Former slave and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, gives a scathing address about the true meaning of Independence Day to the negro.
Jemar Tisby writes: No other phrase in the founding documents of the United States stings an African American as much as this one: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Declaration of Independence was not a declaration for all but for some. “All men” did not include people of African descent. “Unalienable rights” were stripped from those who were taken from their homeland and forced into lifelong servitude. And “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” could not be pursued at the end of a chain.
The former slave and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, gave a speech on July 5, 1852 in Rochester, NY commemorating the day of independence for the United States. Cognizant of the contradictions embedded into the foundation of the United States, Douglass expounded for his audience the significance of “independence” day for black people. In it, he loses no respect for the founders of the nation calling them “statesmen, patriots, and heroes.” But he does not fail to point out the hypocrisy of declaring freedom from Britain’s control while subjugating an entire race of people.
Below are some excerpts from Douglass’ speech. His words remind us that for some Americans, independence ends with an asterisk.
Read the full text of the speech here.
“I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us.”
“This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony.”
“My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July!” Read the rest of this entry »
What is the least diverse place in America? It’s the institution that most actively seeks racial, ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity: the college campus! Colleges want students to look different, but think the same. Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, explains.
This video with Charlie Kirk is part of an exciting partnership between PragerU and Turning Point USA that will include videos with other young conservatives like Ben Shapiro, Antonia Okafor, Matt Walsh, and more. Visit here to learn more.
White guilt gave us a mock politics based on the pretense of moral authority.
Shelby Steele writes: The recent flurry of marches, demonstrations and even riots, along with the Democratic Party’s spiteful reaction to the Trumppresidency, exposes what modern liberalism has become: a politics shrouded in pathos.
Unlike the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, when protesters wore their Sunday best and carried themselves with heroic dignity, today’s liberal marches are marked by incoherence and downright lunacy—hats designed to evoke sexual organs, poems that scream in anger yet have no point to make, and an hysterical anti-Americanism.
All this suggests lostness, the end of something rather than the beginning. What is ending?
America, since the ’60s, has lived through what might be called an age of white guilt. We may still be in this age, but the Trump election suggests an exhaustion with the idea of white guilt, and with the drama of culpability, innocence and correctness in which it mires us.
“When America became stigmatized in the ’60s as racist, sexist and militaristic, it wanted moral authority above all else. Subsequently the American left reconstituted itself as the keeper of America’s moral legitimacy.”
White guilt is not actual guilt. Surely most whites are not assailed in the night by feelings of responsibility for America’s historical mistreatment of minorities. Moreover, all the actual guilt in the world would never be enough to support the hegemonic power that the mere pretense of guilt has exercised in American life for the last half-century.
White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries—racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. To be stigmatized as a fellow traveler with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah. The terror of this, of having “no name in the street” as the Bible puts it, pressures whites to act guiltily even when they feel no actual guilt. White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.
“White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries—racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.”
It is also the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism. This liberalism is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt’s central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d’être; moral authority is.
“To be stigmatized as a fellow traveler with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah. The terror of this, of having ‘no name in the street’ as the Bible puts it, pressures whites to act guiltily even when they feel no actual guilt. White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.”
When America became stigmatized in the ’60s as racist, sexist and militaristic, it wanted moral authority above all else. Subsequently the American left reconstituted itself as the keeper of America’s moral legitimacy. (Conservatism, focused on freedom and wealth, had little moral clout.) From that followed today’s markers of white guilt—political correctness, identity politics, environmental orthodoxy, the diversity cult and so on.
This was the circumstance in which innocence of America’s bigotries and dissociation from the American past became a currency of hardcore political power. Read the rest of this entry »
It has been a particularly embarrassing week for the press, and it’s only Saturday.
There’s no room for error, especially now that there’s a subgenre of “news” that has zero basis in fact, and is created from thin air for the sole purpose of generating cash.
But learning to be more careful and even-handed is apparently difficult for much of media, and this week was especially rough for newsrooms that are already struggling to regain credibility.
In no particular order, here are some of the most embarrassing media moments from this week:
The New York Times reported this week that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry agreed to be energy secretary without knowing the department oversees and maintains the country’s nuclear arsenal.
The story is written in such a way that Perry comes across as a bumbling bumpkin who’s in way over his head.
The problem with the report – well, there are many problems – the main problem with the story is that it hinges entirely on a bland quote from a GOP energy lobbyist. That source, Michael McKenna, has disavowed the story, and he says the Times took him out of context.
Other problems with the article include that McKenna was booted from the Trump transition team in early November, while Perry was nominated in mid-December.
Nevertheless, the paper’s editors say they stand by the story, “which accurately reflected what multiple, high-level sources told our reporters.”
This is a particularly interesting defense, considering there is nothing in the article to suggest the authors had more than one source.
In my story this week on the Times’ unsubstantiated hit on Perry, I included a link to USA Today’s Dec. 14 report on the former governor accepting the position at the Department of Energy. I included the link for one purpose: To provide citation for Perry’s acceptance remarks, which were published originally in a joint statement with the president-elect.
What I didn’t notice until later was that the linked USA Today report also included a bogus reference to the North Koreans.
The Dec. 14 article read, “The Twitter feed of the nuclear-armed dictatorship said, ‘Donald Trump minister of nuclear weapons Richard Perry known as governor of Texas province, famed for its production of tacos and bumpkins.'”
Unfortunately for USA Today, the North Korean government did no such thing. Like many others in media, the widely circulated newspaper fell for a parody Twitter account created and maintained by members of the libertarian-leaning website, Popehat.com. I removed the USA Today hyperlink from my article debunking the Times, and I updated with a link to a source that doesn’t include an embarrassing mistake. Read the rest of this entry »
Is culture holding Black Americans back? The American economist and social theorist, Dr. Thomas Sowell, argues that the achievement gap seen by some blacks in America is caused by numerous factors – a significant one being the “black redneck” culture and what it glorifies.
During the recording of A Love Supreme in 1964, Chuck Stewart caught the jazz legend in his element.
Nelson George writes: On December 9, 1964, saxophonist John Coltrane led a quartet that featured pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Jimmy Garrison into Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, where countless jazz recording sessions were held in the 1950s and ’60s. For photographer Chuck Stewart, Van Gelder’s was a short drive from his home in Teaneck.
That day nearly 50 years ago the band recorded a Coltrane composition titled A Love Supreme, a profound expression of his spiritual awakening divided into four movements—“Acknowledgement,” “Resolution,” “Pursuance,” “Psalm.” For its soaring ambition, flawless execution and raw power, it was hailed as a groundbreaking piece of music when it was released in February 1965, and it has endured as a seminal part of the jazz canon. The work and its composer will be highlighted anew this April during Jazz Appreciation Month, an annual event launched in 2001 by the National Museum of American History, whose collection includes Coltrane’s original manuscript for A Love Supreme.
“I couldn’t shoot during the take because the recording equipment would pick up the clicks. So what I did was meander around the studio. When I saw a picture I thought worked, I’d take it.”
— Photographer Chuck Stewart
For Stewart, whose photographs have graced thousands of album covers, from Ellington to Davis, from Basie to Armstrong, that session with Coltrane—a friend of his since 1949—was no different from countless others. “When I did a session I would go in and shoot the rehearsal before they did any takes,” the 86-year-old photographer recalls, sitting in his cozy, picture-filled living room in Teaneck. “I couldn’t shoot during the take because the recording equipment would pick up the clicks. So what I did was meander around the studio. When I saw a picture I thought worked, I’d take it.”
Stewart still has the Rolleiflex camera he used at the session, and the contact sheets as well. Many of the images he shot have been seen on CDs, as well as in numerous books and magazine articles. But 72 photographs from six rolls of film never made it beyond the contact-sheet stage, and so haven’t been published. Stewart’s son David recently rediscovered those images in his father’s collection, and now Stewart is scheduled to include some of them in a donation to the museum this month. Read the rest of this entry »
Mr. Grant confronts the subjectivity of economic measurement head-on in his book in an enlightening discussion of whether the 1921 depression was, in fact, a depression at all.
The Forgotten Depression: 1921 — The Crash That Cured Itself, by James Grant, Simon & Schuster, 2014.
Joseph Calandro Jr. writes: To better understand the current economic environment, financial analyst, historian, journalist, and value investor James Grant, who is informed by both Austrian economics and the value investing theory of the late Benjamin Graham, analyzes the Depression of 1920–1921 in his latest work, The Forgotten Depression: 1921 — The Crash That Cured Itself.
Grant understands that despite the pseudo-natural science veneer of mainstream economics the fact remains that economic value is inherently subjective and thus economic measurement is also subjective. Mr. Grant confronts the subjectivity of economic measurement head-on in his book in an enlightening discussion of whether the 1921 depression was, in fact, a depression at all.
Was It a Depression?
Grant concludes it was a depression, but mainstream economist Christine Romer, for example, concludes it was not a depression. As Grant observes, Ms. “Romer, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, presented her research, titled ‘World War I and the Postwar Depression,’ in a 1988 essay in the Journal of Monetary Economics. The case she made for discarding one set of GNP estimates for another is highly technical. But the lay reader may be struck by the fact that neither the GNP data she rejected, nor the ones she preferred, were compiled in the moment. Rather, each set was constructed some 30 to 40 years after the events it was intended to document” (p. 68).
In contrast, Mr. Grant surveys economic activity as it existed prior to and during 1920–21 and as it was evaluated during those times. Therefore, five pages into chapter 5 of his book, which is titled “A Depression in Fact,” we read that:
A 1920 recession turned into a 1921 depression, according to [Wesley Clair] Mitchell, whose judgment, as a historian, business-cycle theorist and contemporary observer, is probably as reliable as anyone’s. This was no mere American dislocation but a global depression ensnaring nearly all the former Allied Powers (the defeated Central Powers suffered a slump of their own in 1919). “Though the boom of 1919, the crisis of 1920 and the depression of 1921 followed the patterns of earlier cycles,” wrote Mitchell, “we have seen how much this cycle was influenced by economic conditions resulting from the war and its sudden ending. … If American business men were betrayed by postwar demands into unwise courses, so were all business men in all countries similarly situated.”
So depression it was … (p. 71)
- War finance (the currency debasement and credit expansion associated with funding war) has long been associated with economic distortion including World War I, which preceded “The Forgotten Depression.” Such distortions unfortunately continue to the present day.
- Scandal is also associated with booms and busts; for example, the boom preceding “The Forgotten Depression” had Charles Ponzi while the boom preceding “The Great Recession” had Bernie Madoff.
- The booms preceding both financial disruptions also saw governmental banking regulators not doing a very good job of regulating the banks under their supervision.
- Citibank famously fell under significant distress in both events.
- Both eras had former professors of Princeton University in high-ranking governmental positions: Woodrow Wilson was president of the United States at the beginning of “The Forgotten Depression” while Ben Bernanke was chairman of the Fed during “The Great Recession.”
- On the practitioner-side, value investor Benjamin Graham profited handsomely from the distressed investments that he made during “The Forgotten Depression” while his best known student, Warren Buffett, profited from the distressed investments that he made during “The Great Recession.”
The Crash That Cured Itself
Despite similarities, there are noteworthy differences between these two financial events. Foremost among the differences is the reason why “The Forgotten Depression” has, in fact, been forgotten: the government did nothing to stop it. Not only were interest rates not lowered and public money not spent, but interest rates were actually raised and debt paid down. The context behind these actions is fascinating and superbly told and analyzed by Mr. Grant. Read the rest of this entry »
Abdul Razak Ali Artan was killed by a police officer after the car-and-knife ambush.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah… We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.”
— Abdul Razak Ali Artan, on Facebook
Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, wrote on what appears to be his Facebook page that he had reached a “boiling point,” made a reference to “lone wolf attacks” and cited radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah [community]. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that,” the post said.
Two hours before that, a cryptic post on the page said: “Forgive and forget. Love.”
Officials cautioned that they have not determined a motive for the ambush, which sent 11 people to the hospital Monday morning. A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that investigators are trying to determine whether Artan had personal problems or something else that might have pushed him over the edge.
“He told a campus publication that on his first day at OSU, he was ‘kind of scared’ to pray in public.”
A police officer was on the scene within a minute and killed the assailant, likely saving lives, university officials said. “He engaged the suspect and eliminated the threat,” OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said.
Law enforcement officials told NBC News that Artan was a Somali refugee who left his homeland with his family in 2007, lived in Pakistan and then came to the United States in 2014 as a legal permanent resident.
He lived briefly in a temporary shelter in Dallas before settling in Ohio, according to records maintained by Catholic Charities.
Artan attended Columbus State Community College for two years, graduating cum laude with an associate’s degree before moving on to Ohio State to continue his studies. He told a campus publication that on his first day at OSU, he was “kind of scared” to pray in public.
“If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen.”
“If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen,” Artan was quoted as saying in the Lantern.
The violence unfolded just before 10 a.m. ET Monday near an academic hall on the Columbus, Ohio, campus, where 60,000 students are enrolled.
Officials said Artan drove onto campus by himself and rammed the car past the curb and into a crowd on the sidewalk. Read the rest of this entry »
New York Times wages noble fight against fake, bias-confirming news.
Bill McMorris writes: The New York Times exposed the threat of fake news following the election of Donald Trump two weeks ago, arguing that spreading faulty information is a threat to the Republic.
The paper highlighted alt-right conspiracy websites publishing outrageous lies masquerading as news in a piece headlined “Journalism’s Next Challenge: Overcoming the Threat of Fake News.” The Times interviewed journalists and “longtime critic of fake news” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) about how credulous Americans often fall for narratives that confirm their pre-existing biases without proper vetting from objective reporters.
“If you have a society where people can’t agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?” asked one D.C. editor.
“The cure for fake journalism is an overwhelming dose of good journalism. And how well the news media gets through its postelection hangover will have a lot to do with how the next chapter in the American political story is told.”
— Times writer noted shortly before Trump’s massive victory
The answer could be found on social media. “‘Folks, subscribe to a paper. Democracy demands it,” one Times reporter wrote. Another added, “Or don’t. You’ll get what you pay for.”
- On Oct. 2, the Times reported that the stock market would nosedive following a Trump win, making “a Trump victory … a bit worse than 9/11.”
- Following Trump’s victory, the stock market enjoyed its best week since 2011.
- The fake journalism that helped elect Donald Trump is now enemy number one for the fourth estate.
Times readers had the inside scoop that the nation was watching “Hispanics Surge to Polls,” which would serve as the mortar in Hillary Clinton’s blue wall. The surge would not have been possible without the Clinton campaign, which was “Looking to Expand Lead With Hispanics” with Spanish-language ads and get-out-the-vote operations as the Times reported on Oct. 2.
The New York Times‘ report on “dangerously fake news” news ran alongside a report that “Hispanic America has been mobilized like never before in the 2016 election, and is emerging as a formidable force with the power to elect a president.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Media Research Center’s Rich Noyes appeared on Fox News’ Fox and Friends Sunday to discuss The New York Times’ so called “apology letter” to their subscribers for their terrible reporting during the election, that didn’t really sound like an apology. “Yeah, you’ve got to admit what you’ve done wrong if you’re going to try to get it right in the future,” scolded Noyes, “And I think what The Times did wrong, was not just predicting the election wrong but tried to influence it every step of the way with hit piece after hit piece on Donald Trump.” Fox News’ Abby Huntsman noted that the Times and the rest of the media elite have reported on Trump with almost a discontent for his supporters. Noyes agreed, arguing: When they would interview Trump people, Trump supporters at these rallies it was to show them being kooky people, as opposed to trying to figure out was going, what was motivating them, what were the economic issues that had been unaddressed in the last eight years that would make them go this way.
Noyes also discussed how the liberal media’s narrative at the start of the election cycle was that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified candidate ever, and that “all of their coverage was designed to prove their prejudice about this election.” Read the rest of this entry »
Trump’s resounding victory spotlights a wealthier and more diverse coalition of supporters than many Americans thought possible, including educated voters, women and minority voters.
Catherine Triomphe and Jennie Matthew report: The myth that only uneducated white men would vote for Donald Trump exploded in a sensational win for the maverick billionaire, a former reality star with no political experience whatsoever.
“There is a world outside of the East Coast and the California Coast which nobody wants to think about. It’s the have and have not divide.”
— Sam Abrams, professor of political science at Sarah Lawrence College
His resounding victory — even if Hillary Clinton won the popular vote — spotlights a wealthier and more diverse coalition of supporters than many Americans thought possible, including educated voters, women and minority voters.
Here is a look at who voted for whom in the biggest political upset in American politics for generations:
Middle Class and Educated
Half of Americans who are considered middle class, making $100,000 a year or more, voted for the 70-year-old billionaire according to USA Today’s exit polls.
Forty-three percent of people with college degrees backed the Republican, although post-graduates voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, the Democrat, at 58 percent to 35 percent.
“Half of Americans who are considered middle class, making $100,000 a year or more, voted for the 70-year-old billionaire according to USA Today’s exit polls. Forty-three percent of people with college degrees backed the Republican.”
“We wanted to send a message that there’s too much government ruling our life and that had to stop,” said Rolando Chumaceiro, a family doctor who lives in affluent White Plains, New York.
He recognized problems with Trump, questioned the way he spoke and his vulgar remarks about women and but said overall he was the better choice.
“Mrs Clinton comes from the establishment. It’s the same old fashioned government. We don’t need that anymore,” he said.
“He created one of the most pro-Israel platforms in the history of the country, this is just crazy to say that he’s running anything as anti-Semitic in his campaign.”
— Aliza Romanoff, whose father advised Trump
Lower income voters leaned towards Clinton but their support had eroded since President Barack Obama’s election in 2012, perhaps fueled in part by resentment of the high costs associated with Obamacare.
Trump’s success was rooted in profound dissatisfaction with the status quo — felt keenly in rural areas and smaller towns far from prosperous cities that voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.
“The Latino vote is not homogenous, experts say. Cuban Americans backed Trump, others who are socially conservative also supported him.”
“There is a world outside of the East Coast and the California Coast which nobody wants to think about,” said Sam Abrams, professor of political science at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.
“It’s the have and have not divide,” he said.
In a city-based service and knowledge economy, people in more rural areas are struggling. “When you struggle you get angry… and Trump became the symbol of that anger,” said Abrams. Read the rest of this entry »
Chelsea Follett writes: Recent reports that infants now die at a higher rate in Venezuela than in war-torn Syria were, sadly, unsurprising – the results of socialist economics are predictable. Venezuela’s infant mortality rate has actually been above Syria’s since 2008.
The big picture, fortunately, is happier. The global infant mortality rate has plummeted. Even Syria and Venezuela, despite the impact of war and failed policies, saw improvements up to as recently as last year. From 1960 to 2015, Syria’s infant mortality rate fell by 91% and Venezuela’s by 78%.
[Read the full story here, at Foundation for Economic Education]
This year (not reflected in the graph above or below), Syria’s rate rose from 11.1 per 1,000 live births to 15.4, while Venezuela’s shot up from 12.9 to 18.6. Meanwhile, infant mortality rates have continued to fall practically everywhere else, and have declined even faster in countries that enjoy more freedom and stability. Consider Chile.
Chile’s infant mortality rate in 1960 was actually above that of both Venezuela and Syria. It managed to outperform Syria by the mid-1960s, but was still woefully behind its richer northern cousin, Venezuela. Read the rest of this entry »
While “unemployment” is down, work rates have also fallen — and the male work rate is now at Depression-era levels. AEI invites you to the launch of Nicholas Eberstadt’s new book “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis,” an important new study of an underreported phenomenon: America’s growing army of un-working men.
On Tuesday at AEI, AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt presented his new book “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis” (Templeton Press, September 2016). David Wessel of the Brookings Institution joined Dr. Eberstadt to discuss the findings.
Since the 1940s, the work rate (employment-to-population ratio) for men decreased, with 7 million men out of the labor force today. Dr. Eberstadt recognized that both supply and demand causes affect this trend, including institutional barriers, welfare policy, structural unemployment, and motivational factors. Mr. Wessel prompted everyone to consider how much of this trend is caused by the supply or the demand, citing changes in America’s manufacturing sector and the skills necessary for employment.
To examine this question, Dr. Eberstadt called for perspectives from across the political aisle and pointed to the need for further research, including studying the performance of ex-felons trying to enter the labor force and tracking disability payments that may be financing un-working lifestyle.
–Cecilia Joy Perez
The stock market — and US personal wealth holdings — continue to set new records. The United States is now at or near “full employment,” at least according to received wisdom. But a closer look at the data reveals something else entirely. While “unemployment” is down, work rates have also fallen — and the male work rate is now at Depression-era levels. Today, 7 million men age 24 to 54 are neither working nor looking for work. The collapse of work for men, indeed, appears to be at the center of many of America’s current social and economic woes. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Hacked Emails Cast Doubt on Clinton’s Sworn Statement About Turning Over All Work-Related EmailsPosted: November 3, 2016