Sunday, February 22, 2009

Now We're Cowards, Too!

A Cowardly Conversation Starter
Jonah Goldberg
Friday, February 20, 2009

Hey, black folks, do you know any white folks? Good. OK, I want you to go up to them right now and, as politely as you can, start sharing your most deeply held racial views. Hey, white folks, you're not off the hook. I want you to go and do likewise with any black people you know.

Don't want to do that? Really? Well, then, you're a coward.

That's the short version of Attorney General Eric Holder's speech this week celebrating Black History Month.

Holder says we are "a nation of cowards" because we're unwilling to discuss race to his satisfaction. Some might say that's an ironic diagnosis given that Holder is the first black attorney general, appointed by the first black president of the United States.

Nonetheless, Holder thinks the answer to our racial problems is for more people of different colors to talk about how race defines them. He suggests using the "artificial device" of Black History Month "to generate discussion that should come more naturally" but doesn't.

Well, in the spirit of full and frank discussion, let me say I have some problems with Holder's analysis.

The first thing worth pointing out is that Holder is wrong. America talks about race incessantly, in classrooms, lecture halls, movies, op-ed pages, books, magazines, talk shows, just about every third PBS documentary by my count, blogs, diversity training sessions and, yes, even mandatory Black History Month events.

In fairness, Holder seems vaguely aware of this. The hitch is that he thinks this isn't nearly enough racial argy-bargy. We've got to work the balm of racial dialogue deep into muscle and sinew of the body politic.

My biggest objection to Holder's speech is that it reveals how enthralled to a cliché he is. Look, despite the bold tone of his remarks, this is just a terribly hackneyed idea. People have been calling for a national dialogue for years. Twelve years ago, Bill Clinton even proclaimed a whole year would be dedicated to a national conversation on race.

Assuming Holder is serious, who says more talk would make things better? Is there some social science to back up this talking point posing as wisdom? Have there been studies showing that if you force blacks and whites to talk endlessly about race, race relations improve? If so, is the research any good? Or is this liberal conventional wisdom masquerading as something else?

Perhaps Holder envisions a national conversation where the whole country becomes a giant School of Athens, with blacks as Socrates and whites as Plato, eagerly taking instruction on the finer points of racial consciousness. The image that comes to my mind is different. I see Michael Scott, the hyper-vapid boss from NBC's "The Office," hectoring Stanley and Darryl -- the show's two black characters -- to make race an issue when it shouldn't be.

Americans are very good at hearing ideological appeals, but we're almost tone-deaf when it comes to clichés. That's why liberals hide so much of their agenda inside them. Say "diversity makes us stronger" a billion times and you'll come to believe it uncritically, too.

Usually, when I hear a liberal call for a national conversation on race, I translate it as: "People who disagree with me need to be instructed why they are wrong." Indeed, in a sense it's no wonder America is a nation of cowards when it comes to race, because so many of us are terrified of being called racist the moment we step out of line with liberal orthodoxy.

For example, when Clinton held one of his famous town hall discussions, he invited Abigail Thernstrom, a polite, sophisticated scholar of racial issues and champion of race-neutrality, to participate in a frank conversation about race. But the moment she expressed an honest objection to racial quotas, Clinton browbeat her as some kind of crypto-racist idiot.

We see something similar in how Holder envisions the latest iteration of a national palaver on race. He says of the debate over affirmative action (or what blogger Paul Mirengoff calls "a coward's name for race-based preferences") that, "This debate can, and should, be nuanced, principled and spirited. But the conversation we now engage in as a nation on this and other racial subjects is too often simplistic and left to those on the extremes, who are not hesitant to use these issues to advance nothing more than their own narrow self-interest."

Perhaps. Or perhaps calling views you disagree with "extreme" and accusing those who hold them of having dishonorable motives is just a clever way of saying that you don't want an "honest conversation" at all.

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.


MCzwz Thinks:

Not one Conservative individual should be surprised by this behavior.

I will grant that perhaps, some of those sincere, honest, and naive individuals who consider themselves "democrats" are probably having a difficult time dealing with their reactions to this latest monstrosity . . .

They should not be too surprised . . . this mentality was evident throughout the campaign to any who wanted to see. The premise that the blacks were now "coming into their own" via Mr. Obama's candidacy and subsequent "election" was evidenced by the expressions of fear and concerns by those who held different points of view. I previously wrote in this publication of blacks and non-blacks afraid to say anything in opposition to Mr. Obama's political pablum early on in the campaign . . . we now have the fruits of the fear.

I, for one, refuse to accept the insult. I am no coward -- nor is anyone else in my multiracial family -- and deeply resent the implication that -- because I refuse to discuss racial issues with such extremists as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and now Eric Holder -- I am, therefore, a "racist"

That same club was held over the heads of millions of honest, sincere, hardworking Americans. Because of the non-stop hammer of racial guilt maneuvered by those such as Mr. Holder, I honestly feel that the majority pressed the "hold" button on their brains, logic, and sense, and voted for the one who is now well on the way to taking this country to exactly where he clearly stated he would: Socialism, one-party rule by those who were formerly the "downtrodden."

Are we seeing the start of the campaign to elect "Emperor" Obama?

Copyright February 2009, MCzwz. All Rights Reserved.

Pro-Obama media's exodus to Capitol Hill continues

Yet another member of the mainstream news media has joined the Barack Obama administration.

Former Chicago Tribune reporter Jill Zuckman will now be working as public affairs director for the Department of Transportation and assistant to Secretary Ray LaHood. Zuckman is not the first Tribune reporter to take a job in the Obama administration. Peter Gosselin is now a speechwriter for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Media analyst Bob Knight, a senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union, notes that many journalists have been open in their support of President Obama -- and Zuckman, he says, is simply making it public and official.

"While she was with the Chicago Tribune, she was always shilling for Obama. In July, for instance, on MSNBC, she said that folks are equally impressed with John McCain's POW story and Obama's community organizing -- how they're both great American stories and they're pretty much equally impressive," he notes. "You know, with that kind of support, she should make the transition [to the Obama administration] pretty easily."

During the presidential campaign, former network news reporter Linda Douglass served as a senior campaign strategist and spokesperson for Obama. In addition, former TIME magazine DC bureau chief Jay Carney is now Vice President Joe Biden's communications director.

Also, CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is reportedly among President Obama's top choices to become the next surgeon general.

Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 2/19/2009 7:00:00 AM

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MCzwz Thinks:

No one with even the smallest, tiniest modicum of awareness and sense of honesty should be surprised by this. It took absolutely no time at all for any thinking person to realize that the so-called "mainstream" media had decided who would be the next President of the United States.

To see now that the payback has started should not be a surprise to anyone.

What should frighten us all -- at least those of us who still believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights -- is the realization that the only protection We the People have against Presidential abuses -- the Senate and the House -- are almost to a man in full support of Mr. Obama's plans. In the case of the Republican House and Senate members who stood strong against the fear tactics and threats of the left, we must hope and pray (while prayer is still allowed) that those members will find the intestinal fortitude to continue to stand strong against these internal threats and dangers, if only on principle.

In spite of the fears I clearly expressed in this publication since last year, I never imagined so much harm would occur so quickly and in such an overwhelmingly destructive manner.

We the People must now get ourselves over our shock and start to work towards the 2010 mid-term elections. No mid-terms will have ever been -- nor will ever be -- as important to our Country's present and future as these elections will be.

Copyright, MCzwz, All Rights Reserved. February 2009.

Stimulus: Not the Change (Some) Voted For

How will spending three quarters of a trillion dollars fix the economy?

No one had even taken the time to read the stimulus bill before it passed Congress, including the one who said it was absolutely necessary. "I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before Congress," Obama wrote in The Washington Post on Feb. 5. It must be in just the mere magic of saying we are going to spend that amount that fixes it.

I am not being facetious. No one had read the bill when the House and Senate voted on it and then passed it, yet we were told over and over that if Obama wasn't given nearly a trillion dollars to spend immediately the country as we knew it was finished.

"Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse," Obama wrote. It sounded more like an extortion racquet, especially since Obama actually does have the power to tank the economy just by saying that it is the worst economy in our lifetime (which he has been saying).

So Obama has nearly a trillion dollars to pass out now to "fix" the economy, and no one is bothering to ask the question, What qualifies Obama to fix the economy, and if merely spending money fixes it, then the economy shouldn't be broken should it?

What experience does Obama have at fixing anything?

He has never run a state, city, company or even a hotdog stand. The sidewalk vendors on the mall outside the White House literally have more business experience than Obama. Not that anyone would know that since the liberal media utterly ignored this lack of experience during the campaign and still failed to mention it while he was holding the economy hostage to get his 778 billion in spending money.

In addressing a question about whether increasing the deficit by nearly a trillion dollars would actually help the economy, Obama responded with a political attack on Bush referring to the deficit he inherited from the previous administration.

Shameful, considering Obama faithfully voted to increase that deficit while he was in the Senate — so much for the politics of "change."

What this tells us is how Obama plans to use the economy he talked down before his stimulus package passed: If it improves, he will take credit for fixing it and cite government intervention as the solution; if it worsens, he has already laid the groundwork to blame Bush, capitalism, and free market economics.

Instructively revealing the administration's true intentions, Obama's White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel freely explained to The Wall Street Journal how the administration intends to exploit the recession. "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And this crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before." That sounds like an amateur's conflation of Machiavelli and Hegel. Create a crisis for drastic consolidation of power in their hands.

Now they have all the legitimacy a trillion dollars will buy.

If it was really necessary to bum-rush the largest spending bill in history through Congress, why wasn't Obama standing by to sign it as soon as it passed, instead of jetting off to his three-day weekend in Chicago to be seen in all the trendy spots?

Is it because saving the nation from economic disaster interfered with his social schedule?

For Obama, it is just all political theater — the words mean nothing — it's all part of the show. That is how he is able to tell you one day how America is going to be over soon if he doesn't get nearly a trillion dollars to hand out, and then go out on an excursion the next, using our Air Force and Marine Corps equipment as his personal amusement park rides.

He mocks the very idea that tax cuts stimulate the economy and productive Americans should get some say over how their hard earned money is spent. Obama wrote, "I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change." But Obama doesn't represent change; he represents the very essence of the problems that our economy suffers from now, an alarming expansion of bureaucratic, freedom-smothering government.

The long march from lean liberty to socialism is now at a full gallop. This isn't the change that productive Americans voted for.

By: Scott Wheeler

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