Category Archives: race

John Derbyshire and his critics

We’re generally opposed to the idea that a person should lose his livelihood because he says or writes something that other people find offensive, whether the offender is on the right or the left. So we don’t join the growing calls in the blogosphere for John Derbyshire to be fired by National Review for opinions he wrote on race (which were on a different website, not nationalreview.com), specifically about what he would teach his children about their black fellow Americans. National Review certainly has a right to end their relationship with Mr. Derbyshire. An opinion magazine has every right to decide what opinions it will promote, and which are out of bounds.

But all the phony outrage from left-wing blogs and liberal media outlets should be ignored by National Review and everyone else. The left is in no position to lecture anyone about their supposedly superior values, especially on the issue of race. Dividing Americans into groups, and treating people differently based on which groups they’re in, is at the core of leftist ideology and practice.

The left’s primary aim is to shut up anyone who disagrees with them, whether it’s John Derbyshire, or Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck, or Sean Hannity, or whoever. Their main objection is to dissent from leftist ideology. The editor of National Review, Rich Lowry, was attacked as a bigot for simply pointing out the fact that George Zimmerman isn’t the greatest threat in the nation to young black males. Mr. Derbyshire, unfortunately for him and for the publication he writes for, has given the right’s enemies a legitimate complaint with which to attack. And of course they won’t hesitate to attempt to smear the entire conservative movement with his words.

Demonstrating that their real objection is to conservatism itself, the outrage is highly selective. Just a couple of examples from the last few weeks:

Director Spike Lee tweeted an address which he believed was that of George Zimmerman (Lee got the address wrong), implicitly encouraging mob violence and putting an innocent couple in some potential danger. And not a peep from most of those who are now so concerned about what Mr. Derbyshire wrote.

Al Sharpton routinely says things worse than anything Derbyshire said, and has for years. Sharpton has recently been working to create another Freddy’s Fashion Mart or Crown Heights incident in Florida – and he was an invited guest to the White House this week, and has his own show on MSNBC. And again, you’ll have to look pretty hard to find any criticism of the racist Rev. Al from the left, let alone any effort to have him removed from his television program.

And of course the left-wing propagandists at Media Matters, the Center for American Progress, and Mumia Abu Jamal supporter Van Jones’ group Color of Change aren’t pushing boycotts of Bill Maher.

None of this is to defend what Mr. Derbyshire wrote. We believe it’s a core conservative value to approach people as individuals, and judge them on their own merits, and skin color has nothing to do with anyone’s value as a human being. Liberals are the ones who believe otherwise, who believe in judging people based on their group identity, including the color of their skin.

The issue here is one of gross hypocrisy. Liberals are simply in no position to lecture anyone about their values when it comes to race or anything else.

UPDATE: National Review has ended their relationship with Derbyshire.

Juan Williams turns into Al Sharpton

Though he’s on the left, so we disagree with Juan Williams on most issues, he’s always seemed like an honest and decent man. So it was pretty shocking to see this blatant play of the race card, full of Al Sharpton style demagoguery.

One part stood out as particularly ugly. Williams, reviewing his debate question to Newt Gingrich about Gingrich’s use of the term “food stamp president”, says:

He [Gingrich] used the same rhetorical technique of the segregationist politicians of the past: rejecting the premise of the question, attacking the media and playing to the American people’s resentment of liberal elites, minorities and poor people.

Really, Mr. Williams? Rejecting the premise of a question in a debate is a “segregationist technique”? Gingrich (who we do not support in the Republican primary) is offering ideas to help black young people. You may disagree with his ideas, but their intent is to try to help. Comparing a person to segregationists is just pure, unadulterated slander. It is disgusting and shameful what Williams wrote. Racism is evil. So is a false accusation of racism. Mr. Williams owes Mr. Gingrich an apology and a retraction.

Yahoo News contributor equates “Hispanic” with “Illegal Immigrant”

Yahoo News posted a commentary from Democrat activist William Browning, attacking Senator John McCain of Arizona for alleging a wildfire in May was started by illegal immigrants or drug smugglers.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., made an appalling statement June 20, regarding the Wallow Fire that was raging in his home state. The largest wildfire in the state’s history had allegedly been started by illegal immigrants.

“During our tour of the damaged areas caused by the Wallow Fire on Saturday, we were briefed by senior Forest Service officials, one of whom informed us that some wildfires in Arizona (across our southern border) are regrettably caused by drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. This statement is consistent with what we’ve been hearing for years, as well as testimony by the Forest Service and media reports dating back as far as 2006,” McCain’s website stated.

….

Caleb Joshua Malboeuf and David Wayne Malboeuf are cousins who were allegedly camping in the Bear Wallow area May 29. The Tucson Citizen reports their campfire supposedly burned out of the control and high winds picked up the campfire and it quickly spread. After $79 million, 72 burned buildings and 538,000 acres the two men are charged with five counts which face jail time and/or fines.

McCain owes the state of Arizona and every Hispanic living in his state an apology.

Senator McCain’s statement, that “some wildfires in Arizona…are regrettably caused by drug smugglers and illegal immigrants”, is a perfectly reasonable statement, there’s nothing appalling about it at all.

The only appalling statement in this story came from William Browning.

News flash for Yahoo and Mr. Browning – “Illegal immigrant” and “Hispanic” are not synonymous. Most of the Hispanic people living in Arizona are not illegal immigrants, they are citizens or legal residents of the state.

A Republican making such an equation would immediately be shouted down as a racist hate-monger. But obviously the standards are different for liberal Obama supporters.

Alan Colmes’ LoonyLand

Via memeorandum, we noticed this hilarious/pathetic post on Alan Colmes’ website:

The Right’s Hypocrisy About Rap Music and Common

The right wing, desperate to find reasons to attack President Obama, has been going crazy because the rapper Common appeared at a White House poetry event.

Conservative critics are blasting tonight’s White House poetry event for including a rapper named Common, whose lyrics have blasted former President George W. Bush — “burn Bush” — and celebrated a former Black Panther convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper.

The New Jersey state police union is protesting is protesting Common’s appearance at poetry, as is 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

….

Of course one can’t expect Sarah Palin, and many white conservatives, to understand how rap music gives voice to a population that is often mistreated by authorities.

And the right has a short memory, conveniently forgetting their own associations which don’t seem to trouble them. Eazy-E of NWA, famous for the song “F…Tha Police”, attended an invitation-only lunch with the first president Bush in 1991 ….

The utter stupidity of the post is hard to overstate. First, how in the world is it “hypocrisy” (perhaps the most overused and misused word in the left-wing lexicon) for any conservative in 2011 to criticize this current event, because President Bush had lunch with some other rapper in the early 1990s? That’s just absurd. (Colmes is one of many on the left who considered it out of bounds to bring up Obama’s decades-long, close association with his racist pastor, Jeremiah Wright. But Sarah Palin, indeed all conservatives, are responsible for who Bush had lunch with in 1991? Talk about hypocrisy.)

Second, how would any sane person characterize the New Jersey state police union as “the right wing”? Of course this is a rhetorical question.

Third, how about that condescending, even somewhat racist, dig “Of course one can’t expect Sarah Palin, and many white conservatives, to understand…”? Of Course! Who among us could possibly understand the mean streets of the inner city like Alan Colmes does! Nice touch Homes, I mean Colmes!

Finally, American society really is in sad shape if it’s really considered “right wing” to oppose the celebration of someone who murdered a police officer. Fortunately, we don’t think Alan Colmes has that much influence.

Top 10 dumbest things said about the Arizona immigration law

Byron York at The Washington Examiner made a top ten list of the dumbest things people have said about the new law to fight illegal immigration in Arizona. It must have been tough to pick only ten.

In the interest of bipartisanship, he might have included this bit of hysterical idiocy from Republican Congressman Connie Mack of Florida.

Silver lining: All the hysterics and demagoguery have failed to convince a majority of Americans. By 51% to 39%, people support the new law in Arizona.

Partisan left-wing organization claims Republicans fail to support left-wing agenda

So the partisan Democrat, left-wing NAACP doesn’t like Republicans who oppose their left-wing agenda? And this is news?

Of course, calling every liberal political position “civil rights” doesn’t make it so.

Establishment Media reinforce racial double-standard

This morning, RNC Chairman Michael Steele made some comments about Harry Reid’s alleged “Negro dialect” statement. Steele pointed out the obvious and blatant double standard that is applied to Republicans vs. Democrats in such situations.

Bringing another example of the establishment media’s inability to go beyond their own hackneyed liberal views, CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin, appearing this morning on CNN’s “State of the Nation” program, made some comments somewhat defending the double standard:

[CNN host John] KING: But when they say — Jessica, jump in, when you say they’re not going to let this get in the way, of course, the Republicans would like to keep this getting in the way. And their African-American national chairman, Michael Steele, who, as I said in the last block, is no stranger to controversy of his own, but he was out this morning making a point, Jessica.

Listen to Michael Steele. His point is, if a white Republican had said this, everyone wouldn’t go, oh, he apologized, it’s over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEELE: Mitch McConnell had said those very words, that this chairman and this president would be calling for his head, and they would be labeling every Republican in the country as a racist for saying exactly what this chairman has just said. So if I sat here and said what he just said, if Mitch McConnell used those words, no one would find it to be credible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The other chairman, of course, the Democratic chairman, Tim Kaine, sitting right there with Michael Steele.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: First of all, a masterful political play by Michael Steele because he would like to change the topic this morning from some of his own issues right now.

And sure it’s true that the Republican Party has a different history and a different baggage, Abraham Lincoln notwithstanding, on the issue of race. Just like the Democratic Party has different history and baggage on national security. And so they each have to be careful — more careful than the other party on those particular topics.

To some extent he may be right. But, look, and let’s point out we’ve all heard racial gaffes. Joe Biden himself said something very similar and he became — what did he say, he was — Obama was clean and articulate and he became vice president. So the country is kind of used to gaffes like this.

Really? It’s the Republican Party that has all the baggage on race matters? Not the party of Jim Crow segregation? The party of Bull Connor and George Wallace? The party of current Senator and former Klansman Robert Byrd?

By her inability to look beyond the typical liberal viewpoint on Republicans vs. Democrats and race, Yellin merely reinforced Mr. Steele’s point.

Does Media Matters oppose the Sotomayor nomination?

Via The Corner at NRO, here’s a press release from the leftist propaganda outfit Media Matters for America:

Greetings,

I wanted to make sure you had seen Media Matters’ latest research on five major newspapers reporting on Sen. Jeff Sessions’ opening statement at the confirmation hearing of Judge Sonia Sotomayor without noting that in 1986, Sessions’ nomination as a U.S. district court judge was rejected following allegations that Sessions had a history of making racially charged comments.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you would like additional information.

Jessica Levin
Press Secretary
Media Matters for America

Judge Sotomayor has a history of making racially charged comments which is much clearer than the allegations made by opponents of Sessions’ nomination at his Senate hearing in 1986. So is Media Matters calling for the Senate to reject Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court on that basis? Or are they simply attempting to smear any opponents of her nomination? Of course this is a rhetorical question.

The same question could be asked of senators who voted against Sessions, but plan to vote for Sotomayor.

Colin Powell endorses Obama

Colin Powell has for a long time struck us as a mushy moderate, David Gergen type, and not much of a deep thinker on most issues, way too concerned about what the “world community” (i.e. pacifist, welfare statist Europe) thinks, and his comments today did nothing to change that assessment. We won’t dwell on his endorsement of Obama, which is really not a surprise at all.

First, a bit of positive – in Powell’s area of expertise, which is military matters, he remains stalwart on the liberation of Iraq, to his credit:

I’m well aware of the role I played. My role has been very, very straightforward. I wanted to avoid a war. The president agreed with me. We tried to do that. We couldn’t get it through the U.N. and when the president made the decision, I supported that decision. And I’ve never blinked from that. I’ve never said I didn’t support a decision to go to war.

And the war looked great until the 9th of April, when the statue fell, everybody thought it was terrific. And it was terrific. The troops had done a great job. But then we failed to understand that the war really was not over, that a new phase of the war was beginning. And we weren’t ready for it and we didn’t respond to it well enough, and things went very, very — very, very south, very bad.

And now it’s starting to turn around through the work of Gen. Petraeus and the troops, through the work of the Iraqi government, through our diplomatic efforts, and I hope now that this war will be brought to an end, at least as far as American involvement is concerned, and the Iraqis are going to have to be responsible for their own security and for their own political future. …

How Powell squares that view with Obama’s opposition to the successful surge, and his desire to pull out regardless of conditions on the ground, Powell didn’t say.

But when you get outside of national security matters, Powell seems to understand things less than, say, Joe the plumber:

Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those who paid them, in roads and airports and hospitals and schools. And taxes are necessary for the common good. And there is nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is or who should be paying more, who should be paying less. And for us to say that that makes you a socialist, I think is an unfortunate characterization that isn’t accurate.

Of course taxes are necessary, and of course John McCain has never said nor implied otherwise. But to suggest that “all taxation is redistribution” is just asinine. It should be obvious to anyone, even to Colin Powell, that paying to build a road in no way compares to Obama’s plan to take money away from some Americans to send unearned checks to other Americans (for the purpose of buying their votes).

(It would have been nice to hear a good follow-up question for Powell, to ask him how much “the rich” now pay, in order to gauge his understanding of the issue. Answer: “The rich”, i.e. the top 5% of earners in America, pay 60 percent of all federal income taxes. It would be really nice if someone asked Barack Obama or Joe Biden, or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid for that matter, that question. But which reporter would want to put their guys on the spot?)

And to focus on people like Mr. Ayers and these trivial issues, for the purpose of suggesting that somehow Mr. Obama would have some kind of terrorist inclinations, I thought that was over the top.

….

And to sort of throw in this little Muslim connection, you know, “He’s a Muslim and, my goodness, he’s a terrorist” — it was taking root. And we can’t judge our people and we can’t hold our elections on that kind of basis.

But no one in the McCain campaign, certainly not John McCain or Sarah Palin, has said nor implied that Obama is a terrorist or has terrorist inclinations, or that he’s a Muslim. Barack Obama has a long and consistent pattern of allying himself with far left, radical individuals and groups. Of course that’s relevant to the campaign. Of course the DeMSM would be all over it, non-stop, if John McCain had similar associations with any far-right equivalents of Ayers, Wright, Khalidi, etc.

And notice that Powell didn’t show any discomfort with all the “negativity” coming from the Obama campaign and his allies in the press. In what moral universe is it worse to point out Obama’s ties to a parade of radicals, which are true, than to compare John McCain to George Wallace, which is nothing but a despicable slander of the lowest kind? And how in the world does Powell think Obama is going to bring Americans together again by accusing anyone of racism who dares to criticize him?

Racism! they projected – now the AP plays the race card

We noted it when the slimy Time magazine blog a couple of weeks ago accused the McCain campaign of racism when they showed Barack Obama in an ad next to crooked former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin “Heckuva Job, Frankie!” Raines who happens to be a black man.

We said then, “At this rate, pretty soon they’re going to accuse the McCain campaign of racism if they show Barack Obama by himself in an ad.”

The latest of this sort of slimy, slanderous attack from the DeMSM comes from the once venerable Associated Press, in an “analysis” piece by Douglass K. Daniel. This attack is as baseless as the one from Time. It doesn’t come in response to an ad, but it comes as close to suggesting that any criticism of Obama is racist as any we’ve seen to date.

Daniel accuses Sarah Palin, and by extension the McCain campaign, of racism for noting Obama’s long association with radical, unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, who by the way happens to be white.

By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is “palling around with terrorists” and doesn’t see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign.

And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.

Daniel also proceeds to helpfully regurgitate Obama campaign talking points – “there’s no evidence Obama and Ayers were close” (false), “Obama … was a child when the Weathermen were planting bombs (irrelevant), “has denounced Ayers’ radical views…” (false).

One of the central themes of Obama’s campaign, at least in much of his rhetoric, has been that he will “bridge the divides” in America, and “bring us together” (of course, like most of his campaign, this is mostly just talk and no action). But it should be obvious that the sort of knee-jerk accusations of racism like those from Time and the AP will have the opposite effect.

Others:
Michelle Malkin
The Corner