CEOs firing whistleblowers, are not censoring because they are not civil servants. More popular in the past week has been the claim that writers with the reach of Margaret Atwood, Noam Chomsky, JK Rowling and Salman Rushdie cannot take a moral stand because no one can suppress their thought – even though their critics give every impression of wanting to do just that.

Panic at the fear of denunciation and bad faith posing as rectitude can be found across the west
Leave aside their belief that ad hominem and ad feminam attacks can refute an argument, and consider that the worst of the old elite directed its attention to silencing the marginalised because it knew that their voice was often the only weapon the latter possessed. Then look around. Now as then, people without access to lawyers and influential friends suffer the most.

To take an example of that encapsulates the cowardice of our times: the Washington Post, a newspaper I admire and have written for, went to enormous lengths to destroy the life of one Sue Schafer, a middle-aged woman who made a mistake. She turned up to a Halloween party at the home of one of its cartoonists in blackface. She did not mean to insult African Americans but had come dressed as a ghoul in the guise of a conservative morning show host who had defended whites blacking up. The joke didn’t work, as several guests forcefully told her. Because the words “Washington Post” and “blackface” could be said in the same sentence, and because several guests looked as if they might go public two years later, the paper gave 3,000 words to the “story” – the amount of space normally reserved for a terrorist attack or declaration of war. Her employer, a government contractor, fired her. Everyone’s back was covered except Schafer’s and, frankly, she was a woman of no importance.

Panic at the fear of denunciation and bad faith posing as rectitude can be found across the west. A comparison with the right shows how deep the decay has reached. Conservatives know there are thoughts they cannot whisper – Brexit is a mistake comparable to Munich and Suez, anti-black and anti-Muslim racism are tangible evils, poverty makes a nonsense of equality of opportunity. Likewise on the liberal left, the canny careerist takes care to avoid being caught on the “wrong side” of arguments about trans and women’s rights, leftwing antisemitism, and bigotry in ethnic minorities. The canniest decide the best course is to say nothing at all.

The British ought to know the dangers of thinking there are no enemies to the left. Because Labour members failed to confront the crankery and racism of the Corbyn movement, they drove millions into Boris Johnson’s clammy embrace. I doubt the same will happen in the US. Joe Biden has his faults, but he is no one’s idea of a commissar. That is not to say there won’t be a heavy price to pay. The nationalist right is determined to police opinion. In Hungary and Poland, the media are becoming its propaganda organs. Trump incites hatred of reporters who tell the truth about his administration. Johnson threatens the independence of the BBC and Channel 4. Yet they can pose as the champions of free expression because the loudest strain in progressivism has embraced censorship. The practical danger in giving up on freedom of speech is that the day will come when you find you are lost for words just when you need them most.


Terrified Academics Withdraw Study Showing White Cops Aren't Killing More Blacks

The authors of a 2019 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that examined “917 fatal police shootings of civilians from 2015 to test whether the race of the officer or the civilian predicted fatal police shootings” was withdrawn by the authors after being cited by noted conservative author and essayist Heather MacDonald.

Psychologists Joseph Cesario of Michigan State and David Johnson of the University of Maryland say they stand behind their work, which concludes there was “no significant evidence of anti-black disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by the police.” But they objected to its “misuse.” MacDonald cited the study in congressoinal testimony last September and again in an article for City Journal. But it wasn’t until her June 3 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that cited the study when there were “complications” on campus and outraged wokesters demanded that the profs be flogged — or something.

Wall Street Journal:

My June 3 Journal op-ed quoted the PNAS article’s conclusion verbatim. It set off a firestorm at Michigan State. The university’s Graduate Employees Union pressured the MSU press office to apologize for the “harm it caused” by mentioning my article in a newsletter. The union targeted physicist Steve Hsu, who had approved funding for Mr. Cesario’s research. MSU sacked Mr. Hsu from his administrative position. PNAS editorialized that Messrs. Cesario and Johnson had “poorly framed” their article—the one that got through the journal’s three levels of editorial and peer review.

Mr. Cesario told this page that Mr. Hsu’s dismissal could narrow the “kinds of topics people can talk about, or what kinds of conclusions people can come to.” Now he and Mr. Johnson have themselves jeopardized the possibility of politically neutral scholarship. On Monday they retracted their paper. They say they stand behind its conclusion and statistical approach but complain about its “misuse,” specifically mentioning my op-eds.

“Publish or perish” is now passe. It’s “Publish and pray you don’t offend the snowflakes” that matters now.

The authors don’t say how I misused their work. Instead, they attribute to me a position I have never taken: that the “probability of being shot by police did not differ between Black and White Americans.” To the contrary, I have, like them, stressed that racial disparities in policing reflect differences in violent crime rates. The only thing wrong with their article, and my citation of it, is that its conclusion is unacceptable in our current political climate.

You want to tell the spineless academics that they deserve whatever they get from the mob but the realities of today’s academic world make conforming to orthodoxy an absolute career necessity. Even at the cost of being intellectually dishonest and groveling before the mob, it’s not like liberals are bucking a conservative academic environment.

If that were the case, the liberal professor could dramatically hand his resignation to the president of the university, make some grandiose statement about academic freedom, and then make the rounds of Sunday talk shows and even late-night TV, all in preparation for the blockbuster book deal he would sign.

I have faith that the small cadre of conservative thinkers and writers on and off campus will keep the spirit of open scholarship alive. Otherwise, the history of the world will look a lot different in 100 years than it does to us today.


And Then They Came For the Left. And the Left Began to Eat Itself

What’s become known as “The Chomsky Letter” that was published in Harper’s and criticized those on the wacky, loony left for going cancel-crazy has generated a subculture of opposition that should mystify anyone with more than two brain cells in functioning order.

The Spectator columnist Cockburn marvels at the stupidity on display. He takes as an example Matthew Yglesias, a longtime liberal commentator, who signed on to the Chomsky letter.

The amusingly named Emily VanderDerWerff, a trans woman ‘critic’ at Vox, went furthest fastest. She penned a hilariously obnoxious letter to her editors, which she then generously excerpted on social media.

‘I don’t want Matt to be reprimanded or fired or even asked to submit an apology,’ she wrote. ‘Doing any of the above would only solidify, in his own mind, the idea that he is being martyred for his beliefs.’

As someone who is sometimes a woman, Cockburn would like to take their hat off to VanderDerWerff for her absolute masterclass in passive aggression. She should be promoted, perhaps given Yglesias’s job, if only to solidfy, in her own mind, what Vox stands for.

“Some acts require retribution; this is not one of them.” Such compassion for the man she just threw under the social media outrage bus!

Indeed, many liberals appear to be talking out of one side of their brain while the other side says something totally different. They’re not against free speech! Until they are.

The letter caused conniptions elsewhere. Among a certain sort of blue-check progressive, it became instantly fashionable to accuse the letter writers of being predictable and – drum roll – fragile! Karen Attiah at the Washington Post, for instance, ventured that ‘too many folks…are afraid of losing power. Exhibiting symptoms of status anxiety because too many have refused to keep up with the times. Coddling intellectual laziness and harmful rhetoric is no longer a moral virtue.’

Gee — remember those days when coddling intellectual laziness was a moral virtue? Feels like yesterday. Cockburn can only sympathise with the poor sap at the Post who has to edit Karen’s copy.

“Keep up with the times” — as if principles were a matter of style, not substance. If liberalism is truly a “riot of conceits” as R. Emmet Tyrell penned in his book The Liberal Crackup, and not a set of immutable beliefs, then in 20 years or so, today’s cancelers will, themselves, come under attack for being insufficiently woke — or whatever the equivalent will be then.

Too bad I probably won’t live to see it.

One of the signers of the letter, Jesse Singal of Reason, points out that those objecting to the sentiments in the letter are not liberals.

The leftist writer Freddie de Boer’s take nicely clarifies the obvious: The people furious at this letter largely have genuine ideological problems with liberal norms and laws regarding free speech. “Please, think for a minute and consider: what does it say when a completely generic endorsement of free speech and open debate is in and of itself immediately diagnosed as anti-progressive, as anti-left?” he wrote. (Emphasis his.) “There is literally no specific instance discussed in that open letter, no real-world incident about which there might be specific and tangible controversy.” He goes on to explain, accurately: “Of course Yelling Woke Twitter hates free speech! Of course social justice liberals would prevent expression they disagree with if they could! How could any honest person observe our political discourse for any length of time and come to any other conclusion?”

To the “fragile left,” this too, shall pass. It’s not even a blip on the monitor. But perhaps, if there be honest historians with access to forbidden texts in 100 years, I wonder what they will say?


Exposing the Leftist Myths About Race, Racism, and Justice

As an addendum to my column this week, “The Left’s Deadly Blame-Shifting Charade: ‘Racist Cops,’” what follows are two of the best current rebuttals to contemporary leftist assertions about racism. Both are compiled by Ben Shapiro and his team of researchers.

Regarding “Leftist Myths About Race and Racism In America,” Shapiro notes: “Racism is the greatest divide in American history. To deny the nasty history of racism in America would be foolish. From slavery to Jim Crow, black Americans were treated brutally, their opportunities withheld from them in immoral, evil, unconstitutional fashion. And racism isn’t restricted to black Americans, of course — Japanese Americans were interned during World War II, Chinese Americans were treated horrifically in the late 19th century, Jews were victims of discrimination.”

However, Shapiro adds: “But the Left suggests that because America has been replete with racism and bigotry historically, that means that racism pervades American society now. That’s not only untrue, it’s a cruel lie. Furthermore, we cannot acknowledge the racism that swamped America for two centuries without also acknowledging the central natural law principles that eventually led Americans to fight against that racism — that led hundreds of thousands of white Americans to die for the freedom of their black brothers in slavery, that led whites to march with blacks and legislate on behalf of blacks to end Jim Crow, that has created the most successful multiethnic democracy on the planet. Insulting our fellow Americans by calling them racists and blaming them for the problems of the past, or slurring America as a country with racism baked into our DNA, isn’t just counterproductive, it’s false.”

In short: “Myth: All white people are inherently beneficiaries of ‘white privilege.’ Fact: The Left’s ‘white privilege’ narrative is false, used to divide and silence, and promotes racist assumptions. …

Myth: Social justice must be pursued. Fact: Social justice is injustice. …

Myth: Talking incessantly about racism decreases racial inequality. Fact: Exaggerated focus on "institutional” racism exacerbates racial inequality. …

Myth: ‘Diversity is our strength.’ Fact: Commonality of values is our strength. …

Myth: Disproportionate minority poverty is a result of institutional racism. Fact: Poverty in America is chiefly a result of decision-making, particularly about marriage and education. …

Myth: Government was required to end racial discrimination in private business. Fact: Government was required to enforce racial discrimination in private business. …

Myth: Affirmative action benefits minorities. Fact: Affirmative action is racist and causes higher dropout rates and serious problems in hiring. …

Myth: Minorities are turned down for loans at banks because of color. Fact: Banks turn down loans over financial factors.“

Regarding ”Leftist Myths About Criminal Justice,“ Shapiro notes: "In an effort to explain away continuing wealth and lifestyle differentials between racial groups, the Left has hit on a new narrative: the criminal justice system is to blame.

The logic states that minority men are being rounded up for little reason by a white-run criminal justice system dedicated to the eradication of a burgeoning minority middle class. If it weren’t for the dastardly system, all would be well.

As we will see, that’s simply not the case. Criminals are being arrested nearly universally because they are criminals. There is no widespread evidence of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. The best solution to criminal justice imbalances remains obeying the law and inculcating the value of doing so to children.”

In short: “Myth: The criminal justice system is racist. Fact: Individuals commit crimes, and criminals are not equally dispersed by race. …

Myth: To stop crime, we need to stop ‘mass incarceration.’ Fact: To stop crime, we need to incarcerate criminals. …

Myth: If you let criminals out of prison, they don’t go back to crime. Fact: A huge majority of criminals go back to crime once released. …

Myth: A huge number of people in prison are there because of drug possession. Fact: Only a tiny portion of those in prison are there for drug possession. …

Myth: More police officers endanger young minorities. Fact: More police officers protect young minorities. …

Myth: ‘Stop and frisk’ is racist. Fact: ‘Stop and frisk. statistically undertargets minorities, prevents crime and saves minority lives. …

Myth: Police pull over black people for 'driving while black.’ Fact: Police pull over people for speeding. …

Myth: Unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was murdered in cold blood by a white cop while holding up his hands and saying, ‘Don’t shoot.’ Fact: Michael Brown strong-armed robbed a store and attacked a cop, who shot him in self-defense. [He did not hold his hands up and say, ‘Don’t shoot.’] …

Myth: Trayvon Martin was shot by a racist white man for the crime of being black. Truth: Trayvon Martin was shot by a Hispanic man who was acquitted after witness testimony and physical evidence showed he likely shot Martin in self-defense.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

13 July, 2020  

Confederate Monuments: The Problem With Politically Correct History
Confederate monuments are an expression of Southern pride in what Southerners did to preserve their independence.  They represent a view that the North/South war was an unjust war and that Southern resistance was heroic.

Whether or not you agree with that view it is surely a view that Southerners are entitled to express.  It is an instance of free speech.

There is still a substantial body of Southern commentators who deny that the Confederates were defending slavery.  They saw the war as a war for independence.  In his famous letter to Horace Greeley, Lincoln himself admits that independence was the issue and slavery was not.

So the idea that independence was the issue is far from a absurd view.  And, absurd or not, it is entitled to be expressed in various ways.  Tearing down Southern monuments silences that expression

See more on the North/South war here

Malcolm X, as a member of the Nation of Islam, preached anti-Semitism and called the white man “devil.” After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X dismissed the murder as a case of “the chickens coming home to roost.”

In Spike Lee’s biographical drama, “Malcolm X,” a white teenage girl approaches the angry activist and says: “Excuse me, Mr. X. Hi. I’ve read some of your speeches, and I honestly believe that a lot of what you have to say is true. And I’m a good person, in spite of what my ancestors did, and I just — I wanted to ask you, what can a white person like myself who isn’t prejudiced, what can I do to help you … further your cause?” He stares sternly, and replies, “Nothing.” She leaves in tears.

But Malcolm X changed. He visited Mecca, where he saw people of all colors worshipping together. It changed the way he thought. He repudiated his anger toward whites after discovering that people were more similar than they were different. He renounced the racist ideology of the Nation of Islam, and in doing so knowingly signed his own death warrant. He was assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam.

Alabama Gov. George Wallace, in 1963, proclaimed, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” at his inauguration, and later stood in a doorway at the University of Alabama to bar blacks from entering. Nine years later, Wallace took a would-be assassin’s bullet, leaving him paralyzed. Older, wiser and chastened by the attempt on his life, Wallace changed. Wallace, one day and without invitation, went to a black church where 300 black clergymen were holding a conference. He asked to speak. Wallace asked for forgiveness. He said to the church leaders, “I never had hate in my heart for any person. But I regret my support of segregation and the pain it caused the black people of our state and nation. … I’ve learned what pain is, and I’m sorry if I’ve caused anybody else pain. Segregation was wrong — and I am sorry.”

The voters in Alabama returned the former governor to office, but this time, he received black support and made several black appointments. The damage Wallace did through his actions and rhetoric was profound, and despite the assassination attempt, he lived long enough to undo some of it.

Even a Confederate general can change.

Confederate Gen. William Mahone, one of General Robert E. Lee’s most able commanders, owned slaves before the Civil War. But after the war, he led an interracial political movement. He organized and became the leader of the Readjuster Party, the most successful interracial political alliance in the post-emancipation South. In 1881, Mahone was elected to the U.S. Senate, at the time split 37-37 between Republicans and Democrats. But Mahone aligned with the Republicans, the party founded two decades earlier by Northerners trying to stop the expansion of slavery.

From 1879 through 1883, Mahone’s Readjuster Party dominated Virginia, with a governor in the statehouse, two Readjusters in the U.S. Senate and Readjusters representing six of the state’s 10 congressional districts. Under Mahone’s leadership, his coalition also controlled the state legislature, the courts and many of the state’s coveted federal offices.

The Readjusters established what became Virginia State University, the first state-supported college to train black teachers. Democrats described the hated Readjusters and Republicans as advocates of “black domination.”

What about Lt. Gen. James Longstreet? One of Lee’s favorite generals, Longstreet not only became a Republican after the war and served in Republican administrations but also fought against the racist White League in New Orleans.

After the Civil War, Longstreet moved to New Orleans, where he urged Southerners to support the Republican Party and endorsed their candidate, Ulysses S. Grant, for president in 1868. He commanded blacks in the New Orleans Metropolitan Police Force against the anti-Reconstruction White League (a paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party) at the Battle of Liberty Place in 1874. He was shot and held captive for several days. He accepted political appointments from Republicans, and even dared criticize Gen. Lee. For this “betrayal,” white Southerners pronounced Longstreet a “scalawag” and “leper of the community.”

Where does this viewing of history through the prism of modern-day feelings end? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once gave advice to a gay young man that today would be heresy. King suggested he battle his feelings, strongly implying that the young man needed therapy and sexual reorientation. Today, that kind of advice gets one branded a Neanderthal. President John F. Kennedy, frustrated with a high-profile Democrat who hadn’t supported his election, threatened to banish him by giving him an obscure ambassadorship to one of the, as Kennedy put it, “boogie republics” in Africa. Tell that to Black Lives Matter.

History is complicated. And history requires perspective and understanding, something sadly lacking in those who seek to erase history by imposing today’s standards of right and wrong.


Forget face masks and fear - let's relax and accept the risk


Every day I still see unhappy, frightened people cringing from human contact. They have been terrified almost out of their minds by foolish government propaganda, and the most basic trust, the very heart of civilisation, has been destroyed.

This is another side of savage, unforgivably cruel rules which have prevented grandparents from touching their grandchildren, or forbidden people to visit close relatives, even spouses, in their dying weeks.

Millions of us know this is all the most appalling rubbish, based on wild, wrong guesses and twisted figures, and one day soon I hope an icy public inquiry will condemn those responsible for the grave, incompetents they are.

But in the meantime what are those of us who have not been cowed into submission to do?

I suggest that we are allowed to register as ‘relaxed’. We will sign declarations that we will not sue anyone or claim on anyone’s insurance if we catch Covid-19. We regard it as a minor risk of life, to be coped with.

In return, employers, shops, pubs, restaurants, churches, swimming pools and transport operators should (if they wish) ask staff if they too are prepared to declare themselves ‘relaxed’. Or they could recruit new staff who are.

Where this happens, all the footling palaver of visors, muzzles, plastic screens, incessant obsessive use of hand-sanitiser and ‘social distancing’ will be abandoned.

Trains can have special ‘relaxed’ carriages where refreshments are served and baleful, doom-laden announcements are turned off. The upper decks of buses will be ‘relaxed’, or perhaps one entire bus in three (till we see what the take-up is). Airlines can offer entire ‘relaxed’ flights.

Everyone else can carry on, shrouded in gowns like the staff of a mortuary, muzzled in face-nappies, hiding from each other on footpaths and in doorways.

If this appeals to you as a way of life, if you think it is a proportionate reaction to the Covid-19 virus, please carry on behaving in this fashion. I have no desire to stop you or interfere with your strange habits.

And then we will see what happens. My guess is that the people who register as relaxed will be healthier, as well as far happier, than those who don’t.

Since the only other way for this madness to end is for Mr Johnson to admit he made a terrible mistake, which is hardly likely, I offer this as a serious, if slow, route out of our dangerous and damaging national madness.

In return for it, even I am prepared to submit to tracking and tracing while the experiment lasts.


How woke warriors cancelled common sense: Stars such as Jodie Comer, Halle Berry and Florence Pugh are deemed to have transgressed the moral code of a self-appointed, self-righteous mob but it's not too late to fight back

During most wars, there comes a point when the seemingly invincible attacking army faces a setback. It doesn’t mean the war is over. Often quite the opposite.

They may have become used to a string of victories on the battlefield and taken the end result for granted. They underestimate their enemy. That’s when the defending army seizes back the initiative. Which is where we are in Britain today.

But hold on, you will protest, you are not even aware of this war. True, we are in deadly combat with a very nasty virus, but so is every country on the planet. So what exactly is at risk in this new war?

It is, quite simply, something that is fundamental to every democracy that has ever existed. Something without which we cannot sleep easy in our beds at night. It is free speech.

I hear your protests. This is not, for instance, North Korea. We can say pretty much anything we like about our own Dear Leader.

If we think he is a thorough-going rogue who should not be trusted with the nanny, let alone the country, we are perfectly entitled to say so.

It may mean we won’t be getting an invitation to Downing Street for cocktails and canapes once the lockdown is fully lifted. We’ll almost certainly be ‘cancelled’ — a loaded word, more of which later. But neither will we hear the hammering on the door at 4am that means we are about to be hauled off to the gulag.

No, it’s more insidious than that. And it is entirely possible that you and your loved ones have nothing to fear.

But free speech is not something you hand out in little parcels to those who have earned it. Every single citizen is affected by it one way or another.

The victims in this war are those who are deemed by the attacking forces to be insufficiently ‘woke’. That, dear reader, may very well include you.

‘Woke’ did not appear in the Oxford English Dictionary in its new guise until three years ago. The definition applied to it was ‘alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice’.

So it’s good to be ‘woke’, eh? It hardly needs stating that we should all be ‘alert’ to those offences. But language is an infinitely complex concept. Words are constantly changing their meanings, or sometimes being added to our vocabulary or dropped.

The Elizabethans had no need for ‘television’. There’s not much call these days for ‘codpiece’.

The problem with this new word is who decides whether you or I are ‘woke’ enough, and what are the motives of those who pass judgment on us?

This is where I get worried. I really don’t know who ‘they’ are. What I do know is that they are out there and they are causing real harm to our precious right of free speech. And I am not alone.

On these pages you will see pictures of some of the victims in this war. One of them is the Oscar-winning film star Halle Berry. She had accepted a role in which she would play a transgender man, but in this new ‘woke’ world that is no longer allowed.

She was attacked by the transgender lobby and has now withdrawn. Her ‘apology’ this week contained some scary language.

It was redolent of the sort of thing you might hear from a prisoner convicted of making critical comments about the leader of a totalitarian regime:

‘As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role . . . I am grateful for the guidance and critical conversation over the past few days and I will continue to listen.’

Here is an intelligent, experienced actor who has played many different roles in her career abasing herself before the court of political correctness. Or ‘wokeness’.

The court ruled that only if she were herself transgender could she play the part and she meekly accepted that ruling.

You may remember Eddie Redmayne winning many plaudits when he played a transgender woman in the film The Danish Girl five years ago. It is unimaginable that any casting director would risk such a casting decision today.

Or Benedict Cumberbatch playing Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician regarded as the father of modern computing. He was credited with shortening World War II by two years for helping crack Germany’s secret Enigma code.

Turing was, of course, a gay man. Cumberbatch is not. Could he have played Turing in today’s climate? I doubt it.

Dustin Hoffman was a passionate believer in method acting and he enjoyed recalling an exchange he had with the legendary Laurence Olivier.

Hoffman told him he was exhausted because he’d had to film a scene in which his character was supposed to have been up for three days with no sleep.

‘So what did you do?’ Olivier asked. ‘Well,’ said Hoffman, ‘I stayed up for three days and three nights.’

Olivier: ‘Why didn’t you just try acting?’

Very funny, but Olivier was making an important point.Great actors are great because they make us suspend our disbelief. For the hours they are on stage or screen they become the character they are playing.

But perhaps I should have used the past tense in that sentence, now that we find ourselves in this new ‘woke’ world? As I write I can hear the tumbril sent to drag me off to the court of politically correct thinking.

So let me make the point that I am not defending some of the hideous practices of the past: refusing to use disabled actors, for instance, even when they were perfect for the part, or ‘blacking up’ white men to play black men.

They have, mercifully, been abandoned. And it has happened because we collectively decided that sort of prejudice had no place in a modern, liberal society.

Sometimes it took longer than it should have, but we got there in the end.

What’s happening today is different. There is a small group of self-righteous individuals who see themselves as the new guardians of our morality. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself.

Emmeline Pankhurst is a shining example of a woman who helped right a terrible wrong. She and her fellow suffragettes spoke for a vast number of women (and many men) who put themselves in the front line.

What is deeply disturbing about today’s self-appointed guardians of our morality is that so many of them often operate in the shadows, hiding behind the anonymity of social media. Others flaunt their virtue-signalling.

And instead of fighting back or ignoring them when they are at their most hysterical and absurd, one institution after another rolls onto its back and begs forgiveness.

No less a figure than Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer fell foul of the woke warriors when he appeared on a radio programme last week and offered some mild criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He suggested that their message might be getting ‘tangled up’. He pointed to their calls to ‘defund’ the police. It was nonsense, he said. Who could argue with that?

Well, they could. And they did. They announced that he ‘had no right to tell us what our demands should be’.

Starmer’s response was to announce that the Labour Party was introducing ‘unconscious bias training’ for everyone and he would be leading by example.

You might wish to form your own judgment on that by logging on to one of the websites offering such training. There are a lot of them.

Many of the woke warriors are undoubtedly the same people who did their damndest to stifle debate when they were at university — those who ‘no-platformed’ speakers who took a different view from them, forgetting that the essence of a university education is to be faced with different views.

They even targeted Germaine Greer, the bravest of fighters in the great battle to win equal rights for women.

 Sadly, most university leaders caved in to their demands. No student need worry that they might ever be confronted by material that could offend their sensibilities.

They must, at all costs, be protected. If an historical fact is uncomfortable or causes them even the slightest distress, then let us erase it from history.

And their power stretches beyond the ability to censor. It includes the damage the ‘warriors of wokeness’ can do to the reputations and careers of their victims.

So now let me return to that other word that they have traduced — one which most of us had hought we understood perfectly well. Cancel.

If someone is deemed to have broken the rules set by the court of political correctness, the individuals may find themselves ‘cancelled’. I

It’s a form of cultural boycott. It sends a warning signal to any hapless producer or editor that the individual is somehow tainted and should be given a wide berth.

It happened in January to the actor Laurence Fox after he appeared on Question Time. He’d made the point that the way Meghan Markle had been criticised by the media was not rooted in racism.

Not unreasonable, you might think, given that her engagement to Harry had been received rapturously when it was announced.

But the woke warriors went for Fox and his work dried up.

It also happened to my old friend Alastair Stewart after he’d sent a text to a black political adviser that included the words ‘angry ape’.

It had been in a quotation he’d used from Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure and there was no suggestion that he’d used it as an insult. But judgment was passed and Alastair was forced to resign from ITN.

It’s even happened to Jodie Comer, the brilliant actor who plays Villanelle in the hit BBC TV series Killing Eve.

She’s been cancelled this week not because she is a sadistic multi murderer like her character but, far worse, because she is dating an American lacrosse player who happens to be a supporter of the Republican Party.

Not that Comer was the first actor to fall foul of the witch-hunt. Only last month, Florence Pugh, of Little Women fame, apologised for her so-called ‘white privilege’ after a picture surfaced of her with cornrows, a type of hairstyle favoured in the Caribbean.

And, of course, it happened to the biggest-selling author in Britain, J. K. Rowling. Her offence was to take issue with an article that referred to ‘people who menstruate’.

She argued that biological sex is real. That, according to the Twitter mob who tore her apart, made her ‘transphobic’. Even Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who’d never been heard of until Rowling created Harry Potter, joined in the inquisition.

One of the most frightening aspects of this whole process is that powerful people and institutions you might have expected to stand up to the mob seem too scared even to challenge them. It is the posture of the pre-emptive cringe.

But there is some hope, as I suggested earlier, that the defenders of free speech are marshalling their forces at last.

J. K. Rowling, Margaret Atwood and psychologist Steven Pinker are among 150 leading authors, academics and thinkers who signed a letter this week condemning what they call ‘cancel culture’ for stifling freedom of expression in higher education, journalism, philanthropy and the arts.

Another signatory is Sir Salman Rushdie. If any author knows what it is to face threats from those who are offended by your writing it surely is him.

They write about ‘a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments’ that weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favour of ideological conformity.

The writers acknowledge that the ‘forces of illiberalism’ are gaining strength throughout the world.

But what makes this letter so powerful coming, as it does, from such a wide range of thinkers, is the acceptance that there is only one way to defend real democracy. And that is to speak out against those who threaten it.

That may seem so obvious it’s scarcely worth saying. But we have only to look at what has been happening in this country over the past few years to see that the great and the good have cowered in the face of intimidation by the ‘woke warriors’.

If we do not fight back, the threat to our democracy is real. As Rowling and the other signatories put it, ‘the free exchange of information and ideas’ is the lifeblood of a liberal society.

And it is becoming more and more restricted with every passing day.


The violence of intolerance is damaging our children

“You have to show that you are with Black Lives Matter, otherwise your mates will reject you and label you a white racist,” a 15-year-old schoolboy informs me. His friend, 16-year-old Lucy, struggles to express her feelings when she tries to explain her reaction to the pressure to fall in line. She supports BLM but has decided not to go to any of the protests.

When her friends discovered her absence, they let rip and attacked her behaviour. “I really resent being shamed and forced to apologise for not going on the demo,” she says, before adding: “Maybe I was wrong not to show that I care.”

Sadly, the global protest movement following the brutal death of George Floyd is proving to be no more tolerant than its target. I knew everyone from business leaders to celebrities had come under intense pressure to demonstrate they were on the right side of the angels, as far as the BLM protests were concerned. But I was not aware of the peer pressure faced by children to fall into line as well. A group of mothers told me their children appeared to be involved in a competition to demonstrate they were “more aware than their peers”.

Last week I talked to a mother who described how her 11-year-old daughter was at a loss to know how to respond to the pressure she faced from her peers and others on Instagram to include a BLM hashtag on her posts. “Can I just post a cake that I baked on Instagram?” she asks. Suddenly the normal form of peer pressure has become politicised to the point that some children experience it as an ultimatum to toe the party line. When young children are faced with the demand to conform or else, it becomes evident that cultural and political polarisation has acquired an unprecedented dimension.

The peer pressure to conform is not only politicised, it is also institutionalised. There are now organised groups of teenage vigilantes in the US who are devoted to the mission of exposing and punishing other children whose online posts they perceive as racist or insensitive. Anonymous Instagram accounts devoted to exposing supposedly racist comments made by fellow students have emerged in the US. Within a few hours one such account, launched at San Marcos High School in California, attracted about 900 new followers.

That children are under pressure to conform is not surprising given the speed with which so many prominent adults appear to have experienced an overnight conversion to the BLM cause. One of the most significant outcomes of the BLM protests is the rapidity with which its message became endorsed by virtually every powerful cultural institution in the Anglo-American world. Especially on social media, the failure to demonstrate solidarity with BLM is often regarded as akin to religious heresy.

Almost overnight, celebrities and cultural institutions — and ­especially the media — have declared to atone for the sin of racism by literally getting on one knee and begging for forgiveness.

I have stopped counting the number of films and television shows that have been cancelled since global media company HBO decided to pull Gone With the Wind temporarily from its HBO Max streaming service. This announcement was swiftly followed by the removal of TV comedy Little Britain because of the use of blackface by its main characters. Then UKTV declared it would ­remove an episode of Fawlty Towers. After a public outcry against this silly decision, UKTV decided to back-pedal and allow the episode to be shown.

The so-far bloodless cultural revolution is not just directed at censoring scenes that could be interpreted as racist, it is also hostile to productions that portray the police in a positive light. That is why Paramount Network announced the popular program Cops is no longer on its network. It also indicated that it did not have “any current or future plans for it to return”. It seems the main ­problem with Cops is that ­instead of depicting the police as a ­collection of brutal thugs, they were portrayed as people doing a difficult job.

There must be a small army of censors working out which song or film is likely to offend the sensibility of protesters. Changing words and getting rid of films is one way of communicating to the world that you too are metaphorically taking the knee. In this indecent haste to whitewash society, some will find just about anything offensive and little can be taken for granted.

The new Inquisition

Censorship by powerful cultural organisations is just one symptom of what is fast becoming an institutionalisation of intolerance. Although the different groups associated with BLM represent themselves as a movement for diversity, they appear to be zealously hostile to the expression of a diversity of viewpoints. As far as many supporters of BLM are concerned, there is only one version of events. The statements of prominent individuals and personalities are carefully vetted, and those who express a sentiment that is not in line with the BLM world view face becoming ostracised, fired from their jobs or shut down.

It only took a complaint made by Sasha Exeter, a black influencer, against Jessica Mulroney, who hosts a show on Canadian TV, for Mulroney to be sacked. Her crime was to tell Exeter she did not want her platform to be used to support BLM. After a series of angry exchanges, Exeter stated that as a result “she was paralysed by fear”. The TV network bosses responded by showing Mulroney the door. Not even the fact she is a close friend of ­Meghan Markle saved her.

In recent weeks, journalists who were not on message have come under fire from colleagues who are keen to demonstrate they have re-educated themselves and have become active allies against white privilege. The New York Times led the way, forcing its opinion page editor, James Bennet, to resign over allowing an opinion piece written by a pro-Trump ­senator to be published. Many of Bennet’s colleagues have adopted the view that the paper’s opinion pages should be confined only to writers who share their view.

The crusade to cleanse media outlets of heretics has enveloped other outlets. In many instances, groups of reporters and editors have demanded colleagues be fired or reprimanded for their complicity in “problematic” editorial or social media decisions.

The forced resignation of Stan Wischnowski, the executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, illustrates the febrile atmosphere of a witch-hunt that prevails in sections of the media. He was forced out after approving the headline “Buildings matter, too”. In recent weeks, media outlets Variety, the Intercept and Vox faced mini revolts.

Sadly, the targets of this inquisition often resemble the victims of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in that they roll over and apologise for their sin. So when Variety editor-in-chief Claudia Eller was placed on leave after a Twitter exchange about minority hiring, she issued a ­humiliating apology: “I have tried to diversify our newsroom over the past seven years, but I HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH.”

The institutionalisation of groupthink within sections of the media and its promotion within wider culture have become most stridently vocal in its cultivation of white deference. The cultivation of deference — which is captured by the demand to acknowledge your privilege — is underpinned by the presumption that whiteness is a form of original sin.

According to the authors of this notion, all white people are racist. This point is forcefully argued in Robin DiAngelo’s influential bestseller White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism. As far as DiAngelo is concerned, the real problem is not white people who are hardcore racists, the real threat is posed by those “colourblind” whites who are convinced they are not racists. That is why forcing colourblind whites to confess to their racism has become transformed into a ­ritual of self-abasement.

The demand for white deference coexists with the assumption that the only constructive contribution white people can make to the debate is to acknowledge their guilt and re-educate themselves.

In the discussions surrounding the global protests there has been very little discussion on the significance and impact of an increasingly culturally sanctioned narrative of white guilt. Yet the influence of this narrative is entirely insidious. It represents a fatalistic acceptance of racism as an eternal condition of existence. If indeed people are born racists, there is little that can be done to eradicate it. Worse still is its impact on young people.

Children and young people are easy targets for the guilt-tripping moral entrepreneurs. Even at the best of times, when faced with pressure to fall in line to the latest fashionable narrative, young ­people can often succumb and conform.

Today, matters are made worse by the fact the cultural institutions and celebrities that ­influence their lives incite the young to feel guilty. The really important battles at present are not between protesters and the police but the war for the hearts and minds of our children.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

12 July, 2020  

Explaining the Secularity of Academics: Historical Questions and Psychological Findings

Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, below, gathers a lot of evidence for his thesis. His basic point is that smart young men are less religious and are also attracted to the academic life.

So it is not a university background that makes you an unbeliever.  It is being an unbeliever that makes you an academic.

A small problem with that is that belief is widespread and the average IQ of religious and irreligious people is about the same.

I am more inclined to see personality factors as the influences at work.  For instance, academics are more impressed with their own wisdom so are egotistical.  And as egotists they have no need for a God.  Belief in God is humble -- you know how little you know. But many intellectuals think they know it all

I have a larger discussion of why elites tend Left here


Religious beliefs are the products of natural, intuitive human thinking, and are shared by most humans. Academic research, or science, is the product of counter-intuitive, unnatural psychological processes, and the resulting concepts are beyond the reach of most. It is not surprising that religion has been around for possibly more than 100,000 years, while academic research is a recent historical development. Over the past century, individuals who make academic research their life’s work have been themselves the subject of academic studies which looked at their social origins, conscious ideals, beliefs, and psychological traits. The findings regarding religiosity have been striking. Academics, especially eminent ones, turn out to be quite irreligious. This is especially striking for academics in the United States, where a culture which is manifestly the most devout among First World nations has produced a sub-culture, which is a mirror image of itself. How can we explain the secularity of academics? Research indicates that it has to do with a process of selection and self-selection, which starts in childhood and channels individuals who are highly intelligent, critical, independent, and confident towards the academic world. Contrary to what some might think, it is not getting a Ph.D., which contributes to individual secularity; it is young secular individuals who are highly likely to commit themselves to an academic life


Meet Jodie Comer's new man: Killing Eve star's lover is dashing lacrosse player from wealthy US family who grew up in a sprawling £1.2million mansion

She takes out her enemies in increasingly sadistic fashion as bisexual assassin Villanelle in Killing Eve.

Now, however, actress Jodie Comer has found herself the victim after hundreds of social media users called for her to be 'cancelled' – the modern equivalent of being chased with burning torches.

The Bafta-winner's apparent crime is that she is said to be dating an American supporter of Donald Trump's Republican party – despite playing a bisexual character in the hit BBC drama.

One Twitter user claims to have evidence that Miss Comer, 27, is in a relationship with James Burke, a lacrosse player whom she is said to have met in Boston.

Mr Burker, 26, was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, in 1994, to parents James and Christine Burke. He has two younger brothers, Brendan and Brady.

And he studied communication arts and sciences at university, according to his player profile.

He is now believed to have moved to Liverpool, where the actress lives. A picture posted online shows the pair on a boat with a group of people. Another depicts them posing with their heads together.

And the actress was recently pictured wearing a Boston Laxachusetts tracksuit top, Mr Burke's current lacrosse club in Boston, Massachusetts. A video, reportedly from Miss Comer's account but tagged with Mr Burke's Instagram username, shows her singing in the back of a car.

Screenshots from his alleged Instagram account – which has now been deactivated, as has his Spotify music account, which had a playlist titled Jodie's Songs – appeared to show he followed Mr Trump.

Official records in the US show that Mr Burke, from Boston, is a registered Republican voter – although many members of the party strongly oppose Mr Trump.

Some Twitter users – who seem, without any evidence, to equate anyone who follows Mr Trump to be also a Trump supporter and also agree with everything he says – have called for Miss Comer to be 'cancelled', claiming that her public support for the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBT rights are at odds with Republican beliefs.

One tweeted: 'Jodie Comer if you're reading this, you can't play a gay character and call yourself an ally when you're dating a Republican, you disgusting piece of s***.'


SCOTUS Delivers Wins for Religious Liberty

In two 7-2 rulings yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered significant wins in defense of Americans’ First Amendment religious freedoms. In the first and most high-profile of the cases, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, SCOTUS ruled that the Trump administration’s expansion of an exemption for religious organizations to the contraception mandate in ObamaCare was legal for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. This expansion had allowed employers, on the basis of religious conviction and conscience, to opt out of covering contraception in their employees’ health-insurance plans.

In writing the majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas observed, “For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother. But for the past seven years, they — like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today’s decision — have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Pennsylvania had argued that the Trump administration had failed to follow the appropriate guidelines when it expanded ObamaCare’s religious-exemption clause, an opinion the Court rejected. As Justice Thomas explained, “We hold today that the Departments had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption. We further hold that the rules promulgating these exemptions are free from procedural defects.”

The White House praised the ruling. “As the Supreme Court has previously stated,” said Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, “protecting the ability of people to worship and live according to the dictates of their conscience is part of ‘the best of our traditions.’ The Court’s decision today carries forward that noble tradition.”

Unsurprisingly, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing the minority opinion, blasted the decision as harmful to women’s rights: “Today, for the first time, the Court casts totally aside countervailing rights and interests in its zeal to secure religious rights to the nth degree. Destructive of the Women’s Health Amendment, this Court leaves women workers to fend for themselves, to seek contraceptive coverage from sources other than their employer’s insurer, and, absent another available source of funding, to pay for contraceptive services out of their own pockets.”

Apparently, Ginsberg is outraged that in a free country, people often have to pay to obtain a service. Ginsburg’s understanding of “rights” clearly does not comport with that of the Founders nor the Constitution, but we digress.

In a move that further raises the stakes come November, Joe Biden declared that should he win the election, “I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling.”

The second decision — and arguably the more consequential of the two — protects the right of churches and religious schools to be exempted from federal employment discrimination laws. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito stated, “Judicial review of the way religious schools discharge those responsibilities would undermine the independence of religious institutions in a way the First Amendment does not tolerate.”

In the wake of the Court’s abysmal ruling on Title VII, in which it redefined the term “sex” in order to expand anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation, this latest ruling helps to provide needed protection for churches and religious institutions so they can freely employ those they deem consistent in maintaining and upholding their religious practices and convictions.

These are both wins for Americans, no matter their religious or non-religious convictions, as they both support individual Liberty over and against the heavy hand of government.


Few female engineers? It’s a matter of choice

The Australian Academy of Sciences recently changed its definition of a woman. According to the new definition, anyone who identifies as a woman is a woman, regardless of their biological sex.

This definition has the clear advantage that people who don’t identify with their biological sex will now be recognised as their preferred gender, an obvious social justice issue.

However, with this new definition of woman, the academy is tacitly stating that biological sex is of no significance. Yet, at the same time, the academy is concerned with the under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. So much so that to encourage women into STEM careers, the academy has fellowships, grants, and prizes designated for women only.

The existence of such fellowships, grants and prizes suggests that biological sex does matter and that we can encourage more women into STEM careers if we provide the right incentives.

So, does biological sex matter and can it help explain women’s career choices? Or is it irrelevant in general and to female under-representation in STEM?

To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the data on female under-representation in STEM. Is it the result of insufficient high-quality and affordable childcare? Probably not.

Countries with nearly free childcare, such as Sweden, Finland, and Norway, have some of the lowest number of women graduating from STEM subjects.

Is it due to pervasive inequality between men and women? Probably not. Countries that score the lowest in terms of gender equality, such as United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Turkey and Tunisia, have some of the highest number of female STEM graduates.

Is it prejudice against women in the sciences? Probably not. Women are not under-represented in STEM careers across the board. Far fewer women graduate with a PhD in engineering, mathematics, computer science and physics, but they slightly outnumber men in the biological sciences, and vastly outnumber men in the social and behavioural sciences, and the health sciences.

So why do women, on average, tend to make different choices than men?

To answer this question, we need to look at the ways in which males and females have been shaped by their evolutionary past.

The evolutionary success of all living organisms is measured by the number of offspring they produce that live to reproduce themselves. In other words, the more reproductively viable offspring one produces, the more successful one is in evolutionary terms.

Whatever heritable characteristics individuals have that allow them to produce and raise successful offspring will then be passed on to these offspring. In most animals, males and females differ in the ways they can achieve reproductive success.

Take elephant seals. During breeding season, male elephant seals spend most of their time fighting other elephant seals. The bigger and fatter the male, the more likely he is to defeat all other males in his group. Why does he care? Because only the winner will be able to mate with the females in the group. Almost every fertile female will mate and produce offspring, but most male elephant seals will produce none and a small minority will sire a large number of offspring in the few years in which they are the dominant male.

Biologists use a measure called effective population size to determine whether the number of reproducing males and females is equal in a population of organisms. In our elephant seal example, the effective population size of females is much larger than the effective population size of males.

But what does that have to do with humans? We don’t conduct our affairs like elephant seals, but the effective population sizes of men and women show a very similar pattern to elephant seals.

If we use Tinder as an example and count the number of times men swipe right on women versus the number of times women swipe right on men, humans look a lot like elephant seals. Almost all women on Tinder are swiped right by at least a few men, but many men are never swiped right at all, as the vast majority of female choices are aimed at a very small number of males.

Because the number of men and women is roughly equal, it follows that the reproductive success of men is far more variable than the reproductive success of women. For every man with multiple partners, there will be many men who have no partner at all. These differences in reproductive potential affect the manner in which males and females can increase their reproductive success.

For a man, the number of children he can conceive is constrained only by his access to fertile women. For a woman, the number of children she can rear to adulthood is constrained by her capacity and willingness to engage in repeat pregnancies. And rearing a human child is not an easy task. The primary reason for humanity’s position at the top of the food chain is our large brain. But that outsized brain also comes with associated costs.

Because of their large heads, human babies are born prematurely compared with other animals, as otherwise they couldn’t pass through the birth canal during birth. As a result, human babies take much longer to reach independence than the offspring of other apes.

Women, therefore, have been shaped over evolutionary time by their ability to successfully care for dependent children. Our ancestral mothers typically achieved this difficult task with lots of help from friends and family. So, men and women achieved reproductive success in fundamentally different ways. The most competitive men had the highest chance of leaving behind large numbers of children, typically in the care of their mothers. But the most successful women were those who forged strong social relationships with others to assist in rearing and providing for her children.

Female menopause is thought to have evolved so that older females shift from producing their own offspring to assisting with their grandchildren. Given the duration of parental care needed, an older female may not live long enough to rear her own child. Males have no such constraints.

In many human societies the presence of grandmothers increases the reproductive success of their children. For example, a study of pre-industrial French settlers in the St Lawrence Valley, Canada, during the 17th and 18th centuries showed that the presence of grandmothers increased the number of children born to their children. Our evolutionary history accounts for the physical differences we see between men and women. As in elephant seals, men are typically larger, more muscular (particularly in their upper body) and have higher levels of testosterone, all of which increase their probability of success in male-male competition.

Women typically have broader hips, more fat deposits on their buttocks, thighs, and breasts, and higher levels of oestrogen, all traits that increase their probability of bearing and raising a child. Our evolutionary history also had an effect on our brain, the seat of our mind. We all know the cliche. Men are great at reading maps but need women to find their car keys. In reality men and women are, on average, good at different things. STEM careers that are dominated by men all share a need for high levels of proficiency in mathematics. On average, boys are slightly more proficient than girls in mathematics. In contrast, girls outperform boys in verbal skills in every one of the 67 countries studied. Perhaps as a consequence of this difference in profiles, girls who are exceptional at mathematics also tend to be exceptional verbally. Boys gifted at mathematics tend to be less gifted verbally.

This means that girls who perform well in mathematics have many more career options open to them than boys who perform equally well in mathematics. The end result is that fewer women pursue math-intensive STEM careers than men, but this effect emerges only among women who are gifted both verbally and mathematically. Women who are better mathematically than verbally are just as likely as men to pursue a career in STEM.

Finally, even in STEM disciplines dominated by women, women remain under-represented at the full professor level, particularly at elite universities. Only a small percentage of PhD graduates in the sciences will ever become a full professor, which means that to get to the top a researcher needs to be highly competitive and willing to put in long hours. Surveys of highly gifted men and women show that the sexes differ in their priorities in this regard. Highly gifted men are more willing to work long hours and get more satisfaction out of work than highly gifted women. When asked what is most important in their career, these men are more concerned than women about getting a large salary and the ability to take risks In contrast, these women are more concerned about working no more than 40 hours a week and having strong friendships and time to socialise. Where the men get satisfaction from being the best in their field, satisfaction among these women is more tightly linked to the quality of their social relationships.

Clearly there are plenty of women who are highly competitive, and lots of men who value social relationships more than prestige. We have focused on average differences between the sexes, even though men and women are often more similar than they are different. But average differences matter. Most people seem to have no problem appreciating that men are typically better at weightlifting than women, but when it comes to career choices we are loath to consider biological differences between men and women.

If gender is a social construct and biological sex is insignificant, then society shouldn’t care that there are so few female engineers. But clearly society does care. Should our social goals of creating more female engineers trump our scientific goals of understanding why most women don’t want to be engineers? Ignoring our biological make-up can exacerbate the problems we’re trying to fix. Such an approach can also lead to an enormous waste of resources as we spend huge sums of money trying to recruit women into fields that appear not to interest them. Biological sex is real, it matters, and acceptance of that fact has no bearing on our social justice goals.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

10 July, 2020  

Defend America’s History—and Retake Its Institutions

The country hasn’t passed from great to evil in 20 years. But elites have failed and betrayed us.

At the end of the 20th century, the US had won World War II and the Cold War, liberated half the planet from history’s most dehumanising ideologies, advanced a free-market capitalism that had led more humans out of poverty than any economic system ever devised, and given the world the richest bounty of intellectual, cultural and scientific capital since the Enlightenment.

Americans could — and did — look at themselves and the nation they had built with immense pride.

Twenty years later, much of the country’s political leadership, almost its entire academic establishment, most of the people who control its news and cultural output, and a good deal of its corporate elite view the US as an irredeemably malignant force for enslavement and oppression, a uniquely evil power founded on an ideology of racial supremacy. These Jacobins demand that Americans repudiate most of the nation’s history, tear down the icons of its creation and engage in a collective cultural expurgation of its sins.

Only four years ago, senator Bernie Sanders, a man not noted for a surfeit of patriotic fervour, visited Mount Rushmore and pronounced: “It really does make one very proud to be an American.” On Friday (Saturday AEST), when President Donald Trump made the pilgrimage, we were told that he was appearing, in the words of a CNN reporter, “in front of a monument of two slave owners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans”.
If the self-image of Americans a generation ago was that of a smiling GI receiving flowers from liberated peoples, today we’re told it’s a police boot stamping on a human face forever. What happened?

We can hope that the present mania is in part one of the baleful consequences of the lockdown lunacy. If you’ve been stuck at home mainlining the distortions of the media for four months, your tolerance threshold for fiction has doubtless been raised.

But the roots of the current insanity are more profound than the inch-deep scholarship of the sophomores now in control of America’s newsrooms.

With hindsight, it’s clear that the US in 2020 was ripe for the kind of mindless Maoism that demands fealty to its gospel of ideological cleansing. The nation has reached a combustive moment. The rot in America’s cultural institutions was spread for more than half a century by a self-loathing cultural establishment. Now it has matured amid a public malaise induced by 20 years of elite-driven political and economic failure that has undermined faith in the system that made America great.
The cultural corrosion has been evident for decades. Perhaps what we should have seen better were its consequences:

generations of students fed a steady diet of critical race theory and postcolonial gender studies — all delivered in safe spaces protected by an intolerance of dissent — poured out of college campuses into the world, waving their white-fragility texts like little red books.

But they graduated into an America that has been convulsed by two decades of unaccustomed failure and loss. In 20 years, wars and foreign-policy failures in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere; financial breakdown; and now the pandemic have exposed a hollow political leadership.

All the while the capitalism that had produced so much opportunity for so many has become increasingly a vehicle of power for a few. Megacompanies in finance and technology have grown unchecked. The modern woke corporation publicly disdains and derides the values on which the nation — and its profits — were built, even as it pursues global opportunities at the expense of American communities.

It won’t be enough to reassert America’s great historic virtues. It will require weakening the power of the totalitarians on campus, ensuring fair access for all voices on tech platforms, holding to account the lawless mobs defacing and defaming the nation’s legacy.

But it will also require addressing the rot in American capitalism, reining in the power of bloated monopolies and ensuring that corporations prioritise Americans over their globalist, progressive agendas.

This is personal for me. I came to this country as that great American century was closing. Like millions of immigrants I was drawn by the irresistible allure of a nation forged in pursuit of a universal ideal it had actually succeeded in achieving. Of course, we knew there was a sharp tear in America’s vibrant fabric, a legacy of racial prejudice that mocked the ideals of the founding. But the nation’s demonstrated ability to advance beyond that, to mend and improve itself, makes America even more admirable.

This country hasn’t passed from great to evil in two decades. America hasn’t failed. But Americans have been failed — misled by inept and deceitful political leaders, deserted by predatory and mercenary corporate chiefs, and, above all, betrayed by a parasitic cultural elite that exploited American freedom to trash the country. It isn’t America’s history that needs to be repudiated. It’s its present.


JK Rowling, Margaret Atwood among 150 authors and academics united over fear for free speech

JK Rowling and Margaret Atwood have united to voice concern over the deterioration of public debate despite finding themselves on opposite sides of the transgender row.

They are among 150 leading authors, academics and thinkers who signed a letter published on Tuesday that condemns “cancel culture” for stifling freedom of expression in higher education, journalism, philanthropy and the arts.

Along with Noam Chomsky and Sir Salman Rushdie, they warned that a “stifling atmosphere” was restricting the “exchange of information and ideas” and public debate.

Atwood, 80, who has twice won the Booker Prize, has expressed support for transgender campaigners, saying “biology doesn’t deal in sealed either/or compartments”.

Rowling, 54, has angered trans rights activists, most recently by describing hormone treatment as a “new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people”.

Earlier, she took issue with the use of the phrase “people who menstruate” to describe females, and wrote an essay clarifying her fears that women risk being degraded as a political and biological class. Rowling’s position has divided the literary world. The cast of the Harry Potter films and some fan sites have distanced themselves from her.

Atwood tweeted a link to a YouTube video “addressing what was said by JK Rowling in her essay”, adding: “Gender and sex are two different things.”

Tuesday’s letter in Harper’s magazine reads: “The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”

It continues: “It is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms.

“Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organisations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes.”


Police Unions and Officer Privileges

On the evening of June 28, 2008, Officer Paul Abel of the Pittsburgh Police Department was celebrating his wife’s birthday. During the celebration, he consumed four beers and two shots of liquor. After leaving the party, Abel claimed to have been sucker punched in his car while stopped at a stoplight. He retrieved his Glock pistol from the trunk of his car and drove in pursuit of his attacker. Driving around the block, he spotted Kaleb Miller, a person he knew from the neighborhood and believed to be the one who punched him. Abel then pistolwhipped Miller on his neck and accidentally shot him in the hand. Witnesses testified that the assailant who punched Abel looked very different from Miller. Abel was later arrested.

Common Pleas judge Jeffrey A. Manning found Abel not guilty of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and driving while under the influence of alcohol. Chief Nate Harper, however, considered his conduct to be unacceptable and fired him. With the aid of his employee union, Abel was able to successfully appeal the decision to an arbitrator, who reinstated him to his position as a Pittsburgh police officer within a year of the incident (Sherman and Lord 2009).

In addition to having the benefit of engaging in arbitration to appeal disciplinary actions by his employer, as an officer in the Pittsburgh Police Department and a beneficiary of the contract between the city and the Pittsburgh Fraternal Order of Police, Abel has the benefit of having citizen complaints against him expunged from his record after a certain amount of time,[1] being protected from discipline by civilians, retaining his pay while suspended, and having his legal defense paid for him by the City of Pittsburgh in the event he is sued during the performance of his duties.

Although the fact that police unions[2] have a large impact on police practices and management is widely acknowledged, they have been neglected as a research topic (Walker 2008). The National Academy of Science’s comprehensive review of the literature on policing in America in 2004 contains one reference to police unions: “State laws also regulate the collective bargaining rights of organizations representing police employees. State laws regarding the appeal or arbitration of police officer discipline cases have an impact on accountability in local departments” (Skogan and Frydl 2004, 55). Furthermore, Marcia McCormick notes, “Discussions in the legal literature about the way that police culture contributes to misconduct or efforts to stymie reform mention unions mostly in passing, without considering them separate from law enforcement officials” (2015, 59).

However, the relationship between police unions and accountability[3] has begun to receive more attention in the academic literature. Rachel Harmon, for example, recognizes that in the thirty-six states in which police departments are required to bargain with unions prior to imposing any new rule that could affect the terms or conditions of employment, any internal reform meant to address accountability issues, such as requiring the use of body cameras, must be approved of by the unions. “Collective bargaining therefore functions like an immediate tax on these internal department reforms” (2012, 799). Seth Stoughton argues that many of the rules that affect police practices, such as state laws that govern collective bargaining by public-sector employees, are incidental in that they are not intended to have any effect on police practices. The incidental effects Stoughton considers police unions to cause include rank-and-file officers embracing a more legalistic approach to policing and collective bargaining agreements specifying grievance procedures that “both discourage and frustrate attempts to discipline individual officers” (2014, 2211).

Stephen Rushin (2017) compiled union contracts for 178 cities with populations greater than 100,000, noting that these contracts cover about 40 percent of municipal officers in states that allow police to collectively bargain. He found that 156 of the 178 contracts studied contained at least one provision that make it more difficult to legitimately discipline officers engaged in misconduct. Some empirical research suggests that provisions in these collective-bargaining agreements may result in greater amounts of misconduct. Dhammika Dharmapala, Richard McAdams, and John Rappaport (2017) exploited a quasi-experiment in Florida where in 2003 the state Supreme Court extended to sheriff’s deputies the collective-bargaining rights already enjoyed by municipal police. Employing a difference-in-difference approach, they found that collective-bargaining rights led to a 27 percent increase in complaints of misconduct against the typical sheriff’s office.

This paper aims to explain why politicians would find protections an attractive way to compensate police officers, to provide evidence that unionized departments have been more successful in obtaining protections for their members than have nonunionized departments, and to explain how these protections affect the mechanisms for disciplining officers.

The first section provides a brief history of the development of police unions in America and an explanation of why they have obtained the aforementioned privileges. In the second section, I discuss how the privileges obtained by unions undermine the ability of the criminal justice system, civil law, and civilian oversight to hold officers accountable and compare the prevalence of these privileges in large police departments with and without collective-bargaining agreements. The final section looks at the privileges that inhibit the ability of police management and police officer standards and training commissions to discipline officers.


Roof Koreans: How Civilians Defended Koreatown from Racist Violence During the 1992 LA Riots

The riots of the spring of 2020 are far from without precedent in the United States. Indeed, they seem to happen once a generation at least. The 1992 Los Angeles Riots are such an example of these “generational riots.” And while most people know about the riots, less known – though quite well known at the time – were the phenomenon of the so-called “roof Koreans.”

The roof Koreans were spontaneous self-defense forces organized by the Korean community of Los Angeles, primarily centered in Koreatown, in response to violent and frequently racist attacks on their communities and businesses by primarily black looters and rioters during the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. Despite their best efforts, over 2,200 Korean-owned businesses were looted or burned to the ground during the riots. It is chilling to imagine how many would have suffered the same fate had the Koreans not been armed.

Images of Korean shopkeepers and their families defending themselves from the rooftops of their buildings soon became one of the most iconic images of the riots. Live footage of gun battles were circulated on cable news and elsewhere. The images still resonate with freedom lovers to this day – what image could be more powerful than an ethnic minority refusing to subject itself to a pogrom, instead taking to the rooftops to defend themselves with deadly force, if necessary?

The Republic of Korea’s military is another key part of the story with regard to the Roof Koreans. Far from an untrained mob of men who took up with arms sans training, the Roof Koreans were, by virtually any definition, “a well-regulated militia.” Many of them had experience in the South Korean Army, as South Korea has conscription with very few exceptions.

It’s worth noting that virtually every weapon used by the Roof Koreans to defend themselves, their businesses, their communities and their families would be against the law or, at least, highly restricted today. “High capacity magazines” (anything over ten rounds) are against the law and there is a 10-day waiting period for all firearms purchases. As the riots lasted five days, this would have put anyone who had not already purchased a firearm in a seriously precarious position.

The Lessons of the Roof Koreans

Kurt Schlichter was in Inglewood at the time of riots, one of the hardest hit areas. He speaks eloquently on the topic of the Roof Koreans (or “Rooftop Koreans” as he calls them) and the need of communities to defend themselves. His account of defending Los Angeles against riots is worth reading, despite the fact that he was not in Koreatown.

He makes the case that it is not just wise, but the responsibility of all Americans to prepare themselves for such events. And while we would not go as far as him to suggest that people ought to be legally required to prepare for such an event, we do agree with him that everyone is their own first responder. More than that, there is a solid argument to be made that we have a duty to our community to prepare for those times when individual defense is not enough, but a common defense is necessary.

The Roof Koreans provide a perfect, real-life counter argument to the idiotic question of gun grabbers that free men justify why they “need” certain arms to defend themselves. If ever anyone “needed” a fully automatic rifle with a 100-round magazine, it was the Korean community of Los Angeles.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

9 July, 2020  

The REAL 'Problem' in Minneapolis?

Minnesota's inner-city black families are being oppressed by Democrats.

Mark Alexander

Political analyst Paul Mirengoff challenged the assumptions of a recent Washington Post summary about the problems in Minneapolis, entitled “Minneapolis had progressive policies, but its economy still left black families behind.”

According to WaPo, although “taxes, for decades, have been redistributed from wealthy suburbs to poorer communities [in Minneapolis] to combat inequality … the prosperity fueled by the region’s Fortune 500 companies and progressive policies has not translated into economic equality.” Moreover, “The wealth gap between Minneapolis’s largely white population and the city’s black residents has deepened, producing some of the nation’s widest racial disparities in income, employment and home-ownership.”

WaPo further asserts, “Economists, lawyers and civil rights advocates in the Twin Cities say progressive tax policies could not make up for other aspects of structural racism, such as access to credit or jobs. Some say investments in affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods deepened segregation and poverty. Others argue for better enforcement of federal laws to combat discrimination in lending, employment and housing.”

But Mirengoff offers a different explanation: “It might be that, to a disproportionate degree, African-Americans in Minneapolis aren’t doing the things required to become successful. Things like finishing high school and college, not having children while in the teens, raising children in two-parent homes, avoiding drug use, and abstaining from crime. The Post never considers this possible explanation.”

Of course, WaPo studiously avoids any mention of personal responsibility, as that doesn’t fit the Democrats’ racial victimization narrative. Mirengoff notes, “Post reporter Tracy Jan dismisses [personal responsibility], quoting unnamed ‘civil rights and community leaders in the Twin Cities’ who say that a ‘focus on fixing things perceived to be wrong in the black community,’ instead of ‘fundamentally reshaping underlying inequities in society’ is what’s preventing ‘racial equity.’”

Ah, yes, it’s “systemic racism.” That’s the obstacle to “racial equity.”

Mirengoff concludes, “Jan herself equates the ‘delivering of racial justice’ with the elimination of the disparities in income, employment, and home-ownership she describes. In other words, for Jan there is no racial justice as long as a ‘wealth gap’ exists between Blacks and Whites. It doesn’t matter how much of the gap is explained by differences in behavior. This is an absurd account of ‘racial justice.’ Distributing wealth on the basis of race, without regard to merit, is the opposite of justice — any kind of justice.”

By way of my own conclusion, as I noted in a recent column, let me remind you of who runs Minneapolis: The mayor, all but one (Green Party) member of the city council, the police chief, the county prosecutor, and the U.S. House district representative (radical leftist Ilhan Abdullahi Omar) are all Socialist Democrats. In Minnesota, the governor, the state’s attorney general (radical leftist Keith Ellison), and both U.S. senators are all Democrats.

So what’s the matter with Minneapolis?

That was a rhetorical question, of course. The problem is that the failed policies of the so-called “Great Society” over the last 50-plus years have, in effect, enslaved generations of poor people on urban poverty plantations nationwide. But don’t expect Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer to offer any changes. Their political future is dependent on “black victimization,” which is why Democrats have allowed the recent racial unrest to fester in their states.

So where exactly does the change need to begin? Another rhetorical question…


Nightmare in New York: How Covid-19, BLM protests and a liberal mayor are turning the city into a no-go zone as murders skyrocket, shops are looted and 500,000 middle-class residents flee

Two bullet-ridden bodies lay sprawled on bloodstained concrete steps. Alongside, relatives of the victims are wailing and collapse to the ground. In another part of the city, a gang of youths use spray paint to disable security cameras before robbing a corner store. Later, video footage captures police officers sitting helplessly in their patrol car as a baying crowd hurls glass bottles at them.

This is lawless New York – a city that was once America’s glittering crown jewel but which risks descending into mob rule.

Murder figures have skyrocketed and a combination of the coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and weak political leadership is in danger of achieving what Osama Bin Laden never could: bringing the Big Apple to its knees.

The scenes described above took place last weekend. Chioke Thompson, 23, and his friend Stephanie Perkins, 39, had been gunned down on the steps of Chioke’s Brooklyn home. His schoolteacher mum Sophia wept as she said: ‘Even as he died, he was trying to shield her with his body. It makes no sense. Neither of them did anything wrong.’

With the gunman still on the loose and their families insisting neither victim had any links to drugs or gangs, the pair appear to be the latest grim statistics in a crimewave sweeping the city.

According to figures released by the New York Police Department, for the first six months of this year, there were 176 murders, an increase of 23 per cent on the 143 killed during the same period last year.

The number of shooting victims has gone up 51 per cent to 616 this year. In June alone, there were 250 shootings compared to 97 in the same month last year. Month-on-month, burglaries are up 119 per cent and car thefts up 48 per cent.

Many blame New York’s liberal mayor, Bill de Blasio, who has slashed police funding by $1 billion (£800 million), ended the NYPD’s controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy (which allowed police to stop and search anyone solely on the basis of ‘reasonable suspicion’) and who last week vowed to paint a huge Black Lives Matter sign outside President Trump’s flagship Trump Tower.

De Blasio has also introduced criminal justice reforms, including changes to bail for dozens of offences, which has meant violent criminals released on to the streets.

An enraged Trump tweeted: ‘NYC is cutting police $'s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS and yet the NYC Mayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue.’

Referring to the police, the President added: ‘This will further antagonize New York’s Finest who LOVE New York & vividly remember the horrible BLM chant, “Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ’Em Like Bacon”. Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!’

Parts of Manhattan, famously the ‘city that never sleeps’, have begun to resemble a ghost town since 500,000 mostly wealthy and middle-class residents fled when Covid-19 struck in March.

New York state has suffered the highest death toll in America, with more than 24,000 dead, nearly 10,000 more than the second-hardest hit state, New Jersey, and eight times the number killed by terrorists on 9/11.

Streets once teeming with tourists are virtually empty. Shops and restaurants are boarded up to protect against looters. Hotels are closed. According to one resident: ‘New York has become a place where the soup kitchens are full and skyscrapers are empty.’

The Broadway theatre district sits in darkness, unlikely to open before next year. The subway, which once carried 750,000 commuters a day, is mainly deserted. In Times Square, a handful of street vendors offer hand-sanitiser and face masks in place of knock-off designer sunglasses and bags.

Joel Kotkin, a leading expert on urban trends, and a native New Yorker who now lives in California, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This is an unprecedented crisis the likes of which New York has never faced. When 9/11 happened, it was a major disruption but the country and the world rallied in support and there was a great sense of solidarity.’

Back then, Rudy Giuliani was mayor and considered a strong leader. The city was shaken but it was back on its feet in weeks.

But Covid hit when New York had already been in decline. Kotkin says: ‘Under Mayor de Blasio, conditions were perfect for the pandemic to flourish. The subway was filthy. There was a huge disparity in wealth. The rich immediately fled to homes in the country or by the beach.

Millennials went home to their parents. That left poor people and immigrants living in incredibly crowded conditions with high levels of poverty and multiple generations in one household. Add to that the [BLM] riots and the protests and New York was a perfect storm of everything that could go wrong – and did.’

‘A city which is perceived as dangerous and dirty doesn’t hold any appeal. It makes sense to locate to suburban regions and smaller towns that are generally safer, cleaner and less expensive.’

Indeed, thousands of New Yorkers were already leaving for ‘safer’ cities such as Austin in Texas and Tulsa in Oklahoma, which offers newcomers in the tech industry a $10,000 (£8,000) welcome fee. It doesn’t help that NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea last week admitted: ‘You have a criminal justice system that is imploding. Imploding. That’s the kindest way to put it.’

Beleaguered police unions have accused de Blasio of being ‘anti-cop’. In the past month, 272 officers have applied for retirement, 49 per cent up from the 183 who applied during the same period last year.

‘We have a mayor who cares more about optics [how things look] than on-the-ground policing,’ one police officer said. ‘The NYPD is utterly demoralised.’

Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said: ‘How can we keep doing our job in this environment? Of course, a neutered police force is exactly what the anti-cop crowd wants. If we have no cops because no one wants to be a cop, they will have achieved their ultimate goal.’

‘I feel sympathetic to the majority of protesters, who are peaceful,’ one woman said. ‘But there is a small minority who use protests as a shield for rioting and looting. I’ve boarded up my business but I’m terrified they will break in. Insurance doesn’t cover looting. I’m in a constant state of stress and fear.’


The Left's "social justice" crusade is really rooted in fomenting a Marxist revolution

Last week, Columbus, Ohio, removed a 16-foot statue of its namesake, Christopher Columbus, following an order by Mayor Andrew Ginther who declare that “for many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness. That does not present our great city.” The statue, a gift from the people of Genoa, Italy, had sat in front of city hall for over 65 years. And it’s not just Columbus’s statue that may go the way of the dodo — the state capital is also mulling a name change. A petition trumpeting “Flavortown” has garnered 118,000 signatures.

The University of North Carolina recently released its new directives that include the requirement that all students be trained in the right-think tenets of leftist ideology. As explained in an email from UNC chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, it’s part of the school’s effort to fight “structural racism. This fall we will implement an online diversity, equity and inclusion training, similar to our required Title IX awareness and violence prevention training, for every person in our community to learn new concepts, broaden perspectives and allow us to work from a common set of terms.”

The list of resources for this indoctrination include such dubious works like the New York Times “1619 Project,” “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” “Me and White Supremacy,” and “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice,” to name a few.

These are merely two examples of a growing trend now sweeping the nation, which is calling for the expunging of everything that may have been “offensive” and “oppressive” regarding our nation’s history. It’s cancel culture — the divisive and false notion that removing any evidence of that which “offends” will lead to a better, “safer,” and more “inclusive” society. In reality, cancel culture is the battle cry of revolution.

This revolution is fundamentally anti-American. It may have started with seemingly cogent complaints over Confederate statues and monuments, but it has quickly expanded into condemning all America’s past leaders and now our nation’s Founders.

Most tellingly is the unmitigated arrogance and self-righteousness exuded by this young generation leading this cancel-culture revolution. Seeing themselves as more virtuous than those who came before them, they are unwilling to actually learn from and appreciate the real and significant accomplishments of these historical figures they so easily and vociferously condemn. This cancel-culture generation is boiling down every American leader to their most base components of gender and race … and all their accomplishments are being erased on account of the common “failings” of the era in which they lived.

Ironically, these leftist revolutionaries idolize and lionize some of history’s most diabolical and despicable individuals. As Power Line’s John Hinderaker observes, “[Columbus] was a prince of a fellow compared with, say, the psychopathic mass murderer Che Guevara. Or the serial killers on an industrial scale, Lenin, Stalin, Castro and Mao, all of whom are A-OK, apparently, with American liberals.”

The end goal of this effort is all too clear — bringing an end to the greatest and freest nation the world has ever known. Unfortunately, those mind-numbed masses caught up in the “woke” mob don’t realize they are destroying their own future.


Australia: Diversity comes in many colours but we’re stuck on shades of grey

I had to report this week on some young writers who quit The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald to protest against their own whiteness.

To explain: the parent company, Nine Entertainment, had received some money from the Copyright Agency and the Judith Neilson Institute to hire some “emerging critics” for the arts pages. They chose five people, and all were white.

Two promptly quit, saying: “Our resignation is in opposition to the lack of diversity in the ­selection, which resulted in an all-white group of peers.”

A third, Tiarney Miekus, described the whiteness of the group as “completely appalling and shameful”. She did not quit but will give up some of her salary to encourage Nine to hire more writers who are BIPOC — that’s black, indigenous or people of colour.

A white critic, Cassie Tongue, is “in discussions” to do the same. The fifth, Chloe Wolifson, has not shown her hand.

Nine now has had to readvertise the positions, with the emphasis on “diversity”.

I was reading the comments on the story — yes, of course we read the comments! — and I saw one reader who said: “I am over 70 and would like the fifth still employed young critic to resign in protest against Nine not hiring enough older Australians. This is entrenched ageism. I am of course available for the position and could do with the grant as well.” I think she was being facetious but it’s actually fair enough.

There is a diversity movement under way but it’s a narrow definition of diversity being employed here. Why shouldn’t Nine hire a dynamic woman in her 70s to be an emerging art critic? Women of a certain age make up a goodly proportion of theatre-goers and art lovers. Women over 50 fill the seats at literary festivals and they buy most of the books.

The reader’s comment got quite a bit of support: “Totally agree … staggering that these grants go solely to the younger, less qualified, less experienced candidates … ageism is strangely a huge prejudice that the left overlooks.”

The Australian Human Rights Commission has done a report on this subject, and it says companies show a reluctance to hire older workers. And by older, I should tell you, it means over 50.

Diversity can’t mean only racial diversity, and there was a time when it didn’t. Back when I was starting out, it meant gender. Most firms were under pressure to hire more women, and most of the emerging critics were women, but that work is apparently done. We used to think also about diversity in age, and also — and here’s a subject that’s near untouchable in Australia — class.

What if some of the group had been working-class kids from state schools? Could they have then stayed? What if some had been same-sex attracted? And what about diversity in education, meaning fewer people who haven’t been able to go to university? It was fairly common a few decades ago for young people to start their careers straight out of school — famously, you’d get a burger flipper such as Australian Charlie Bell running McDonalds, or a former teller such as Ralph Norris running the Commonwealth Bank.

Now the focus is solely on race, with the aim, we are told, of creating a workforce that more accurately reflects the Australian community. But if we in fact insisted on that, how would the workforce look?

Well, the uncomfortable truth for many activists is that you’d end up with a lot of employees who are older, white, conservative — that’s ­diversity of political opinion — and Christian. Because that’s Australia, too.

According to the 2016 census, about two-thirds, or 67 per cent, of the population was born right here. Asked about ancestry, the English dominate, at 36 per cent; Australians are next at 33 per cent, then come the Irish (11 per cent), Scottish (9 per cent) and only then do we see the first Asian nation, the Chinese, at a tiny 5.6 per cent. Then come the Italians, the Germans, the Greek and the Dutch. Those identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander comprise 2.8 per cent. Some people like to make a big deal about how we’re being “overrun by Muslims”, but Muslims make up a only 2.6 per cent of the population.

The reason you see a lot of white people in the workforce in Australia, in other words, is because there are a lot of white people around.

That said, if individual white people want to cancel themselves with the aim of creating a racially diverse workforce, well, they should, of course, be allowed to do it.

What troubles me is the cancelling of others. It has been happening for a while now: this actor or that person’s work being “cancelled” for being racist, sexist, homophobic and so on.

Here’s another example, from last week. There is in NSW a small, dynamic literary magazine called Verity La. It’ s run by a not-for-profit organisation that receives NSW government funds, through Create NSW, to pay writers $100 for each piece. In May, it published a piece of “creative nonfiction” called About Lin, about a white Australian male who travels abroad to sexually exploit a Filipino woman.

The writer was Stuart Cooke of Griffith University. He is a distinguished, experienced, award-winning, well-travelled, multi­lingual poet whose awards include the Gwen Harwood, Dorothy Porter and New Shoots poetry prizes, the BR Whiting Fellowship, and an Asialink Fellowship to The Philippines. He has translated a variety of ­indigenous and non-indigenous Australian and Latin American poets.

Cooke’s essay caused outrage in the Filipinx community — people of any gender, including non-binary, gender-queer and gender-fluid people from The Philippines — whose members described it as “narrow minded” and “dumbass”, racist, and misogynist, fetishistic and disablist.

In the face of early criticism, Verity La put a trigger warning on the piece, saying it aimed “to publish work that is strong, bold and provocative. At times, this approach runs the risk of us publishing pieces that some might find offensive.”

Cooke put up a note, too, saying: “I believe it is important to talk about these issues, rather than edit them for the sake of portraying a more palatable form of masculinity.”

They were determined to hold their nerve, in other words. But not for long.

Having endured a week of fierce criticism, Verity La in a statement on Monday apologised unreservedly for the piece, which it now describes as “grossly offensive. We acknowledge that it caused deep harm … We failed badly.” It also cancelled itself — or as the statement put it:“Verity La is taking a break from publishing so we can reflect on the ways in which the journal has been complicit with systemic racism, sexism and disablism … We can do better.”

We are now one literary journal down.

The contretemps left me, and probably others, intrigued to read the piece. What had Cooke said about Australian men who go to The Philippines to abuse local women? What would a reader learn about the cohort of men who do this?

Well, we don’t know.

“We made a grave error in leaving the piece on the journal’s website after that harm had been drawn to our attention,” the journal’s statement continued. “It has been removed from the website and will not be republished by Verity La in any form.”

And so, now, nobody can read it. And so, what do we learn? Nothing. And what does this achieve? I just don’t know.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

8 July, 2020  

WSJ Slaps Liberal Media Across the Face for Its Embarrassing Meltdown Over Trump's Mt. Rushmore Speech

If you read The New York Times, or other liberal publications, and their coverage of President Trump’s of his speech at Mount Rushmore, you’d think a proto-Nazi rally was held. It was “dark and divisive.” It was filled by phantom claims, like left-wing mobs running amok and their campaign to erase our history. It was racist.

It was a ‘woke’ review of the speech, which mean it was total garbage. Trump celebrated America, which makes this a rally for white supremacy. This is where we are right now with the Left. They’re violent, unhinged, historically illiterate, and anti-American. It was always there, but now they’re out and proud of it.

CNN compiled a most awesomely outrageous claims list regarding the speech. There were no such things, and it only made the anti-Trump network look more like a clown show. If these folks are mad about the “CNN sucks” chant, well—this is how they earn it. If you love America, you’re a racist. That’s the line from the left-wing scum of this country. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wasn’t having any of this nonsense and expertly dissected the tantrum their lefty colleagues threw, noting that a lot of what Trump said has been echoed before from figures like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Frederick Douglass. Are these lauded figures of American history black white supremacists now (via WSJ):

"Contrary to the media reporting, the America Mr. Trump described is one of genuine racial equality and diversity. He highlighted the central ideal of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” As he rightly put it, “these immortal words set in motion the unstoppable march of freedom” that included the abolition of slavery more than a half century later.

Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. also believed this to be true, and Mr. Trump cited them both, as he did other American notables black and white, historic and more recent. There was not a hint of racial division in his words except for those who want to distort their meaning for their own political purposes. In any other time this paean to American exceptionalism would have been unexceptional...."

Divisive? Mr. Trump’s speech was certainly direct, in his typical style. But it was only divisive if you haven’t been paying attention to the divisions now being stoked on the political left across American institutions. Mr. Trump had the temerity to point out that the last few weeks have seen an explosion of “cancel culture—driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees.”

Describing this statement of fact as “divisive” proves his point. Newspaper editors are being fired over headlines and op-eds after millennial staff revolts. Boeing CEO David Calhoun last week welcomed the resignation of a communications executive for opposing —33 years ago when he was in the military— women in combat. The Washington Post ran an op-ed this weekend urging that the name of America’s first President be struck from Washington and Lee University.

Any one of these events would be remarkable, but together with literally thousands of others around the country they represent precisely what Mr. Trump describes—a left-wing cultural revolution against traditional American values of free speech and political tolerance. And he called for Americans not to cower but to oppose this assault:

“We must demand that our children are taught once again to see America as did Reverend Martin Luther King, when he said that the Founders had signed ‘a promissory note’ to every future generation. Dr. King saw that the mission of justice required us to fully embrace our founding ideals. . . . He called on his fellow citizens not to rip down their heritage, but to live up to their heritage.”

The media already had their hot takes primed and ready to go. They didn’t listen or read the text. These people are wrong about everything and have been for the past four years. And when you see the text and compare to their headlines, it’s no shock as to why people don’t trust them. They are the enemies of the people, who would rather coddle and excuse left-wing rioting and violence, seeing no irony at all when CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta had to be surrounded by fences to prevent this horde from destroying the building.


Grandpa of Murdered 11-Year Old Destroys Black Lives Matter Charade with One Sentence

It Seems 'Black Lives Matter' Only When a Cop Pulls the Trigger

As police across the country are pulling back amid a wave of angry protests and violent rioting, an 11-year-old boy was shot and killed during a family cookout on the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. Police are offering $25,000 for information leading to an arrest. The victim, identified as Davon McNeal, reportedly loved football. He was shot in the head in Anacostia and pronounced dead at a local hospital, FOX 5 D.C. reported. One of his grandfathers lamented black-on-black crime and criticized Black Lives Matter for ignoring it.

“Everybody’s just saying they’re just tired – tired of the shootings in the community,” John Ayala, McNeal’s paternal grandfather, told FOX 5. “Everybody’s running around here thinking they’re Uzi-toting, dope-sucking, psychopathic killing machines and they’re just destroying lives.”

“We’re protesting for months, for weeks, saying, ‘Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter.’ Black lives matter it seems like, only when a  police officer shoots a black person,” Ayala lamented, bitterly. “What about all the black-on-black crime that’s happening in the community?”

Ayala said the family had moved out of the Anacostia neighborhood due to the violence in the area, but they still have relatives in the community. McNeal’s mother hosted a “stop-the-violence” cookout for neighbors and the boy had only stopped by to pick up a phone charger and earbuds.

Ayala told FOX 5 that someone opened fire shortly after McNeal got out of the car. Everyone dropped to the ground. The shooting took place around 9:20 p.m.

One of McNeal’s grandfathers told FOX 5 that he hates the Fourth of July because he does not know whether to celebrate or duck from gunfire.

Tony Lawson, the victim’s maternal grandfather, broke into tears speaking about his grandson’s love for football. He added that his daughter — McNeal’s mother — works with Washington, D.C., Councilmember Trayon White and is a D.C. Violence Interrupter. She set up the event to help pacify the community.

“He was a good kid. I mean, his life gone,” Lawson said, fighting back tears. “Eleven years old, he hadn’t lived his life yet. Eleven years old. We got to stop killing each other. Stop it. Put the guns down.”

“Parents, you know your son out. You know what your kids out here doing. If you know, stop ‘em. Stop’ em before they hurt somebody else. Just stop it, stop it, please stop it,” Lawson added.

Davon McNeal does not fit the profile of an unarmed black man shot by police, but his life still matters. The Black Lives Matter movement zeroes in on a tiny minority of black victims, ignoring the broad statistics that show there is no “epidemic” of racist police shootings. Meanwhile, the protests over the horrific police killing of George Floyd devolved into violent riots that destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments.

At least 21 people have died in the riots, most of them black. Retired police chief David Dorn was killed by looters breaking into his pawn shop in St. Louis. Chris Beaty was shot while helping two women who were being mugged in Indianapolis. Italia Marie Kelly was trying to leave a protest when she was shot and killed in Davenport, Iowa. Antonio Mays Jr., a 16-year-old boy, was shot and killed outside the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) in Seattle. Secoriea Taylor — an 8-year-old girl — was fatally shot as her mother attempted to park a car near a group of protesters close to the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks had been killed by police.

These victims were all black, and their lives mattered. Rioters may have intended to protect black lives, but their lawless actions led to these tragic deaths, and the anti-police sentiment expressed in these riots has had a chilling effect on police across the country.

If the Black Lives Matter movement were serious about protecting all black lives, it would condemn the violent riots and address black-on-black crime. As Ayala put it, “Black lives matter it seems like, only when a  police officer shoots a black person.”


NAACP and Anti-Defamation League Don't Believe We're All Created Equal

America is still world’s great hope. It’s why people flock to this shining city on a hill from across the globe. America is the land of immigrants. One of my sisters emigrated from Vietnam, and my wife’s grandfather was from Germany. The immigrant population in our country far exceeds any other nation at 46,627,102 precious souls; that’s nearly four times more than the nation second to us in immigration.

But if you watched our blamestream media, you would think this is the most oppressive and racist regime in the world! Some BLM leaders want to “burn it all down.” Which country should America be more like, SJWs? I’m all about ensuring justice and equality. Those words carry with them such an incredible weight of subjectivity. We are an exceptional nation for so many reasons. That doesn’t deny our past or present flaws. The Left is hellbent, though, on fundamentally and violently transforming America.

Capitalizing on the unrest and division, numerous “civil rights” groups are further trying to erode what makes America exceptional—our First Amendment. And tech titans of (in)tolerance are more than happy to pretend we’re in China or Russia and suppress free speech.

Recently, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the NAACP launched an anti-free speech campaign called “Stop Hate For Profit.” On the surface of it, it seems understandable and acceptable. Who wants crazy neo-nazis and Holocaust deniers to have a public platform (other than racists, of course)? Even the ACLU defended Nazi and KKK groups’ free speech rights. Why? As painful as freedom of expression is, sometimes, actual hate is protected by the First Amendment (provided it doesn’t incite violence).

But “hate” is something that has been weaponized by the Left. Teachers can be fired for using the “wrong” pronoun. Public figures, like Franklin Graham, have been censored for speaking about homosexuality from a Biblical worldview. My organization, The Radiance Foundation, was censored by Instagram for a meme declaring Planned Parenthood kills more black lives in two weeks than the KKK killed in a century.

Under the guise of fighting “disinformation” and “protecting black users” (how infantilizing), ADL, the NAACP and a handful of other radically pro-abortion groups are demanding Corporate America withdraw their advertising dollars from Facebook, a social media platform that has already demonstrated its excessive censorship for years. The Stop Hate for Profit campaign is perfectly fine with (actual) hate, bigotry and violence perpetrated by the political Left, not listing a single example of racist, violent, anti-Christian or anti-conservative posts. The campaign wants to “send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.” Violence? You mean like promoting the destruction of millions of humans deemed non-persons who are dismembered and mutilated in utero in the name of “reproductive justice”?

There’s just so much irony in the NAACP and ADL being so radically pro-abortion. How can you claim to fight discrimination when you support the most violent form of it in abortion? ADL labels prolifers as “extremists”, putting us in the same categories as neo-nazis and racist skinheads. The anti-defamation group has no problem defaming the pro-life movement by casting the fight against abortion as a “white genocide conspiracy” that “defines modern white supremacist thought.”

Using Alabama’s Heartbeat Bill, ADL disgustingly portrayed the fight against the injustice of abortion as being led by white supremacists. The group quotes White Aryan Resistance founder Tom Metzger as proof of their absurd claim: “I have instructed my comrades in the Alabama state legislature to introduce a bill that releases all nonwhite women within the borders of Alabama to have free abortions on demand.”

I’ve been a leader in the pro-life movement for over a decade now. Perhaps ADL missed my speech supporting Alabama’s Heartbeat Bill on the capitol steps of Montgomery. I’m brown, by the way.

These white supremacists are not even part of our movement. Not one of my colleagues has ever displayed any racism—ever. It’s actually quite the opposite; they have worked tirelessly to save every life, regardless of hue. It’s remarkable how a black pro-abortion Democrat from Ohio—Rep. Janine Boyd—proposed the same thing as a white supremacist by demanding (in her defeated amendment) that only black babies be exempted from protection in Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill. 

As far as the NAACP, aka the National Association for the Abortion of Colored People, the group forgot that free speech is a civil right. They sued me and lost in a two-year federal court battle because I (accurately) parodied their name in an Op-Ed.

In a prescient speech, “A Plea for Free Speech In Boston,” slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass declared: “Equally clear is the right to hear. To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker. It is just as criminal to rob a man of his right to speak and hear as it would be to rob him of his money.”

We’re being robbed today by the very groups who claim to fight for equality under the law. Perhaps they need to actually re-read the Law of the Land. What better time to get reacquainted with American ideals than on Independence Day? In the meantime, as a factivist, I’ll keep defending and promoting the truths that are so self-evident.


Australia proving 'resilient' to China's influence efforts, says CSIS

China's attempts to influence Australian attitudes and politics are ultimately aimed at peeling Australia away from its US alliance and neutralising its impact on geostrategic issues, says a leading US think tank.

Australia has been included by the Washington-based Centre for Strategic & International Studies alongside Japan, Germany and the UK as case studies of advanced economies that have been targeted by Beijing and Moscow.

"Like Japan, Australia is an attractive target for Chinese influence operations because of its strategic value as a US ally in the increasingly contested Indo-Pacific region," writes Amy Searight, a non-resident, senior associate for Asia at the CSIS.

"Neutralising Australia on a key issue such as the South China Sea would pay huge dividends for Beijing by reducing American regional leadership," say the authors of a new report. EPA

"Neutralising Australia on a key issue such as the South China Sea would pay huge dividends for Beijing by reducing American regional leadership."

The report by the CSIS, which receives funding from the Australian government, comes amid growing US media attention and awareness of what many on both sides of the political divide regard as China's economic bullying of Australia in recent weeks and months.

Even as attitudes harden in the US against China, Australia's case is increasingly making prime-time news. Brian Kilmeade, a high-profile pro-Donald Trump commentator on "Fox & Friends", last week urged Republican House of Representatives minority leader Kevin McCarthy to push for American purchases of Australian iron ore to counter China.

Ms Searight says Australia’s economic dependency on China and its large Chinese diaspora "create points of leverage for Beijing to exploit".

The CSIS also accuses China of trying to "divide Australia's multicultural society" by seeking to unite its Chinese diaspora inside the country to support Beijing "while also exploiting racial sensitivities".

Alongside resources trade, and tourism and education, China has a "natural constituency of support in the Australian business community and among university leadership for a cooperative relationship with China", she writes.

While Australia's "free and vibrant press" has helped draw attention to "Chinese malign influence activities in Australia", Australia's Chinese-language media is seen as having been largely co-opted or purchased by Beijing-linked interests.

"The growing use of WeChat and other Chinese-language social media further limits access of Chinese-speaking Australians to information and perspectives that fall outside of the Beijing-controlled narrative," Ms Searight writes.

The report notes a deterioration in Australian opinions on China since 2008, when 52 per cent surveyed by the Pew Research Centre had a "favourable" view of the Sino giant. In 2018 that number had shrunk to 36 per cent, with "unfavourable" views rising to 57 per cent from 40 per cent 12 years ago.

"Despite its vulnerabilities, Australia’s democratic political culture has proven resilient to China’s growing attempts to influence its political environment," the report's authors conclude.

Still, the CSIS warns that China and Russia are adapting and mutating their efforts, with Beijing starting to emulate Moscow's tactics by creating fake social media accounts to spread lies, "particularly related to the US administration's handling of the coronavirus epidemic".

"Just as China is learning from Russia, democracies under threat can learn from one another.

"Increasing this cooperation and finding common approaches to countering malign influence activities are the best ways to ensure those activities continue to fall short of their goals."

For the purposes of the CSIS study, the authors have adopted former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull's definition of malign influence activities as being "covert, coercive, or corrupting". Mr Turnbull outlined the definition in a speech to parliament in December 2017 when he introduced his espionage and foreign interference bill.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

7 July, 2020  

Black Lives Matter protests have sprung up in dozens of countries. Leaders of the movement speak out about the changes that need to happen now

The above heading, from a current article in Newsweak, promises more than it delivers.  Most of the article is a large catalog of people who have suffered at the hands of police.  Because minorities have on average suffered more than whites, it is assumed that the police are wrong in some way -- more racist, in particular.  That minorities might be more prone to criminal behaviour is not considered or that minorities might be more aggressive, unco-operative and hostile to the police is not considered or even mentioned 

Such a one-eyed article is unlikely to offer any real information but there are a couple of paragraphs in the article that do set out what changes black leaders want.  I have reproduced them below.

The first quest is almost amusing.  The author wants research directed to understanding why racism persists in Britain and how it needs to be addressed.  I can assure him that there has been a great deal of academic research on that question already. I have quite a few articles in the journals on that topic myself.

And the major finding of that research is that racial discrimination emerges very early in life -- even in babies. So whether you think  intolerance of difference is inborn or not the challenges it poses are much the same.  It runs deep in the human psyche and is very widespread even in educated adults.  Most adults in current society learn not to express their adverse judgments openly but actions such as "white flight" reveal that their deep-down attitudes and judgments are little different from what we have seen in most of human history -- which is open derogatory judgements of minorities.

However you look at it, the possibility that more  research will reveal anything liklely to bring about change is vanishingly small.  What existing research tells us is that "racism"  will always be with us.

The second proposal for change below is more reasonable: a reallocation of police tasks.  Libertarians have long argued that too much of human behaviour has been criminalized.  They would like to see all drug use made legal everywhere for instance.  A huge amount of police work is devoted to drug crime and often leads to severe abuses.  "No knock raids", for instance are almost entirely devoted to seizing evidence of drug use before that evidence can be destroyed in some way -- by flushing drugs down the toilet, for instance. 

Taking drugs out of the purview of the police would free up lots of police  time that could be devoted to a more patient approach to challenges.  Many police-involved deaths are of mentally ill people and a more patient approach to them would often remove the need for a bullet.

What Oke would like Britain to do is use this moment to tackle the issues laid bare by George Floyd’s death and dedicate substantial resources and funding to understanding why racism persists in Britain and how it needs to be addressed. She seems to be, at once, both optimistic and skeptical about the likelihood of success. “We hope this is a movement of genuine social change across our nation,” Oke said. But, “we feel almost nervous to believe in what the longevity could be of the change.”

Black Lives Matter co-founder Cullors is an advocate of defunding, which redirects money typically budgeted for law enforcement to other community-serving initiatives, including education, healthcare, mental health services and social services programs. “This is a watershed moment,” Cullors told Newsweek. “And we need bold and courageous approaches.”

Already, in the U.S. and in Canada, the idea is taking root, with city council members in Minneapolis voting to dismantle the police department implicated in Floyd’s death and replace it with a new community-based public safety system. Meanwhile, officials in Toronto are discussing a motion seeking to slash that city’s police department budget by 10 percent.

“A significant re-allocation of resources away from ineffective or harmful police approaches and toward programs that demonstrably reduce crime could actually improve public safety,” said Paul Hirschfield, an associate sociology and criminal justice professor at Rutgers University. “Much of what the police do—random patrols, patrolling schools, traffic enforcement, and drug enforcement—do far too little for public safety to justify the enormous expense.”

More HERE 

Exposing the Lies of Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter (BLM) was established in 2013 by a trio of self-identified Marxist revolutionaries. Striving to make white Americans “uncomfortable about institutional racism” and the “structural oppression” that allegedly “prevents so many [black people] from realizing their dreams,” BLM contends that blacks living under America's “white supremacist system” are routinely targeted for “extrajudicial killings … by police and vigilantes.” That claim has become an article of faith for the millions of American leftists who dutifully parrot BLM's talking points. The remainder of this article is dedicated to providing hard data which exposes BLM's worldview as nothing more than a mountain of malicious lies.

Debunking BLM's Claims About Police Use of Force

A major Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report in 2001 examined incidents where police in the United States used deadly force to kill criminal suspects between 1976 and 1998. During that 23-year span, 42% of all suspects killed by police were black – a figure that comported precisely with the percentage of violent crimes committed by African Americans during that same period. This is enormously significant because we would expect that in police forces not plagued by systemic racism, officers would shoot suspects of various racial or ethnic backgrounds at rates closely resembling their respective involvement in the types of serious crimes most likely to elicit the use of force by police. And indeed, that is exactly what the evidence shows.

The same BJS report found that in nearly two-thirds of all justifiable homicides by police during 1976-98, the officer’s race and the suspect’s race were the same. When a white or Hispanic officer killed a suspect, that suspect was usually (63% of the time) white or Hispanic as well. And when a black officer killed a suspect, that suspect was usually black (81% of the time).

The BJS report also examined the rate at which officers killed suspects of other racial or ethnic backgrounds. In 1998, the “black-officer-kills-black-felon” rate was 32 per 100,000 black officers, more than double the rate at which white and Hispanic officers killed black felons (14 per 100,000). That same year, the rate at which white and Hispanic officers killed white or Hispanic felons (28 per 100,000) was much higher than the “black-officer-kills-white-or-Hispanic-felon” rate of 11 per 100,000.

In 1999, criminologists Geoffrey Alpert and Roger Dunham confirmed once again that police officers were more likely to use force against suspects of their own racial group, than against suspects from another racial group.

A 2011 BJS study which covered the period from 2003 to 2009 sheds further light on the issue of police use of force against people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds. Of all suspects who are known to have been killed by police during that 7-year time frame, 41.7% were white, 31.7% were black, and 20.3% were Hispanic. It is also worth noting that during the 2003-2009 period—when blacks were 31.7% of all suspects killed by an officer—blacks accounted for about 38.5% of all arrests for violent crimes, which are the types of crimes most likely to trigger potentially deadly confrontations with police. These numbers do not in any way suggest a lack of restraint by police in their dealings with black suspects. On the contrary, they strongly suggest exactly the opposite.[1]

In 2015, a Justice Department study of the Philadelphia Police Department found that black officers were 67 percent more likely than their white colleagues to mistakenly shoot an unarmed black suspect, and Hispanic officers were 145 percent more likely to do the same. That same year, a study of the New York Police Department by criminology professor Greg Ridgeway found that black officers were 3.3 times more likely than their white peers to discharge their guns in the course of their work. So much for the notion of trigger-happy white cops.

In any given year, a mere 0.6 percent of black men report that physical force of any kind – including mild actions like pushing and grabbing – is used against them by the police. The corresponding figure for white men is approximately 0.2 percent. Though both figures are infinitesimally small, critics of the police are quick to complain that the figure for blacks is three times higher than the figure for whites. But as National Review points out, that disparity is fully accounted for by the fact that “black men commit violent crimes at much higher rates than white men,” as evidenced by data from the annual National Crime Victimization Survey.

The available data indicate that a mere 0.08 percent of black men and white men alike are injured by police in any given year. This figure includes injuries sustained as a result of police actions that are legally justified, and often necessary, in order to thwart criminal behavior.

In a 2018 working paper titled “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force,” Harvard economist Roland Fryer, who is African American, reported that police officers in Houston were nearly 24 percent less likely to shoot black suspects than white suspects. In a separate analysis of officer shootings in three Texas cities, six Florida counties, and the city of Los Angeles, Fryer found that: (a) officers were 47 percent less likely to discharge their weapon without first being attacked if the suspect was black, than if the suspect was white; (b) black and white individuals shot by police were equally likely to have been armed at the time of the shootings; (c) white officers were no more likely to shoot unarmed blacks than unarmed whites; (d) black officers were more likely to shoot unarmed whites than unarmed blacks; and (e) black officers were more likely than white officers to shoot unarmed whites. There is no evidence of anti-black racism in any of these findings, though some of them do seem to suggest an anti-white bias.

A 2019 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians. “In fact,” writes Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald, the study found that “if there is a bias in police shootings after crime rates are taken into account, it is against white civilians.” Specifically, Mac Donald adds, the authors of the study compiled a database of 917 officer-involved fatal shootings in 2015 and found that 55 percent of the victims were white, 27 percent were black, and 19 percent were Hispanic.

Each and every year, without exception, whites who are shot and killed by police officers in the U.S. far outnumber blacks and Hispanics who meet that same fate. In 2017, for instance, 457 whites, 223 blacks, and 179 Hispanics were killed by police officers in the line of duty. In 2018, the corresponding figures were 399 whites, 209 blacks, and 148 Hispanics. And in 2019, the totals were 370 whites, 235 blacks, and 158 Hispanics. There is not a hint of anti-black racism anywhere in these figures.

When we compare black rates of violent crime, with the rate at which blacks are shot and killed by police officers, we find that blacks are represented among those shooting victims at rates significantly lower than we would have expected in light of their crime rates. For example, in 2017, blacks were just 23.6% of all people shot dead by police, even though they were arrested for 37.5% of all violent crimes. The following year, blacks were 26.3% of those fatally shot by police, even as they were arrested for fully 37.4% of violent crimes.

According to Heather Mac Donald: “The per capita rate of officers being feloniously killed is 45 times higher than the rate at which unarmed black males are killed by cops. And an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black assailant is 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.”

Debunking BLM's Claims About Interracial Crime Against Blacks

In 2012 and 2013, blacks in the U.S. committed an annual average of 560,600 violent crimes (excluding homicide) against whites, while whites committed a yearly average of 99,403 violent crimes against blacks. In other words, blacks were the attackers in about 85 percent of all violent crimes involving blacks and whites, while whites were the attackers in 15 percent.[2]

When white offenders committed crimes of violence (excluding homicide) against either whites or blacks in 2012-13, they targeted white victims 95.8 percent of the time, and they went after black victims a mere 4.1 percent of the time. By contrast, when black offenders committed crimes of violence against either whites or blacks in 2012-13, they targeted white victims a whopping 48.5 percent of the time, and they went after black victims 51.4 percent of the time.[3] If we factor into the equation the relative sizes of America's white and black populations, we find that, statistically, any given black person in 2012-13 was about 27 times more likely to attack a white, than vice versa.

In more recent years, the disproportionate prevalence of black-on-white crime has only gotten worse. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2018 there were 593,598 interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) between blacks and whites in the United States. Blacks committed 537,204 of those interracial felonies, or 90.4 percent, while whites committed 56,394 of them, or about 9.5 percent.

When white offenders committed crimes of violence against either whites or blacks in 2018, they targeted white victims 97.3 percent of the time, and they went after black victims 2.6 percent of the time. By contrast, when black offenders committed crimes of violence against either whites or blacks during that same year, they targeted white victims 58 percent of the time, and they went after black victims 42 percent of the time.[4]

City Journal reports that according to Justice Department data, blacks in 2018 were overrepresented among the perpetrators of offenses classified as “hate crimes” by a whopping 50 percent—while whites were underrepresented by 24 percent.

The facts presented above can lead us to only one possible conclusion: BLM's claim that African Americans are routinely targeted for “extrajudicial killings … by police and vigilantes” is a monstrous lie. The purpose of the lie is to cause Americans of all races to detest their own country, so as to promote a desire to raze the nation's traditions to the ground, and to then erect a new Marxist utopia upon its ruins.


Culture Comes For Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg held a virtual town hall with employees last week to address concerns about the massive advertiser boycott the company is experiencing from “woke” brands. This boycott is being led by none other than the ADL, the notoriously anti-free speech organization.

While the ADL has openly admitted that “hate speech” is constitutionally protected, they have spent years lobbying Congress and tech companies to censor what they deem to be “hateful” speech online.

The great irony here is that Facebook has been “partnered” with the ADL since at least 2017 in order to “fight online hate.” Apparently the vast amount of censorship that Facebook has implemented since then isn’t enough for the ADL.

This advertiser boycott is serious business, costing Facebook an estimated $7 billion with top advertisers like Verizon, Unilever, and others pulling out of Facebook’s ad ecosystem.

As ReClaimTheNet pointed out on Gab, advertisers had already planned to dramatically reduce ad spending this quarter due to the coronavirus anyway, so it appears they seized the opportunity to virtue signal in the process.

This should be a lesson to any company that thinks they can appease the mob and Thought Police mafia of the ADL. Unless and until the ADL has full control over the content on Facebook–and everywhere else on the internet—they are not going to stop in their quest for censorious power. They will not show mercy because they know that politics, and thus power, is downstream from discourse.

Gab has been under attack from the ADL for years now. We have refused to bend the knee and paid the price for it.

For what it’s worth, Mark Zuckerberg claims that the company is not going to change their policies because of this boycott.

‘We’re not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small per cent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,’ said Zuckerberg, according to The Information.

While Zuckerberg’s refusal to bend the knee to the mob may be noble, his employees are the ones who are writing the algorithms and banning conservatives. Facebook moderators have even been caught on camera bragging about deleting pro-Trump content and implementing anti-white policies.

The end result of this inevitable chaos is the acceleration of the balkanization of social networking–and indeed the internet itself.


Now the racist stormtroopers target a mermaid

It will be incidents like this that will eventually do in Black Lives Matter and the mob witc- hunters looking to sniff out “racism” wherever it hides — or anyone thinks it.

The “Little Mermaid” statue in Copenhagen, depicting Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved little girl sitting on a rock, fins and all, was vandalized with the epithet “racist fish,” according to Danish authorities.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

6 July, 2020

How the Heroes of Black Lives Matter Executed Blacks

Including details of extreme psychopath Neil Macaulay, who was popular with Fidel Castro

“We are thankful that he (Fidel Castro)  provided a space where the traditional spiritual work of African people could flourish,” reads the eulogy from the U.S.-based  Black Lives Matter for the top jailer and torturer of black political prisoners in the Western Hemisphere whose lifelong obsession was the destruction of the U.S. “As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive!”

“You’re from South Carolina, good!” whooped an agent of Castro and Che Guevara’s July 26th Movement who in 1958 was signing up an American volunteer named Neil Macaulay (later a professor Emeritus) for the KGB-mentored terror group. “I really like your treatment of negroes up there in the American south!” gushed Castro and Che’s recruiter. “ Down here in Cuba all negroes are Batistianos (supporters of Fulgencio Batista, the black Cuban leader Castro, and Che overthrew) and marijuaneros,” (marijuana smokers, dope-fiends.)

“The first firing squad victim was a tall handsome mulatto,” a beaming Professor Neil Macaulay later wrote in his memoirs. “He stood blindfolded before the paredon (firing squad wall), his hands bound in front of him. “Muchachos,” he said calmly, “The only crime you are going to commit is to kill me, because I am innocent.”

“I stepped into the field,” continues the obviously proud Macaulay, “and shouted: “Ready!..Aim!–FIRE!”…the negro went down and I went up to him immediately, commanding the firing squad to order arms as I walked. There were bullet holes in his shirt and he seemed dead, but I wasted no time in putting the automatic to his head and pulled the trigger. It made a neat round hole.”

“Next to die was another negro who was hauled kicking and screaming to the paredon,” continues an obviously gloating Macauley in his memoirs. “I told the jailers to throw him up against the wall and get out of the way…the condemned negro froze in terror when he saw his executioners arrayed before him.

“READY!” My command jolted him out of his trance.

“NO!–NO!” he cried, and tried to climb the wall.

“NO!” he yelled while trying to hide behind one of the execution stakes, but the gun muzzles tracked him relentlessly.

“FIRE!” I yelled,” continues an obviously beaming Macaulay in his memoirs. “The negro turned his head and ducked just as the guns went off. Most of the bullets struck him in profile, tearing his nose, lips, chin and most of his cheeks. His face was transformed into a raw, red mass of flesh and bone that contrasted sharply to the smooth black skin bordering it. He lay on his back with what was left of his face turned to the firing squad. Anyone that hideously blasted, I thought, had to be dead…”Well,” I commented to the firing squad, “it is not necessary to give to give him the tiro de gracia.” (coup de grace)

“Yes, Americano!” shouted one of my men. “He still lives! Give him the shot!” His arms and legs were twitching. His movement ceased only when a bullet from my pistol entered his skull,” further gloats Macaulay.

The above comes from University of Florida Professor Emeritus Neill Macaulay’s memoirs titled,A Rebel in Cuba, published in 1970. The judicial process these black Cubans had undergone was best described by Fidel and Che themselves:

“Judicial evidence is an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution, We execute from revolutionary conviction.” (Che Guevara, Feb. 1959)

“Legal proof is impossible to obtain against war criminals. So we sentence them based on moral conviction.” (Fidel Castro Feb. 1959)

“The whole procedure was sickening,” wrote New York Times (no less!) correspondent, Ruby Hart Phillips, about a trial she attended in Havana in early 1959. “The defense attorney made absolutely no defense, instead he apologized to the court for defending the prisoner.”

Edwin Tetlow, a Havana correspondent for London’s Daily Telegraph, wrote about a “trial” by Che Guevara’s judicial dream – a team where he noticed the dozens of death sentences posted on a board – before the trial had started.

Future professor Emeritus Neil Macaulay who gleefully carried out these death sentences continues gloating in his memoirs:

“Escalona (a communist commander later notorious for exterminating rural Cuban rebels with Soviet arms and officers) introduced me to Fidel as “the man who is training the firing squads.” Fidel threw his head back and roared with laughter. As I stretched out my hand, he grabbed me by my shoulders and gave me a bear hug. Everybody was happy. At the University (of Havana) he was known as Greaseball. To me, however, he (Fidel) was very attractive.”

This attraction probably grew when Fidel Castro gifted Yankee executioner Neill Macaulay with property stolen from rightful Cuban owners under penalty of firing squad and torture chamber. More from professor Macaulay’s book:

“Fidel says to give the Americano what he wants. So I selected a plot of about sixty-five acres from an immense plantation that had been jointly owned by some friends of Batista. The INRA (Che Guevara’s Instituto Nacional de Reforma Agraria) gave me virtually unlimited credit…there was no house on my land so I chose as a residence the former country home of Pepe Fraga, Batista’s former chief of parking meters in Havana. Late in July my wife and infant son joined me there.”

Let's step back for a second and try to wrap our heads around these astounding crimes: An American mercenary joins Castro and Che Guevara’s KGB-mentored criminal band, executes (murders, actually) Cubans without trial, steals the property of Cubans at gunpoint. Then he serves for decades as Professor Emeritus of Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, apparently with nobody batting an eye!

The University of Florida is a state college, so there’s a good chance his salary was paid partly by his victims’ families. And again apparently nobody bats an eye!

Upon Macaulay’s death in 2007 (some suspect by suicide) leftist professor and documentarian Glenn Gebhard wrote: “He (Macaulay) was not a socialist or a communist, and he left (Cuba) after he realized he couldn’t make a living…He was a man of action and really smart.”

Does that somehow exonerate him? Che Guevara, whatever else we can say about him, seemed to actually believe in the communist holy book. Macaulay apparently murdered Cubans for fun and profit.

In the early 1960s, South Carolinian Neill Macaulay briefly lost his US citizenship for serving in a foreign nation’s military. Then “family friend” Strom Thurmond pulled some strings to get it back.  In brief: a “good ‘ole southern boy” boasts of murdering “Negroes” as a mercenary. Then among the nation’s most prominent segregationists of the time (Strom Thurmond) retrieves his U.S. citizenship. Then a southern institute of higher learning hires and honors him!

And not one liberal peep in protest! Who but a gleeful servant (as murderer/lyncher) of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara could possibly get away with something like this in the eyes of the U.S. media and academia?


UK: Morris dancing groups ban blackening faces

Morris dancers will no longer blacken their faces after organisers pledged to "eliminate" the tradition to avoid racial offence.

The Joint Morris Organisation (JMO) - the largest association of members - said the practice had the potential to “cause deep hurt” in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.

Any groups who continue to darken their faces would be cast out from the community and barred from events organised by the JMO, it said in a statement issued to members.

The decision provoked outcry from groups who insisted the tradition was not racist and not intended to cause offence.

The true origins of blackened faces has long been a matter of dispute among historians and dancers.

Although it remains unclear, it is generally accepted to have been a disguise first adopted as early as the 15th Century, as opposed to a reference to miners or North African Moors.

British folklore expert Professor Ronald Hutton said that while the Morris name is derived from the Moors, the use of black makeup predated racial connotations and was widespread in folk activities like wassailing and mumming.

He said: “It is one of the simplest means of masking somebody so that their everyday persona is concealed or obliterated and they can take a ceremonial role.

“It was long employed by local British communities who hardly realised or did not realise that there were other human beings of a different colour.

"The disguise was apparently to signal immediately to onlookers that something unusual was going on, and the dancers or players were not their usual selves."

However, alerting members to the Equalities Act, the JMO said blackening faces is a dwindling practice among dancing teams, and will be banned to make the folk tradition fully inclusive of all races and backgrounds without performers or spectators feeling uncomfortable.

They are also moving to prevent the tradition being exploited for nationalist symbolism by far-right groups.

In a statement, seen by the Daily Telegraph, they said: “Our traditions do not operate in a vacuum.

“We must recognise that full face black or other skin tone makeup is a practice that has the potential to cause deep hurt.

“We now believe we must take further steps to ensure the continued relevance and inclusivity of the tradition.

“The Joint Morris Organisations (The Morris Federation, The Morris Ring, and Open Morris) have therefore agreed that each of them will take action to eliminate this practice from their membership.”

Teams choosing to continue with blackening their faces will no longer be “part of the mainstream Morris community”, nor be covered by JMO public liability insurance, it said.

The statement added that the dance has previously adapted to allow women to take part, adding: “We want people from all races and backgrounds to share in this pride and not be made to feel unwelcome”.

Dancers last night lamented the intrusion of politics, and defended the continued use of using black face paint for disguises they consider an innocent part of folk culture.

John Ellis, of the Hampshire-based Hook Eagle Morris Men, said: “This is not the black and white minstrels.  When we wear the disguise, we’re not doing an Al Jolson.

“This is obviously a political hot potato now, but the disguises are not meant to offend, and have nothing to do with race.  It’s a tradition that we feel is legitimate to keep alive.

“We dance at church fairs, raise money for charity.  We’re just people having fun doing a hobby on a Saturday morning.”

The disguise has been traditionally worn during the Christmas caroling forerunner Wassailing, and in the mummers' plays immortalised in Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native.

There are over 800 teams belonging to the JMO, and around 15,000 Morris dancers in the UK.  Only 2% use full black face paint.


Best-selling children's author Gillian Phillip is sacked - after adding hashtag 'I stand with JK Rowling' to her Twitter handle amid bitter row over transgender rights

A bestselling children’s author has been sacked after expressing support for fellow writer J. K. Rowling in the bitter row over transgender rights.

In the latest example of ‘cancel culture’, novelist Gillian Philip was last week jettisoned from her role writing titles for a major publishing company.

It came after the writer, who has penned a popular series of books for eight-to-12-year-olds, added the hashtag #IStandWithJKRowling to her Twitter handle.

Her move sparked a torrent of online abuse and emails to her employer Working Partners, a ‘fiction packaging’ firm which devises series for publishing houses and commissions authors to write them.

Ms Philip, 56, had expressed her support for the Harry Potter creator after she retweeted an article referring to ‘people who menstruate’ and questioned why the story did not use the word ‘women’.

Ms Rowling was subjected to trolling and accused of being ‘transphobic’.

However, Ms Philip – one of several authors writing under the name Erin Hunter on popular animal fantasy series including Warrior Cats, Survivors and Bravelands – found herself sacked for her support of Ms Rowling.

After Ms Philip received sexualised abuse and deaths threats from the trans lobby, she tweeted ‘Bring it on, homophobes and lesbian-haters’ – which only inflamed the situation.

Within 24 hours, James Noble, managing editor of Working Partners, replied to the barrage of complaints saying: ‘The worlds created by Erin Hunter are meant to be inclusive for all readers and we want to let you know that Gillian Philip will no longer be writing any Erin Hunter novels.’

The decision was last night condemned by Toby Young, founder of the Free Speech Union, who said: ‘Every day, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed and their names dragged through the mud because they’ve said something others disagree with.

'Anyone who challenges the view of these activists is immediately targeted for cancellation.’

Erin Hunter books are published by HarperCollins, which was also targeted by online protesters.

Ms Philip has also written as Gabriella Poole for the Darke Academy series and Adam Blade for the Beast Quest books.

In a statement last night, she said: ‘I am disappointed that the hard work and professional attitude I have brought to my work for HarperCollins and for Working Partners counted for nothing in the face of an abusive mob of anonymous Twitter trolls.

'It is concerning that my concerns about women’s legal rights and spaces have been presented as “transphobia”, and that this accusation has been allowed to stand by my former employers.’

Chris Snowdon, managing director of Working Partners, said: ‘Erin Hunter is not a single person but a diverse team of creatives and writers.

'We recently became aware that Gillian Philip had associated the Erin Hunter pen-name with her personal views on Twitter, thus associating them with the whole collective.

'In light of this situation, the decision was taken to no longer work with Gillian Philip.


Going to National Parks Is Racist, Declares ABC News

In the six weeks since a multiracial group of Minnesota cops killed George Floyd, America has learned all sorts of things about what caused the crime. It wasn’t just those cops’ fault, you see. It wasn’t just the responsibility of the city of Minneapolis or even the state of Minnesota. As it turns out, every white person in the world is responsible for Floyd’s death. That’s why we now need to tear down any statue of any historical figure who was Caucasian, even the guy who signed the Emancipation Proclamation. That’s why any white person who voices a black character on a cartoon show needs to step aside now. That’s why we need to expunge that episode of The Golden Girls where they wore mud masks and the dumb one said, “We’re not really black.” All of those things are racist. All of those things made those cops kill that guy.

And we’re just getting started. Everything that white people enjoy is racist, because they’re white people. Even going to national parks is racist now, because most of the people who go to national parks are white.


Did you get all that? It’s racist to go to national parks, even though you’re not keeping anybody else from going there. It’s “self-segregation,” even though the parks are open to anyone who wants to go. And if you’re a white person, it’s your fault if people of color don’t want to go to the parks, especially if you’ve never done anything to hurt anybody. None of the black people interviewed by ABC News can point to any specific instance of racism, which is what’s so nefarious about white people. There’s nothing more racist than not being a racist.

The message is clear: Mother Nature is a white supremacist.

But seriously, folks. Speaking as a white person — Sorry! — I have no interest whatsoever in going to a national park. I know they’re there, and that’s fine. If other people want to go there, fine. If other black or brown people want to go there, fine. And also… it’s fine if they don’t! I really don’t understand why anybody should care about the racial breakdown of national park attendees, or what will be solved if we somehow force non-white people to go to national parks. This is just some white journos who are expected to file a story about racism, even if there’s no racism.

“If white people are bad, and lots of white people go to national parks… Hey, national parks are racist now!” It’s the opposite of journalism.

But let’s say you’re dumb enough to believe this crap. Can you really blame people of color for avoiding national parks? Not only would they see a bunch of white faces there, but some of those faces are 60 feet tall!

Even just a month ago, if you had told me the libs would want to take down Mount Rushmore, I’d say you were imagining things. Now I’m just waiting for Congress to vote on it.

Mind you, I’m ambivalent about making statues and sculptures of any politician, even the relatively good ones. I’ve always been leery of such graven images. But I’m even more leery of any political movement that thinks the path to the future is somehow blocked by evidence of the past. That we can’t move forward without trashing what’s behind us. But then, there’s no logic or reason to any of this. It’s driven entirely by emotion. Crowd psychology has migrated online, and extremes of thought and behavior are rewarded more extremely.

Somebody tells you that Lincoln didn’t really free the slaves? Well then, you need to one-up them and blurt out that Lincoln was an outright racist. Now tear down his statue or you’re a racist! It’s completely insane.

This is all going to have the opposite of the intended effect. Americans were already tired of being called racist for things we didn’t do, and now there’s no escaping it wherever we go. We’re fed up.

Dear Libs: You aren’t going to shame Americans into accepting collective responsibility for crimes they didn’t commit. You’re just going to alienate them, and they’re not going to listen to you when there are real problems to solve.

I guess you want a Trump landslide in November, huh?



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

5 July, 2020  

The attack on Christ

The devolution of America is reaching a critical stage, and columnist Rod Dreher asks exactly the right question. "What's your Woke Breaking Point?" We may now have an answer. "All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down," tweeted radical BLM activist Shaun King. "They are a gross form of white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down."

King is not alone."Every time you see white Jesus, you see white supremacy," asserts Anthea Butler, associate professor of religious studies and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning science-fiction author Nnedi Okorafor agrees, tweeting, "Yes, 'blond blue-eyed jesus' [sic] IS a form of white supremacy."

Both women were quoted in an article denigrating artist Warner E. Sallman's "Head of Christ," a portrait of Jesus that achieved mass popularity in the mid 20th century. In the same article, author Edward J. Blum reveals the endgame the revolutionaries have in mind. "If white Jesus can't be put to death, how could it possibly be the case that systemic racism is done?" Blum asserts. "Because this is one that just seems obvious. This one seems easy to give up."

Obvious? Who's kidding whom? This isn't about white Jesus or any other religious statues that have represented Christianity for over two millennia. As columnist Andrea Peyser astutely notes, "Biblical figures have long been represented by images that resemble the artist's own community. So in Ethiopia, Jesus has been depicted as black for more than 1,500 years. In the Far East, works showing Jesus as Asian can be found. There's nothing to stop artists from creating new works depicting Jesus however they wish."

That's not good enough for a mob that does not wish to compete on the battlefield of ideas, culture, or religious sensibilities. Their agenda is about the acquisition and maintenance of absolute power — by any means necessary. Thus, attacking one of the few bastions of conservatism that hasn't been completely defiled by capitulation to "woke" sensibilities is an absolute necessity.

And just to be clear, this is not in reference to the Christian leaders in various denominations who long ago surrendered their moral authority to the mob. This is about ordinary Americans derided by former President Barack Obama as people who bitterly "cling" to their religion because they dare to stand against an all-encompassing progressive dogma.

One that now threatens their very existence.

Thus, an army of wannabe fascist enforcers is displaying an animus that abounds in the history of totalitarian takeovers. "Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries have always hated Christianity because it elevates truth and offers a moral authority beyond politics," columnist Lloyd Billingsley explains.

Politics is too nice a word. What religion in general and Christianity in particular represent is the antithesis of totalitarian control that seeks to literally replace God with government. Government run by those for whom the idea that there is something bigger than mankind — and thus a government of men — represents the most potent threat to their contemptible ambitions. "Our fundamental rights don't come from the government," former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee reminds us, "because if government gives them, government can take them. They come from God, and we created a government unlike any that's ever been, whose sole purpose was to protect those God-given rights so that we could live in our personal, individual liberty."

Because that immutable reality represents an existential threat to the progressive agenda, the onslaught won't stop with white Jesus or other religious statues. In Salinas, California, evangelical Christian church New Harvest is being forced to sell its downtown property because a city ordinance bans houses of worship from occupying the first floor of downtown buildings. A federal court in the San Francisco Bay Area recently sided with the city, ruling that churches generate limited interest, do not draw tourists, and therefore detract from the city's stated aim to "establish a pedestrian-friendly, active and vibrant Main Street."

That the Court itself noted the church's weekly schedule of activities "includes a Sunday morning worship service (including a worship band) and programs for children and teens/tweens; a Tuesday evening worship service, 'Fun Club' for children ages 3-4, and boys' ministries (which alternate weekly between two different age groups); a Thursday evening worship band rehearsal; a Friday evening prayer meeting; and a women's Bible study on some Saturday mornings"?

"Salinas deems churches as less deserving of equal treatment under the law than the live children's theatre, two cinemas, and event center that share the city's downtown corridor with New Harvest Fellowship," said Pacific Justice Institute Chief Counsel Kevin Snider, the lead attorney who is appealing the ruling to the Ninth Circuit.

What comes after statues and churches? People. People like Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who despite a Supreme Court ruling in his favor regarding exercising his religion by refusing to bake a same-sex wedding cake was targeted yet again by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for refusing to bake a cake celebrating a "gender transition." People like Little Sisters of the Poor who also remain under attack despite a Supreme Court ruling that said they were under no obligation to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees. People like every American who believes in the nuclear family the mob now labels as "cisgender privilege."

In a column for The Week, writer Bonnie Kristian attempts to make the distinction between depictions of a white Jesus for "devotional purposes" and one "whitened to cloak racialized oppression with a lie of divine approval." Christianity Today columnist Christina Cleveland takes it one step further. "Not only is white Jesus inaccurate, he also can inhibit our ability to honor the image of God in people who aren't white."

Really? Then why is the overwhelming majority of racial arson, epitomized by the concepts of "intersectionality" and white "privilege," coming from the secular Left? Why is the blue state of California trying to reinstitute affirmative action? Why are progressive black college students demanding segregated dorms? And why did a county in the blue state of Oregon demand that only white people wear masks?

It is absolutely critical that decent Americans understand one thing above all else: The mob is not the least bit interested in compromise or reconciliation. Every concession made by people who consider themselves reasonable and decent will be met by demands for further concessions. And until they reach the point of absolute control, the mob's appetite will never be satisfied.

That's not politics. It's human nature, and as such people will be forced to take a side, even those naive enough to believe being "down with the cause" offers them exemption. There is no exemption, and in November, the electorate will be presented with one of the clearest choices in history:

One can vote for civilization, the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and freedom of religion — or one can vote for Democrats.


A cowed nation

It’s an interesting electoral strategy – call every white person a racist and demand they vote for you as a way to absolve themselves of their guilt. That’s what Democrats are doing in 2020. I guess it’s better than running on their record and policy ideas. There used to be a word for dividing everyone by race and demanding different treatment based on that division, but I can’t quite recall it at the moment. Oh, yes, it’s racist. But words no longer mean what they used to, they mean whatever leftists demand they mean, which is turning the whole country into one big college campus.

Dictionary.com defines “racism” as follows:

1 a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.

2 a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3 hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

If that sounds pretty sane, that’s because it is. It’s also not the definition anyone in the Democratic Party uses anymore. And it’s not the definition Merriam-Webster is going to use much longer. After receiving a request from a recently graduated college snowflake who was upset that people were pointing out the definition of racism, MW is adding a new definition involving “systemic oppression.”

Of course, this is normal for life on college campuses – demand action first, find out if it’s true or not later. More often than not, the cause of the outrage turns out to be false.

But true or false, right or wrong, these quaint concepts no longer matter. Not just on college campuses, but everywhere now. Don’t like your boss? Say they’re bigoted or unfairly harsh and demanding. You don’t need any more proof than that. If your boss is a leftist, they’ll likely commit hara-kiri before you hit send on the email anyway, which will only bolster the case for their dismissal because of cultural appropriation.

For the past few decades it’s been harder and harder for anyone to speak on college campuses. For conservatives it's nearly impossible, but a growing number of liberals have had their share of violent mob shout-downs too. Stray one inch away from acceptable liberal orthodoxy and you might as well be a Trump, many Democrats have discovered.

It was all well and good for a while. Sure, you’d get an unfavorable segment on Fox News about your school, but the fervor would fade in a day, replaced by some other outrage. What did it matter? You didn’t go to that school, nor did your kids.

But now those kids are out in the workforce and they haven’t grown up, they’ve only grown bolder.

A lifetime of pedestrian existence and accomplishments meant to celebrate being over achieving, of not keeping score and a wall full of participation ribbons treated as victory have created a generation of spoiled, entitled brats. Worse, they’ve not only been told they’re special, they’ve been told they’re victims too. And they believe both.

Rather than being smacked across the face with the cold, dead fish of reality, “woke” companies bow to their demands, bend the knee to their wishes, and destroy anyone who stands in their way.

For many organizations, it’s too late to fix their corporate culture. Accusations are not only treated as fact, they’re almost treated as confessions. “Why did you do this?” has replaced, “Did you do this?” Lost in all of it is, “Does any of this really matter?”

Of course, the answer to the last question, generally, is no, it does not. But when you’re a snowflake, the slightest breath can melt you.

The Democratic Party has aided and abetted the ideas that have turned so much of our country into one big college campus, without the fun. But Republicans let it happen. Tweeting your disgust over someone being uninvited to speak is literally the least someone could do, yet it’s the most that gets done. As these publicly subsidized factories of the put-upon crank out more professional grievance monsters, lip service isn’t going to be enough.  These political times require someone to have metaphorical content in the front of their underpants, not literal content in the back when it comes to confronting this mob.

It being an election year, and it being the Republican Party we’re talking about, there’s a less than 50-50 chance anyone will effectively stand up and tell these adults that they need to start acting like adults.

Afraid of being called an “ist” or a “phobe” of some sort, too many people have simply watched as the civil society is being treated like a Target in Minneapolis. There’s a hunger for leaders who will actually lead, particularly when leading is a risk. That’s why you ran for the job in the first place, isn’t it?

Audio out of Chicago this week showed just how feckless and cowardly elected leaders are when the chips are down. The city’s Aldermen all whined about the destruction of their neighborhoods to the Mayor, who couldn’t care less. None of them led, they all lamented that the Mayor wouldn’t. This “somebody’s got to do something” attitude won the day, and the city burned.

It’s not unique to Chicago - there just happens to be audio of it there. Democrats were reluctant to speak out because they benefited from the woke mob. Republicans were reluctant to speak out because they thought the woke mob hurt Democrats. Neither is true, and with no one doing anything, the real loser is the country.

The woke factories have to be shut down.

You can’t count on Democrats to stand up, but Republicans need to. Not only fighting, for as long as it takes, to end funding to schools that embrace these witch hunts, but also speaking repeatedly to donors and alumni about cutting them off as well. Hitting them where it hurts is the only way to get their attention; and if some go under in the process, who cares? The country is more important than any institution, especially one dependent upon our tax dollars.

The country is becoming one big college campus, except the fun has been sucked out of it by the joyless, entitled, gang of crybabies who used to contain their whining to the quad now doing exactly what they’ve been trained and encouraged to do in the real world. No one will fully be able to make up for the lifetime of bad parenting and miseducation that led them to this point, but numbers will be able to stop them, and we have the numbers. We just need a leader willing to sound the battle cry before they go from rewriting the dictionary to burning it. As the history of progressives has shown, they start with one book but they quickly move to others, and they never stop there.


Majority of Black Voters Support a Position that the Left Believes Is Bigoted

A majority of black voters believe there are only two genders, according to a joint poll by Just The News with Scott Rasmussen. Black voters are also more likely than white and Hispanic voters to reject the radical left-wing theory that there are more than two genders.

The poll found 62% of Black U.S. voters said there are only two genders, biological male and females, while 49% of whites and 51% of Hispanics said the same. Thirty percent of black voters said there were “other gender identities,” compared to 44% of whites and 39% of Hispanics.

Overall, 51 percent of U.S. voters believe in the science-based fact that there are only two genders. That is low, but still more than the 41 percent who believe other gender identities exist. Just 8 percent are not sure.

“This is a pretty significant measure of a massive cultural shift,” says Scott Rasmussen. “As on many other questions, there is a significant gap between voters under 45 and their elders. A majority of older voters believe there are just two genders. Younger voters are evenly divided.”

Scott Rasmussen surveyed 1,200 registered voters June 18-20, 2020. The poll has a margin of sampling error: +/- 2.8%.

It’s remarkable to see just how out of step black voters are on this issue with the Democratic Party. A whopping 57 percent of Democrats believe in more than two genders, while just 34 percent believe in just two. An overwhelming majority of Republicans, 77 percent, believe that there are only two genders.

Despite the fact that black voters overwhelmingly vote Democrat, polls suggest they more closely identify as moderate, and identify as more religious and socially conservative than the Democratic Party as a whole. This suggests (to me anyway) that the best way for the GOP to win over black voters is to appeal to them on social issues.


America's Jews and Christians Are Failing the Test of Their Lives

If you are a Jew or Christian in America, the seriousness of your Judaism or Christianity is now being tested.

People look back in time and wonder how religious people, especially religious leaders — specifically, the clergy — could have failed in times of moral crisis. The failure of most rabbis, priests and pastors to speak out today — when the risk to personal safety is so much less than it was in communist and fascist countries — should provide the answer: Religion doesn’t have all that much impact on most religious people. During comfortable times, it provides two essentials to a happy and fulfilled life — community and meaning — but when tested, it often fails like an umbrella that fails to expand just as it starts to rain.

America is being taken over by violent mobs; a vast amount of destruction and stealing has taken place (with little police intervention and the apathy of our political leaders). Why aren’t all clergy delivering thundering sermons about the Seventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal”? Does it now come with an asterisk?

A central part of a major American city has been seized and occupied by people who hate America and its values, including its Judeo-Christian values. Heard any clergy (aside from some evangelical Christians) speaking out against it?

And most ominous by far, for the first time in American history, free speech — the mother of all freedoms — is being widely suppressed, not by the government but by the press, the universities, the high schools, the elementary schools, all the giant internet media, Hollywood and virtually every major business in America. Christians and Jews place repentance at the center of their theologies, yet there is no place for repentance if you did or said one insensitive thing — real or alleged — even if it was 20 or more years ago. Yet all we get from American religious leaders on this matter is … silence.

The freest, least racist, most opportunity-providing country in history — “the last best hope of earth,” in Abraham Lincoln’s words — is smeared as “systemically racist”; all white people are declared “racist”; and the statues of the greatest Americans, including George Washington and even Abraham Lincoln, are toppled and/or defaced. And all we get from most American religious leaders is either agreement or silence.

It leads this religious American to ask the question the anti-religious ask: Of what use is religion?

Take the claim that being “colorblind” is racist.

If you are a religious Jew or Christian — let alone a rabbi, priest or minister — do you believe that? Do you believe that the human ideal is not to be colorblind? Do you believe that the ideal is to see every person, first and foremost, as a member of a race? Is that what you learned at seminary? Is that what you have taught from your pulpit all of your life?

I doubt it. I assume that, until as recently as a year or even six months ago, you have always believed and preached that we are, in Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, to measure people not by “the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Isn’t it fundamental to all Bible-based religions that we are all created in God’s image, that God has no race and that Adam and Eve, from whom we all descend, had no race? If you are a Christian, do you see Christians of other races first as fellow Christians or first as members of their race? If you are a Jew, do you see Jews of other races as anything other than fellow Jews? Does God?

So, why the silence? Why aren’t all rabbis, priests and pastors telling their congregations and telling America — in tweets, on Facebook, in letters to the editor, on television and radio, in opinion pieces — that there is one race, the human race, and that the only antidote to racism is to deny that race determines our worth, not to affirm its significance?

Does an ideology that affirms the significance of race have an honorable pedigree? Has it ever led to anything good? Isn’t that exactly what Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan advocated?

So, how are we to explain this tragic failure of religious Jews and Christians — and their clergy — to speak up against looting (aka stealing) and for freedom, for America, for Western civilization and for being colorblind?

The answer to this question also goes to the core of what it means to be religious. At the center of our two religions is the notion of fear of God: “Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). But what is now apparent is that most Jews and Christians fear the left, fear The New York Times, fear being shunned by “friends” on Facebook and mobbed on Twitter more than they fear God.

That’s what this moment comes down to. Jews and Christians who fail this test will not only lose their freedom, lose the great American hope for mankind and lose the West; they will have also lost their souls.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

3 July, 2020

Boston: Study shows Black renters, voucher holders face egregious housing discrimination

Blacks tend to be poorer and more violent so there will always be a presumption against them.  It is similar in Australia with Aborigines and Maori.  As an Australian landlord in the 80's and '90s, I was aware of the adverse probablities with them but still accepted them where my judgment of them personally suggested that they would be OK.  I judged the individual, not the race.

I eventuallly tired of Maori because of their disruptiveness when drunk but contiued to accept Aborigines until I gave up landlording. So I am one of the "good" landlords who did accept minorities.  But I did so on the basis of a personal interview.  If I had to leave the judgment to an agent, however, I would have put in place a mechanism for rejecting minorities. The risk would have been too great to delegate the decision to an agent.

And that is the reality. You can try to make prospective black tenants more desirable by way of anti-discrimination laws but owners will find ways around such laws.  An undesirable tenant will remain an undesirable tenant and will rarely be accepted.

The pity of course is that some minority tenants will be perfectly OK.  Two of my best tenants were black.  But most blacks will be rejected because of their ethnicity.  So an intelligent solution to that problem is needed. 

Making eviction easier would be one such measure.  If you can easily get a bad tenant out, owners and agents would be more likely to take a risk.  Higher rents and deposits for minorities would also work but would send the Left into a frothing rage.  The left go for coercion despite the much greater effectiveness of incentives

Researchers fault real estate professionals who illegally ghost, steer away qualified renters

An undercover investigation released Wednesday found that Black people posing as prospective tenants in Greater Boston were shown fewer apartments than whites and offered fewer incentives to rent, and that real estate agents cut off contact when the renters gave Black-sounding names like Lakisha, Tyrone, or Kareem.

The white “testers” in the study posing as would-be renters, on the other hand, easily secured tours of properties, were wooed with discounts, and got preferred treatment — such as the opportunity to view additional units — when looking at apartments.

In subtle and overt ways, Black renters experienced discrimination by real estate brokers and landlords in 71 percent of the cases tested in the study by Suffolk University Law School, titled “Qualified Renters Need Not Apply: Race and Voucher Discrimination in the Metro Boston Housing Market.”


The Problem of 'Anti-Racism'

It requires denial of reality
Today, the nostrum goes, it is not enough for Americans to be not racist. They must be “anti-racist.” This woke terminology has infused our lexicon. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., recently declared from the well of the Senate: “Being race-conscious is not enough. It never was. We must be anti-racists.” What, pray tell, is the difference between being against racism and being anti-racist? Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be An Antiracist,” provides an answer: Racism is no longer to be defined as the belief that someone is inferior based on race. Instead, racism is to be defined as the belief that any group differences can be attributed to anything other than racism. Thus, any system that ends with different outcomes must be racist. Indeed, Kendi contends, “Racism itself is institutional, structural, and systemic.”

To be anti-racist means to tear down these systems. Any obstacle in the pursuit of equality of outcome must be torn down, assumed to be a product of discrimination. Basic decency, then, means that we must oppose even institutions that have been considered hallmarks of freedom. Those institutions, after all, have exacerbated inequalities, or at least failed to rectify those inequalities.

This means that America’s culture of rights — a culture that suggests an obligation on the part of individuals to respect the rights of others, even if they disagree — must come under fire. That culture reinforces hierarchies and inequalities, after all. The classical liberal says that rights fall equally on the just and the unjust alike; the anti-racist suggests that rights are merely tools of power. Anti-racism, in its essence, is merely reworked neo-Marxism from the 1960s: Herbert Marcuse would have been ecstatic to see his concept of “repressive tolerance” — “intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left” — revived under the banner of race rather than class.

The self-proclaimed “anti-racist” left — a left that sees all of human relations reduced to a rudimentary correlation of skin color and inequality, an analysis we used to call racist — has decided that the culture must be cleansed of all of those who will not be drafted into its woke army. Its march through the institutions began with college campuses, where cowardly administrators quickly caved to the bizarre notion that campuses were unsafe, cruel bastions of bigotry requiring speech codes and training in microaggressions. Next, the woke army moved on to the halls of institutional media, where editors were forced to announce their own white privileges along with their resignations, turning over the instruments of informational dissemination to radical racialists.

Now the woke army has targeted corporations. Corporations are, by nature, risk-averse; they seek merely profit and lack of controversy. The hard left has targeted them as the weakest link in the chain of free speech: If corporations can be bullied into pulling their money from social media networks, those social media networks can be bullied into restricting their free-speech cultures. Remove advertising bucks from Instagram and watch as Instagram censors those the woke want censored.

Indeed, such a campaign is now front and center in the culture wars: Major corporations from Coca-Cola to Target have stopped advertising on social media networks, citing the need for more “hate speech” regulation on those platforms. Obviously, those who target corporations will not be satisfied until all non-woke speech is limited or banned; corporations will be unpleasantly surprised when those they have been seeking to appease turn on them as remnants of the evil system. But corporations have neither the principle nor the will to deny the demands of the loudest and the most militant.

The product of the woke crusade will not be a less racist America but a more polarized one. That’s because the woke crusade is not truly about reducing racism; it is about attacking fundamental institutions, American history and our very culture of rights. All the things we share must be eviscerated. So we will share nothing. And then the true ugliness begins.


Strange interpretations from SCOTUS

Once again the Supreme Court has strayed from declaring what preexisting law is to making law.

Impatient with the pace of legislative action on amending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual-orientation discrimination, the Supreme Court has rewritten the statute via interpretation. In Bostock v. Clayton County (a 6-3 decision), the Court held that Title VII’s prohibition of workplace discrimination based on “sex” encompasses sexual orientation. Hence, a person fired because of homosexual orientation or transgender status may now bring a claim under Title VII. Although many Americans agree with the policy result reached by the Court, all thinking persons should lament that six unelected lawyers have usurped the role of Congress.

When engaging in statutory interpretation, the Court is supposed to implement congressional intent by examining the plain language of the statute. A statute’s plain meaning is determined by reference to its words’ ordinary meaning at the time of the statute’s enactment. In reaching its decision in Bostock, the Court asserted that it was simply enforcing the plain terms of Title VII as those terms would have been understood in 1964. It cited the late Justice Antonin Scalia and assured readers that it was engaging in a textualism that would have made Scalia proud.

The Court conceded that “sex” as used in Title VII would have been understood by an average person in 1964 as meaning biologically male or female. However, the Court followed up with a remarkable statement: “it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

This is balderdash. (Or better yet, “interpretive jiggery-pokery,” as Scalia once said.)

If, for example, an employer fired all lesbians working for his company, he would not be discriminating because the targets of his wrath are biologically female but on account of their sexual orientation. Sex discrimination and sexual-orientation discrimination are two distinct categories of discrimination. The former falls within the plain meaning of Title VII; the latter does not.

For most of its history, this has been the common understanding of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination. As Justice Brett Kavanagh pointed out in dissent: “in the first 10 Courts of Appeals to consider the issue, all 30 federal judges agreed that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination.” For the first 48 years of its existence, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charged with enforcing civil rights laws against workplace discrimination, viewed sex discrimination and sexual-orientation discrimination as separate matters.

Congress certainly viewed sex and sexual-orientation discrimination as different. Over the years various bills have been introduced to add sexual-orientation discrimination to Title VII. At different times majorities in both the House and Senate have approved such a change, but they have yet to come together to send a bill to the president. In many other federal antidiscrimination statutes, Congress has specifically included sexual orientation. Thus when Congress wants to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, it knows how to do so.

Bostock is yet another Supreme Court decision that teaches Americans the wrong lessons. Rather than engaging in a debate, proposing legislation, and garnering votes, we are taught that the easiest way to obtain a desired policy result is to run to the judiciary. It’s a lot less work to convince five lawyers rather than 218 House members, 51 senators, and the president.

Of course, under separation-of-powers principles, all legislative authority is supposed to reside with Congress. If the people desire a certain policy or object to a policy enacted, they can use the franchise to oust members of Congress and to elect representatives more to their liking. But the people have no such power when it comes to the federal judiciary. The Court can discover new constitutional rights hitherto unknown in American history or make law through tricks of statutory interpretation, but the people have no recourse.

Bostock is but the latest example of judicial overreach. It shows why the Court should allow policy matters to be worked out in the elected branches of government.


Christian Political Schizophrenia: The American church is far too silent on the most pressing issues of our day

Where is the church? Where is the church? In this racial, political, socialist, communist, and Marxist climate in America, where are God’s people? I thought being “bold as a lion” was the theme of the Christ follower. I thought “more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus” was the standard of the church. What in the Shadrach, Meshach, and Adednego is going on here in American churches? Should the church be involved in politics or not?

I was invited to a small group this past Sunday evening and the topic of Scripture was from 1 John 3. The Bible spoke for itself in verse 13: “Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” Hate is such a strong word in today’s climate. Christians don’t want to be hated; they want to be admired. Why do so-called Christians believe they are to be loved and adored for their faith when the Bible clearly speaks of opposition? We claim the only way to true salvation. Don’t you understand that in and of itself ignites a proverbial line in the sand with all types of worldly religions? I guess what I’m trying to say is, where’s the fight? It seems like the coronavirus and the color wars have shut the doors of the church, literally. The physical church doors are shut for the most part and so are the mouths of many so called crusaders for Christ.

At this small group, I was led to speak out against the Black Lives Matter “organization” — to their dismay. I was the only “black” person in the room, so those thoughts coming from me made everyone somewhat uncomfortable and at the same time relieved. They wanted to open up about it because it’s affecting everything around our daily lives. As I shared what BLM was really about — left-wing branch of Marxist communism with a dash of LGBT — they were alarmed. Corporations are jumping on board, NCAA coaches are joining in on the trend, and the church is … silent. Well, except for the “Christian Chicken” CEO Dan Cathy “washing the feet” of a black Christian rapper to show a humble attempt of racial reconciliation. It was a “fail” in a major cringe-worthy way in my humble opinion. Let us all let go of this Christian-Politico Schizophrenia and choose this day whom you will serve; God or the world.

Christians who vote Conservative need to be put on alert that this nation wasn’t formed by cowards sitting on the sidelines. This nation was formed through blood, sweat, and tears. Republicans were the party who thought that slavery was wrong; the party’s foundational platform was based on the “abolition of slavery into American territories.” This wasn’t for the faint at heart. This nation ended up going to its bloodiest war to settle its slave matters.

Should this matter to American Christians who vote conservative values?

Not only should the church be involved in politics, but [it] should dominate politics. Every industry should be impacted by Christ followers. Whether it’s the industry of arts and entertainment, sports, law, literature, education, financial services, or politics, there should be a presence of those who name the name of Christ. So what are you waiting for? Get off your Sunday soap box and impact the lives and industries around you. Stop waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to pass and get out of your pajamas and head to your local assembly. Stop making excuses for watching the livestream instead of joining God’s team. We are being marginalized from within. Don’t miss the greatest weapon that God gave us to destroy the enemy — the Word of God. God bless you and Happy Independence Day!



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

2 July, 2020

Symbolic gestures of support aren’t enough

Just another bit of brainless Leftism below.  The author notes the under-representaion of blacks in any occupation requiring brainpower and concludes that the under-representation  is due to bias against blacks.  That blacks might not in general have high levels of brainpower she does not consider.

So how is the bias to be overcome? Employers should "conduct audits", "set timelines" and "incentivize diversity".  Ho hum!  Total vagueness. That affirmative action makes employers already keen to have "diversity" she ignores.

She is right that all the existing attempts to achieve diversity have hardly touched the problem but still thinks she has the answers.  Existing experience would suggest that there are no answers.  Only a tiny number of blacks are able to rise to the top of intellectually demanding occupations.

 But to say that is of course "racism" or even "white supremacy".  A pity that it is also reality.  And because it is reality the situation she aims at will remain a mirage.  Attempts to achieve "diversity" are flailing at an immovable object.  Great efforts will be made but will achieve nothing.  If all that wasted effort were instead used on something achievable we we would all surely be better off.  But it is the nature of Leftists to bang their heads on brick walls

For 8 min. 46 sec., “I can’t breathe,” the plaintive refrain of a prone and pleading George Floyd, commanded the screen of a Viacomcbs video. Amid nationwide protests after Floyd’s death and polls showing widespread support for Black Lives Matter, the video was among hundreds of corporate efforts to co-opt a rallying cry of the movement. Leaders in the arts, finance, publishing, fashion, entertainment and sports proclaimed, “Black lives matter,” participated in #Blackouttuesday and pledged millions of dollars to groups devoted to racial justice.

Largely left unspoken is how many of these institutions routinely exclude or marginalize people of color. Black people, who make up 13% of the U.S. population, represent just 3% of workers at the top 75 tech firms and 1.8% of law partners. Between 1985 and 2014, the proportion of Black men in management at U.S. companies with 100 or more employees crept from 3% to 3.3%.

And while people of color are roughly 40% of the population, they make up around 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs. Rather than diversifying their workforces, boards and leadership teams, many institutions have financed pricey diversity efforts that consistently fail to increase racial representation.

For instance, Facebook, which on June 1 pledged $10 million to organizations that combat racial inequity, has devoted millions to diversity initiatives, to little avail. Its latest diversity report shows that the proportion of Black and Hispanic employees combined went from 8.4% in 2018 to 9% in 2019. Instead of investing in more studies and anti-bias training, the tech industry could enlist the growing number of Black and Latinx graduates with computerscience and engineering degrees, and redirect resources to underserved urban schools.

Institutions should conduct audits of employee demographics along racial and gender lines and across job categories to detect and disrupt patterns of bias that have metastasized in unequal hiring, salaries, promotions and, in the case of cultural organizations, offensive iconography. They should also set timelines and incentivize diversity the same way they do profits and innovation. Research shows that greater racial diversity would improve both.

On June 4, Vogue editor Anna Wintour emailed colleagues, saying the magazine had not “found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators” and “made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant.” Those oversights are all too common in every influential field.

Racial injustice is not an abstraction, and institutions can root it out in their midst. But this requires an honest encounter with our airbrushed history, pervasive racial illiteracy and systemic inequities. It is not enough for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to condemn “systematic oppression of Black people,” or apologize for not listening to players earlier. He must reassess practices that have allowed coaches and executives to remain overwhelmingly white in a league in which players are nearly 70% Black.

The lightning speed with which Confederate statues are toppling and police reforms are being made illustrates that achieving racial justice does not require more time and strategies— only will. The gradualism that has defined racial progress must be superseded by the swift systemic change that a wide swath of America finally agrees is overdue.


Amazon Doubles Down on Excluding Some Conservative Nonprofits from Customer Donations

In yet another slap in the face from far-left tech giants to conservatives, Amazon.com recently doubled down on its policy that prohibits customers from donating proceeds from their purchases to well-established conservative nonprofits like the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom.

While Amazon customers can use the AmazonSmile program to donate a portion of each purchase to left-leaning organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Center for American Progress (and to be fair, to many right-leaning organizations, too), Amazon has decided to single out a few well-known conservative organizations like FRC and ADF from receiving part of the tens of millions of dollars the program raises each year from customers.

That’s because the company uses the radical, left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as the standard-bearer to decide which nonprofits customers are allowed to direct their contributions to.

SPLC has labeled some of the mainstream conservative organizations it disagrees with as “hate groups” and publishes their names in a directory alongside real hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. Amazon won’t allow any group that’s on SPLC’s “hate list” to participate in AmazonSmile.

The SPLC itself is a completely discredited organization. It bills itself as being on the front lines in the fight against racial inequality and injustice, yet last year, its own staffers accused its leadership of years of racial and gender discrimination and of widespread sexual harassment.

Whistleblowers said that the organization had a “systemic culture of racism and sexism within its workplace.” As a result, its cofounder and president were both forced out.

With all this baggage and SPLC’s known bias against conservatives, one has to wonder why Amazon is using the center to determine which nonprofits are acceptable and which are not. Yet, recently, at the urging of Amazon’s board of directors, shareholders defeated a resolution that would have ended the use of SPLC’s defamatory list.

That means long-established, venerable organizations like the Family Research Council continue to be excluded from receiving contributions because the SPLC considers an organization that adheres to traditional Christian teachings about marriage a hate group.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a respected organization of Christian lawyers dedicated to defending religious liberty and free speech rights, was also designated an anti-LGBT hate group because of its defense of traditional marriage in the courts. SPLC also considers groups like the Center for Immigration Studies that advocate for stricter border enforcement as anti-immigrant hate groups.

The people at SPLC certainly have a right to disagree with these groups’ policy positions; but it’s unconscionable that they would label decent people as hateful and consider them on equal footing with neo-Nazis and the Klan.

It’s also unconscionable that Amazon would legitimize SPLC’s list. In doing so, Amazon is telling millions of its customers who share the same traditional Christian or conservative beliefs that they are hateful, too.

A piece of free advice for Amazon’s board of directors: I’ve served on several corporate boards during my career, and it’s just bad business to alienate upwards of half of your customers.

When Amazon’s board recommended that shareholders reject the resolution, it said, “The policies and procedures we have in place for our employees, sellers, and customers are intended to foster diversity and inclusion and promote respect for all people.”

How ironic. Amazon wants to show it is diverse and inclusive – just not diverse and inclusive enough to include religious groups that espouse traditional Christian beliefs or immigration groups that believe in protecting the nation’s borders.

While Amazon is within its rights as a private company to conduct its business the way it wants, consumers also have a right to complain to Amazon and to ultimately decide not to do business with the retailer if their complaints aren’t taken seriously.

In the wake of COVID-19, there are plenty of local businesses that need our support to help bring the U.S. economy back. Perhaps that fact, combined with Amazon’s refusal to change its ways, will provide the impetus for people to shop locally more often. Local business owners may have their own political opinions, but most are smart enough not to insult half of their customers by injecting those opinions into the shopping experience.


Instagram Brands Christian Worship ‘Harmful’

Sean Feucht is a worship leader and songwriter who recently ran for political office in California. He is also a conservative Christian.

On June 23 he tweeted, “This is what we’ve come to in America! “Instagram is now classifying my WORSHIP videos as ‘harmful or false information’ “Religious Liberty? Freedom of Speech? Big Tech censorship?”

Included in the tweet was a screenshot from Instagram, explaining that the company had removed his video post because it was violation of Community Standards. (Oh, those dread community standards again!)

Specifically, Instagram stated, “Story removed for harmful or false information.”

What on earth does this mean? What can it possibly mean?

Feucht’s tweet got the attention of Missouri’s Senator Josh Hawley who tweeted, “Cancel culture meets #BigTech. Now @instagram is censoring a Christian worship leader who wants to post videos of praise and worship from places where there has recently been unrest. And that doesn’t meet ‘community standards’? Can’t wait to hear the explanation for this.”

As of this writing (late Thursday night, Eastern Time, June 25), we are still awaiting explanation.

A few years ago, I repeatedly challenged Facebook for censoring some of my posts for alleged violation of community standards, exposing the rank hypocrisy of their decisions.

For example, my factual, fairly-worded post dealing with LGBT issues would be deemed hateful, while the most blasphemous, unimaginably profane, anti-Christian Facebook pages were allowed to operate without restriction. Seriously?

Thankfully, in most cases, with the help of an internal contact, Facebook reinstated my posts (or, restored my status). But other colleagues of mine did not fare so well, having their pages permanently shut down for alleged violation of the dreaded (and oh so ambiguous) community standards.

It seems that “hate” meant one thing for one group and something entirely different for the other. (For a recent video exposé, see here.)

When it comes to YouTube and Google, the battle continues, with large channels like Prager U still experiencing discrimination and unequal treatment. (Where are all the social justice warriors calling for equality? Somehow, they don’t seem to be raising their voices for Prager U.)

In my own experience, after having over 1,000 of my channel’s videos branded unsuitable for advertising in a single stroke (!), YouTube has actually been fair with me, even surprising me at times by what it approves for monetization. At the same time, we know that the other shoe could drop at any moment and suddenly, we could be banned.

It is a big mistake to put our trust in Big Tech.

What happened with Instagram, though, seems even more bizarre and extreme. What on earth were the all-powerful censors thinking?

There are endless videos on Instagram showing disturbing clips from the recent protests and riots, all of them somehow in conformity with community standards. (Right now, over on Twitter, I’m watching a video of the “CHOP” call from Seattle, with specific reference to guillotines. I imagine similar videos can be found on Instagram.)

But when a video is posted showing Christian worship in the midst of these protests, it is removed for alleged “harmful or false information.”

Since there is nothing “false” about the video, then it must be considered “harmful” – hence the headline to this article.

Is this actually what Instagram meant? Could they possibly be claiming that worshiping the Lord on the streets of our divided cities is harmful?

If so, I would encourage every worship leader and every worship team to hit the streets of their own communities, posting similar videos and sharing them as widely as possible, starting on Instagram. (Hey, it’s a great thing to do anyway and just what America needs.)

If Instagram has made a mistake, I hope they own up to it and say, “We totally blew it! There is no excuse.” Otherwise, this means spiritual war.

So, no hatred. No carnal aggression. No fleshly anger. And, of course, of course, of course, no violence.

But lots of prayer. Lots of worship. Lots of preaching. And lots of standing up and being heard. If not now, then when?

Ironically, as if to drill the point home, as I as writing this article, I spotted another tweet from Sen. Hawley from a few hours ago. He wrote, “Now @Twitter is actively censoring Bible verses? Seriously? Why?”

Hawley retweeted another tweet from Sean Feucht, stating, “Not only is big tech blocking worship videos, now they’re blocking Bible verses about PEACE!  

“RT if you believe social media needs more peace, more worship, and less censorship of Jesus followers.”

Feucht included a screenshot of tweets from Beni Johnson, then using the handle @prayfor5, which at present is not appearing on Twitter. Her tweets, posting Bible verses, were blocked, with the note, “This Tweet may include sensitive content.”

So, worship is deemed “harmful” and Scripture verses about peace are deemed “sensitive content.” Really?

Let us, then, flood Big Tech with the Word and worship. And let us report and challenge every unjust infraction about the practicing of our faith.

It’s beyond time.


Remuneration season might bring the virtuous unstuck

To their growing horror, some corporate leaders will soon discover their virtue signalling comes at a very personal price. Their Faustian pact with environmental, social and governance ­activists is about to hit them where it hurts, right in their hip pockets. And big time.

Unless, of course, they admit, as many of us always suspected, that the “social licence to operate” guff was only ever intended as a marketing ploy, and never meant to have a serious impact on real corporate decisions, such as executive remuneration. It was meant to be the equivalent of a heartwarming musical for the corporate world with corporate leaders parading on stage spouting sweet-sounding monologues in synch about their social responsibility. When the curtains went down, it was back to the real world.

Coinciding with the end of the financial year, many of Australia’s largest corporations will be making decisions about remuneration for their high-flying executives in the next few weeks. Specifically, when deciding how much, if any, to award in bonuses, the words of Australian Council of Superannuation Investors chief executive Louise Davidson will be ringing in their ears: “We would expect boards to be using discretion to review variable remuneration outcomes over the coming months, taking into account the appropriateness of any payments in light of the experiences of their investors, staff, customers and the broader community.”

Even for those directors who have not been told the news directly by proxy advisers, industry super funds and other adherents of the environmental, social and governance movement, no translation is necessary because money talks. Given that ACSI advises non-profit super funds with something in the region of $1.5 trillion in assets on how to exercise their votes on AGM decisions such as remuneration reports and director elections, there is nothing subtle about the message. If you don’t take an axe to remuneration, ASCI members will vote against you.

Now, for companies in trouble, or for those cutting or suspending dividends, this may be perfectly appropriate. And many chief executives, senior executives and boards have taken a whopping cut to their pay already. That is as it should be. Despite activists deriding the shareholder primacy theory, the law has, for many centuries, held that boards can, and should, have regard to the interests of other stakeholders, and to their reputation, when making these kinds of decisions.

But the ESG industry has latched on to the “social licence to operate” theory to go much further. It tells us that shareholder primacy is dead, and the interests of shareholders is just one factor, and not a specially important one, among many that boards should take into account.

When the US Business Roundtable released its Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation last August, it proclaimed that the 181 chief executives who signed it “commit to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders — customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders”. It was not accidental that shareholders came in last.

Never mind that this amounts to expropriating shareholders’ money for social purposes. Under this new dispensation, what ACSI calls “the broader community” takes precedence.

Why is this frightening the pants off virtue-signalling corporates? Because they may be forced into taking pay cuts, or at least accept pay restraint, even though their own corporation is in terrific shape and even though it’s not in the interests of their own shareholders to take a pay cut.

It’s not hard to see the ESG industry, or the anti-shareholder primacy gang, saying that in times of widespread unemployment and significant social hardship, paying executives big bonuses would not be in the interests of “the broader community”.

Ignore for one moment the rank hypocrisy of this view emanating from obscenely well-paid fund managers.

Ignore too the sheer chutzpah of ACSI and industry super funds setting down prescriptive corporate governance rules for listed companies while studiously rejecting similar governance standards for themselves.

The key issue for this remuneration season is that the activists will say executives of listed companies wallowing in handsome bonuses while many are on the dole will be in breach of the “social licence to operate”.

You might think this is all terribly far-fetched. Surely the corporate musical called “social licence to operate” can’t require executives of strongly performing companies to take pay cuts just because of a pandemic. It makes no sense. But that’s the point, and the beauty, of the phrase “social ­licence to operate”. Like that awful Hollywood movie-musical La La Land, it conjures up dreams. It can, and does, mean whatever activists want it to mean.

Maybe it’s fair enough that a company that has maintained its dividends by laying off workers, or increasing prices to consumers, or reducing services, will get a bollocking if it pays bonuses. But even companies that haven’t laid off staff, or cut costs, will be at risk if they pay bonuses in a time of social misery. In a world of co-equal stakeholders, community pain could outrank sound business practice.

Those corporate executives who have spent years waxing lyrical about their commitment to a “social licence” will now, like Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, be screaming “the horror, the horror” for their advocacy. “Social licence to operate” wasn’t supposed to mean this, they will plead. It was meant to warm hearts, allow us to hold our heads up high at Toorak dinner parties, or to justify voting for Zali Steggall or the Greens. It was only a marketing ploy, they will beg. It wasn’t meant to justify pay cuts in the interests of “the broader community”, they will wail.

Well the ESG industry has news for you. Whether your company is doing well or poorly, you have to take one for the team. It doesn’t matter if you worked all the hours God gave you, if you produced a stellar result, or if your company discovered the cure for coronavirus due to your work. Inclusivity means pay cuts for all.

Alternatively, this might be a wake-up call for some executives about virtue signalling.

Perhaps they will be less effusive about the social licence industry and start admitting it was never meant to be taken seriously if it costs real money. Here’s a novel idea for the pre-COVID-19 virtue signallers: they might stand up to the corporate equivalents of Antifa.

It’s hard to know which alternative will be more fun to watch.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

1 July, 2020  

Even German regulators are useless

Following the discovery of fraud at the German payments processor Wirecard, the media are asking how German regulators can be so clueless. That is the wrong question. If anybody can make regulation work Germans, precise, efficient, un-corrupt and indomitable can do so. So, the problem must be, not that German regulators are inept, but that regulation as a whole cannot catch fraud. As 2008 proved, it cannot catch sophisticated cutting-edge scams, either. So wouldn’t we be better off without it?

Wirecard is a large German payments processor, founded around 2002 by Markus Braun, which went public in 2004 by reverse merger with a relic of the dot-com bubble. In the late 2000s it expanded into the Asia-Pacific region, developing a prepaid virtual credit card and later receiving investment from Softbank. With its combination of whizzy software and globalized payment, it appeared a typical product of the new millennium.

Then in June 2020 it was discovered that around $2 billion of cash stated on Wirecard’s balance sheet did not in fact exist. Banking relationships with Philippine banks that had been used to satisfy the auditors also did not exist, and documentation relating thereto appeared to have been forged. Braun has been arrested, and commentators are blaming German regulators for not spotting there was a problem. The blame game is made worse by the fact that German regulators had during 2019 investigated a short-seller of Wirecard shares and banned the practice – a common occurrence in that speculation-hostile jurisdiction.

On the whole, this is unfair. Regulation is largely a matter of ticking boxes, and German regulators are thus very good at it. If I were a consumer worried about the behavior of local companies (but not so much about the cost of their products and services), German regulators are the ones I would want to keep those companies in line. So, if even German regulators failed, the problem is likely to lie in the activities being regulated, not in the quality of the regulators.

This is not surprising. Auditors are happy to point out that they can rarely catch outright fraud and given that regulators rely on auditors for much of their information, it is unrealistic to expect regulators to catch it either. As the Wirecard case showed, fraudsters can design real-looking pieces of paper that justify claims of assets that do not in fact exist, and neither auditors nor regulators have the capability to detect forgeries in cases where no wrong-doing is initially alleged.

The same is also true of “financial engineering” scams, which were all too prevalent in 2006-07, and came to light in 2008-09. Regulators by and large are not the best and brightest in the financial arena – they are not paid to be. Hence traders and “quants” generally move much faster and can design novel products such as (in the 2000s) credit default swaps (CDS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) the full characteristics of which are not apparent to regulators.

As became painfully obvious during the financial crisis, the full characteristics of many of those new products were not apparent to the people designing them, nor to their bosses who “signed off” on the transactions concerned. Wall Street’s risk management methodologies were completely inadequate to deal with the pathological risk profiles of the new products. The products’ inventors and their superiors were naturally drawn in by the products’ potential profits and incentivized through bonus systems not to worry too much about the risks. Thereby stemmed disaster, which regulators were unable to prevent – how could they have prevented it, when even internal bank executives were not aware of the perilous risk chasms involved?

In principle, I am thus prepared to claim that regulation of financial markets is futile, and should be removed, since no significant protection of consumers or business counterparties is achieved by it. That does not however mean that I rejoice in a return to the law of the jungle. Far from it. There are however policy and cultural changes that can be made that will civilize the market, reducing the level of fraud and malfeasance far more effectively than mere regulation.


Don't Give Up on SCOTUS 

After a couple of disappointing rulings — and punting nearly a dozen Second Amendment cases — some are wondering if it’s time to give up on the Supreme Court. This would be a huge mistake. The very nature of the High Court, designed by the Founders to be largely independent of political trends, means it takes a lot of time to turn things around.

Let’s review the state of the Court. We have four justices who can reliably be counted on to vote for a leftist outcome, four who can reliably be considered textualist and/or originalist (Neil Gorsuch’s recent travesty notwithstanding), and Chief Justice Roberts in the middle (though Roberts is more conservative as a swing vote than was Anthony Kennedy). Roberts, though, as chief justice, also tends to be very defensive of the Supreme Court as an institution. That has, ironically, frequently led to ill-conceived rulings that ended up damaging the Court’s reputation rather than strengthening it.

The fact is, the Supreme Court is one of many institutions unmoored from the Founders’ intent. The Left has consistently used it as a combination of a super-legislature and a quasi-constitutional convention. Reversing that has taken time, largely because nominees like Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter, and Anthony Kennedy didn’t turn out so well for the Republican presidents who nominated them. They ended up as swing votes at best. Souter, a George H.W. Bush appointee, was a horrendous mistake.

Worse yet, a lot of talented textualists have thought twice about seeking a seat on the Court ever since Senate Democrats began turning Republican confirmations into a blood sport. Robert Bork, of course, is the foremost example of a superb jurist being defeated by grotesque and utterly dishonest leftist attacks. Even those who managed to weather the storm have ended up vilified and slandered. Ask Brett Kavanaugh.

One thing President Donald Trump has delivered on is his commitment to appoint good judges. But just as leftists escalated their attacks against past nominees, they have done so with many of Trump’s. Today, many leftists are open about their desire to pack the Court, supposedly in response to “politicization” of the Court. Of course, such a successful packing — which could be perpetrated only by a Democrat president and Senate — could reverse decisions like Citizens United, NIFLA v. Becerra, and Heller.

When it comes down to it, the real problem America faces isn’t that the conservative legal movement has failed. The problem is that its job remains half-done. The fact is, we need more originalist and textualist judges and justices on the bench. Over the short term, two such justices could replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, but to have a good chance of accomplishing that, President Trump must be reelected, and the Republicans need to hold the Senate.


YouTube Weaponizes ‘Hate Speech’ Policy to Censor Heritage Foundation Video

On Oct. 9, Walt Heyer took the stage at a Heritage Foundation event called the Summit on Protecting Children from Sexualization. His powerful testimony captivated the audience. It was so powerful, in fact, that YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, is now censoring his words.

The event, co-sponsored with the Family Policy Alliance, was a half-day of public panel discussions featuring a wide range of speakers. Parental rights groups from across the country attended. Their underlying goal: How to protect children from sexualization in culture, education, and health care.

Like all of its public programs, The Heritage Foundation posted the three-hour event video on YouTube (as well as on other video platforms). Months later, YouTube notified Heritage that it had removed the entire video for violating YouTube’s “hate speech” policy.

Heritage appealed the decision, spoke to Google and YouTube staff, and the video remains censored.

We vehemently disagree with YouTube’s decision to suppress valid medical information.

Not only is this decision anti-science, but it’s also part of an alarming trend of YouTube removing or blocking content that it doesn’t like.

Now Heritage has released a new video from Heyer, who speaks about YouTube’s censorship and why he stands by his words.

This isn’t our first encounter with YouTube censorship. In November, The Daily Signal revealed that YouTube was blocking a video of Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician who warned about giving puberty blockers to young children.

In the case of Heyer, his comments at the Summit on Protecting Children from Sexualization were meant to raise awareness about the harms of transgender ideology and the push for “gender-affirming treatments,” including hormones and surgeries.

Heyer, who formerly identified as transgender, has spoken at a number of Heritage events and is a well-known authority on the issue of gender dysphoria and transgender ideology.

During the panel, Heyer cited his study of psychology and stated, “This is a childhood development disorder.” He was referring to the phenomenon of gender dysphoria.

Heyer used the term “gender identity disorder,” which is a pre-2013 term for the classification of gender dysphoria as a mental disorder in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM).

Heyer’s six words were about three seconds from an event video that ran more than three hours. YouTube censored all of it.

Google and YouTube representatives told us that Heyer’s words violated YouTube’s “hate speech” policy, which states:

Hate speech is not allowed on YouTube. We remove content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on any of the following attributes: Age, Caste, Disability, Ethnicity, Gender Identity and Expression, Nationality, Race, Immigration Status, Religion, Sex/Gender, Sexual Orientation, Victims of a major violent event and their kin, Veteran Status.” (Emphasis added.)

According to YouTube, Heyer’s words violate this part of the “hate speech” policy:

Claims that individuals or groups are physically or mentally inferior, deficient, or diseased based on any of the attributes noted above. This includes statements that one group is less than another, calling them less intelligent, less capable, or damaged.

My colleague Emilie Kao, who hosted the summit, told Google and YouTube representatives that gender dysphoria is classified in the 2013 “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition,” as a mental disorder. The DSM-5 is “the taxonomic and diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association.”

Heyer’s comments about gender dysphoria also aren’t unique. This objective characterization of gender dysphoria has been used by the National Institutes of Health, the British Psychological Society, and many scientific and medical journals.

YouTube even has an uncensored video on its platform with a transgender activist doctor who gives a TED Talk about gender dysphoria using similar language. And YouTube hosts a video of someone who identifies as transgender saying the same thing.

“For an issue as complex as gender dysphoria, patients deserve to have viewpoints from all sides,” said Kao, who directs The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. “YouTube continues to host videos that use the same terms that Walt Heyer did for gender dysphoria, but happen to support hormonal and surgical treatments. They have weaponized their ‘hate speech’ policy to shut out viewpoints they don’t agree with, and the biggest loser in all of this are patients suffering from gender dysphoria.”

As with Cretella’s video that was censored by YouTube, the video of Heyer is not hateful and simply tells the truth about a medical diagnosis of a mental disorder. The video provides both scientific and educational information to YouTube users who might be seeking commonsense responses to a culture that promotes radical and life-altering decisions for young children.

Unfortunately, this is yet another case of YouTube discriminating against an individual and organization because of a particular viewpoint on a subject, rather than because of the content itself. Heyer’s description of gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder is commonly used by medical professionals and organizations around the world.

Even though we presented YouTube with this information and made the case that there was no reason to remove this video, YouTube has chosen to censor it instead.


7 Statues the Left Really Should Want to Tear Down if They Don’t Want to Be Hypocrites

1. Che Guevara’s statue in Central Park
Sure, you’ve seen his likeness on t-shirts on the privileged youth of America, but did you know that there’s a statue of Che Guevara in Central Park? Allegedly, this statue is actually depicting a street performer portraying the mass murderer, but I’m personally skeptical of this explanation. Aside from the fact that Che Guevara was a racist and a mass murderer who put homosexuals in labor camps, Guevara literally wanted to bomb New York City with nuclear missiles. “If the missiles had remained (in Cuba), we would have used them against the very heart of the U.S., including New York City,” Guevara wrote in November 1962, in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. “The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims,” he added.

2. Margaret Sanger’s bronze bust at the Smithsonian
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, might be the fairy godmother of the modern abortion movement, but her affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, her support for the Nazis’ forced sterilization programs, and the racist motivations behind her abortion agenda should disqualify her from being revered by anybody. Yet, a bronze bust of Sanger remains on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. But don’t expect the statue to be taken down soon, as a past attempt by African American pastors to have the bust removed was denied. Sanger is the polar opposite of what black lives matter stands for.

3. Harvey Milk’s bust at San Francisco City Hall
Harvey Milk is a gay rights icon and one of the first openly gay elected officials in this country, but what the radical left doesn’t want you to know is that he was a sexual predator who liked to have sex with underage boys. Milk had a “relationship” with a 16-year-old runaway who had looked to Milk as a father figure. Milk’s biographer, Randy Shilts, bizarrely wrote of many of his encounters with teenagers as though there was nothing wrong with them: “Harvey always had a penchant for young waifs with substance abuse problems.”

Yet, he has a memorial bust standing in San Francisco’s city hall. Figure that out.

4. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in D.C.
Another man whose mythical status has concealed the grim details of his presidency is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His legacy somehow manages to remain unblemished in the eyes of the Democratic Party, despite his signing of Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the unconstitutional incarceration of Japanese, German, and Italian Americans into internment camps. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial was dedicated by President Clinton in 1997, and features a bronze statue of FDR. It seems way past time to take down the statue and repurpose this memorial.

5. Barack Obama’s statue in Puerto Rico
As celebrated as Barack Obama is by the left, Obama was a notorious race-baiting demagogue who relied on racial and class-based rhetoric to justify most of his actions, and whose presidency was horrible for minorities.

By the time his presidency was over, an overwhelming majority of Americans believed that race relations got worse after his election. Black Americans were hit hard by the recession that defined the early months of his first term, but were mostly left behind in the economic recovery that followed. In 2012, there were more young black Americans living in poverty than before his election. Yet, that same year, a statue was erected in Puerto Rico in his honor.

Then of course there’s the fact that Obama’s presidency was plagued by over thirty scandals—many of which would have seen another president impeached.

6. J. William Fulbright’s statue at the University of Arkansas
William Fulbright was a longtime U.S. senator whose name and likeness are practically synonymous with the University of Arkansas. A 7-foot tall statue on a huge granite base stands like a small tower at the university’s Old Main courtyard. Fulbright was a segregationist who signed the Southern Manifesto in opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. He participated in the southern Democrats’ filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and voted against the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

What’s his statue still doing there? 

7. Robert Byrd’s statue in the U.S. Capitol
The late Democratic Senator from West Virginia was an “exalted cyclops” in the Ku Klux Klan, yet remains a celebrated figure in the Democratic Party. Even after he allegedly renounced the Klan, he, like Fulbright, filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and voted against the confirmations of African American Supreme Court justices Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas.

Nancy Pelosi made a big thing out of removing the paintings of three Democrat Confederate House Speakers, but a bronze statue of Robert Byrd still stands at the U.S. Capitol for some reason. In addition to the statue, there are many buildings, roads, and bridges named after the former Klansman.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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