Stephanie Smith reports: Brian Williams’ welcome to MSNBC might be frigid because staffers there haven’t forgotten a scathing report he arrogantly aired on his short-lived “Rock Center” about “corrosive” cable news blowhards at MSNBC, Fox News and CNN.
The two-part September 2012 report was so unpopular at MSNBC that, at a network holiday party shortly after, some over-served staffers even chanted “F - - k Brian Williams.”
“Rachel Maddow said on-air last week she was ‘really happy’ about Williams joining MSNBC and she believes in ‘second chances.’”
Williams is now a cable staffer after his demotion from NBC’s “Nightly News”anchor chair. But in 2012, as anchor and managing editor of his own show, “Rock Center,” he aired a two-parter on cable news’ “partisan ranting” from correspondent Ted Koppel. Williams introduced one segment by describing cable as, per Koppel, “corrosive and does nothing to help compromise in this country.”
“The rank and file at MSNBC were furious at Brian. They hated it so much, they were still mad about it months later at the office Christmas party…That’s where some cheered ‘F - - k Brian Williams’ — It was like a rallying cry.”
Williams stuffily wondered, “Has any of this splashed up against what we do?” Koppel responded: “What works about cable television is it’s cheap and it makes a ton of money. There is nothing cheaper than a bunch of talking heads. The people who hire those talking heads have discovered the more irascible, the more partisan, the nastier they are, the bigger an audience.” Read the rest of this entry »
“I identify as black,” she said. She said her hair style and light brown skin — “I didn’t stay out of the sun” — prompted people to assume she was black. She acknowledged that she didn’t correct people who made the assumption.
It was her first interview since news stories went viral last week detailing how Dolezal’s parents say she is white.
My Hair Isn’t The Only Thing That’s Kinky: The Autobiography of Rachel Dolenzal #racheldolezalmemoirtitles
— Pundit Planet (@punditfap) June 16, 2015
On Monday night, Dolezal’s parents told CNN that when she was growing up, she gave no indication that she might want to take on a new racial identity. Rachel Dolezal’s World Crumbles After Racial Identity Flap.
Rachel Dolezal carefully constructed a life as a black civil rights activist in the last decade in the inland Northwest, but that world is falling apart… Read the rest of this entry »
The consequences of the ‘Ferguson effect’ are already appearing. The main victims of growing violence will be the inner-city poor
Heather Mac Donald writes: The nation’s two-decades-long crime decline may be over. Gun violence in particular is spiraling upward in cities across America. In Baltimore, the most pressing question every morning is how many people were shot the previous night.
Gun violence is up more than 60% compared with this time last year, according to Baltimore police, with 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend. May has been the most violent month the city has seen in 15 years.
“President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, before he stepped down last month, embraced the conceit that law enforcement in black communities is infected by bias.”
Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%.
“Contrary to the claims of the ‘black lives matter’ movement, no government policy in the past quarter century has done more for urban reclamation than proactive policing. Data-driven enforcement, in conjunction with stricter penalties for criminals and ‘broken windows’ policing has saved thousands of black lives, brought lawful commerce and jobs to once drug-infested neighborhoods and allowed millions to go about their daily lives without fear.”
Those citywide statistics from law-enforcement officials mask even more startling neighborhood-level increases. Shooting incidents are up 500% in an East Harlem precinct compared with last year; in a South Central Los Angeles police division, shooting victims are up 100%.
“Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%.”
By contrast, the first six months of 2014 continued a 20-year pattern of growing public safety. Violent crime in the first half of last year dropped 4.6% nationally and property crime was down 7.5%. Though comparable national figures for the first half of 2015 won’t be available for another year, the January through June 2014 crime decline is unlikely to be repeated.
“Since last summer, the airwaves have been dominated by suggestions that the police are the biggest threat facing young black males today.”
The most plausible explanation of the current surge in lawlessness is the intense agitation against American police departments over the past nine months. Read the rest of this entry »
The legal shakedown is right out of her dad’s pay-to-playbook
Kathianne Boniello She learned at the feet of a master.
Shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s eldest child wants $5 million from city taxpayers after she fell in the street and sprained her ankle, court records show.
“I sprained my ankle real bad lol.”
— Dominique Sharpton, on Instagram
Dominique Sharpton, 28, says she was “severely injured, bruised and wounded” when she stumbled over uneven pavement at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway downtown last year, according to a lawsuit.
Currently on vacation in Bali, the membership director for her gadfly dad’s National Action Network claims she “still suffers and will continue to suffer for some time physical pain and bodily injuries,” according to the suit filed against the city departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.
“I sprained my ankle real bad lol,” she wrote in a post to Instagram after the Oct. 2 fall.
She was pictured in a walking boot in the weeks following the tumble, but by December, Dominique was good to go for NAN’s Justice for All march in Washington, DC, and for a New Year’s Eve jaunt to Miami Beach.
And despite claiming “permanent physical pain” in a breathless notice of claim, there are social-media shots of her in high heels, and another of her climbing a ladder to decorate a Christmas tree.
The legal shakedown is right out of her dad’s pay-to-playbook.
Al Sharpton has used threats of protests and boycotts against large companies as a way to generate huge corporate donations, his critics charge.
Everyone from McDonald’s, Verizon, Macy’s, General Motors, Chrysler and Pfizer have forked over cash to the elder Sharpton.
The Rev on Saturday said he didn’t know the status of his daughter’s legal claim. “She’s 29 years old. Why would she have to talk to me about that?” he said of Dominique, whose mother is Sharpton’s ex-wife, Kathy. “I just know that she was hurt and that she got a lawyer and she’s a grown woman. [Where] she goes from there, I have no idea.” Read the rest of this entry »
— National Review (@NRO) May 15, 2015
Obama has always behaved like this. It’s just that he’s now doing it to Democrats, too. This is why we dislike him. http://t.co/6LDaH7ZySZ
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) May 15, 2015
— Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) May 7, 2015
Who will police the tax police?
Why did Rome and Byzantium fall apart after centuries of success? What causes civilizations to collapse, from a dysfunctional fourth-century-B.C. Athens to contemporary bankrupt Greece?
The answer is usually not enemies at the gates, but the pathologies inside them.
What ruins societies is well known: too much consumption and not enough production, a debased currency, and endemic corruption.
Americans currently deal with all those symptoms. But two more fundamental causes for decline are even more frightening: an unwillingness to pay taxes and the end of the rule of law.
Al Sharpton is again prominently in the news, blaming various groups for the Baltimore unrest. But Sharpton currently owes the U.S. government more than $3 million in back taxes, according to reports. His excuses have ranged from insufficient funds to pay them to sloppy record-keeping and mysterious fires.
Sharpton, a frequent White House guest, apparently assumes that his community-organizing provides him political exemption from federal tax law. He seems to be right, at least as long as the current administration is in power.
The Clinton Foundation is expected to refile its tax returns for 2010, 2011, and 2012 after failing to separate government grants from donations. If an average citizen tried to amend his taxes for such huge sums and from that long ago, he would probably be under indictment.
News reports of undocumented donations from foreign governments caught the foundation underreporting its income. The well-connected Clinton clan apparently had assumed that their political status ensured them immunity. Read the rest of this entry »
Jordan Schachtel reports: Saudi Arabia’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, known as “Haia” in the Wahhabi Kingdom, has arrived on Twitter under the verified username @PvGovSa.
“Haia can arrest anyone for violating Islamic customs and dietary laws, such as women smoking, couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, or either gender eating pork or consuming alcohol.”
“Abdul Rahman Al-Sanad, president of the commission, inaugurated the account and announced the formation of a higher committee for media and public relations to improve the Haia’s public image,” the Saudi Gazettereports.
The group’s initial tweet read, “In the name of Allah and Allah’s blessing kicks off the official account of the General Presidency for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice on Twitter asking Allah to benefit by everyone.”
“Several controversial acts have embroiled the Sharia-enforcement agency over the years. In 2002, 15 young Saudi girls died from burns and smoke inhalation after the religious police prevented them from leaving their school while it was on fire.”
The religious entity patrols the streets ensuring that individuals, particularly women, are maintaining a Sharia-compliant lifestyle, which includes dressing properly (wearing a full cloak) and remaining separated from men at all times. The Haia agency is also known for enforcing Saudi Arabia’s ban on female automobile drivers. Read the rest of this entry »
I Actually Went to Starbucks and Asked About Racial Issues — Here’s What Happened
Nothing was solved.
Katherine Timpf writes: Since Starbucks launched its “Race Together” initiative — encouraging customers to have conversations about racial issues with its employees — there have been a slew of Internet think pieces about what’s right or wrong about it.
Some people said it was an awkward and a dumb idea. Other people said those people were racists. So — I decided to go out and see for myself what it would be like if I actually did what Starbucks was telling its customers to do. Read the rest of this entry »
Andrew Ferguson’s Ted Cruz Profile September 23,2013
From yesterday’s New York Times, this:
In 2013, a Ferguson profile of Ted Cruz included a devastating section in which the journalist, trapped in cars and green rooms with his subject, realizes that Cruz only speaks in stump speeches, and won’t … stop … giving … them.
I remember reading the Cruz profile, “Washington Builds a Bugaboo” in in The Weekly Standard back in 2013, and the impression it left was permanent. Even now, it’s hard to look at Cruz without recalling the unflattering depictions of Cruz’s unyielding conversational style and tone-deaf careerism. It’s a good cautionary tale. Read the whole thing here.
September 23, 2013, Andrew Ferguson writes:
Several times a day, especially if he’s out travelin’ and talkin’ to folks, as he always is when the U.S. Senate isn’t in session, Ted Cruz will stand before an audience and reflect, seemingly for the first time, about the generational shift taking place in the Republican party.
“Ted really worked at it. He’d practice at home in front of the mirror to get everything just right.”
— Paige Moore, a friend of the Cruz family
“I call them the Children of Reagan,” he says. He means the rising group of Republican officeholders who came to political consciousness during President Reagan’s two terms. He rattles off their names: “young leaders” like Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Nikki Haley, Mike Lee, Scott Walker . . . and then sometimes he’ll pause, letting you wonder if he’s leaving out any of the Children’s names. Sometimes a helpful fan in the audience will volunteer it, to general appreciation from the crowd.
Among that tiny fraction of Americans who are paying attention to such things, Cruz seems to be the only person who is forgetting Ted Cruz’s name.
“Americans who worry about democracy need to keep on this guy,” warned a reporter for the New Republic back in February. And no wonder! Skim the tweets or scan the blogs or, if you’re older than one of Reagan’s Children, read the actual newspapers, and you’ll soon discover that Ted Cruz is far more than the freshman senator from Texas, only eight months in office. He is also the “scary” “McCarthyite” “Taliban” “bully” and “bomb-thrower” known for his “extremism” and his “arrogant” and “nihilistic” “disregard of facts.”
When you follow him around, however—for he is in constant motion, from Iowa to New Hampshire to every corner of Texas—this nasty fellow you’ve been reading about, the caricature Cruz, never appears. If “Ted Cruz” didn’t exist, professional Democrats and the mainstreamers in the Washington press corps would have to invent him.
And, in a way, he doesn’t, and they have: Indeed, the invention of Ted Cruz as Republican bugaboo makes an excellent case study in how partisan journalism and politics commingle these days, as jittery Washington prepares for the post-Obama era.
Already the litany of Cruz’s extremism has become an item in the progressive catechism. Most of it involves alleged violations of Senate etiquette, and it’s useful to glance over a few of them, to see how the legend grows.
The unnerved New Republic reporter mentioned above was alarmed in particular by Cruz’s questioning of soon-to-be defense secretary Chuck Hagel during Hagel’s confirmation hearings.
Cruz opposed Hagel’s nomination. The reasons seemed straightforward—Cruz disagreed with the nominee on questions of national defense and foreign policy, including Hagel’s well-attested aversion, or “antagonism,” as Cruz put it, toward Israel’s behavior in the Middle East. Cruz grilled Hagel (the verb is required when writing about congressional hearings) about his association with a ferociously anti-Israel U.S. diplomat called Chas Freeman. In 2009 Freeman resigned from the president’s National Intelligence Council after pro-Israel senators like Charles Schumer said his “statements against Israel were way over the top.”
At the hearing, Cruz asked Hagel whether he and Freeman had ever worked or junketed together, as press reports suggested. Hagel said no. Cruz moved on.
“Those old enough to remember, or who are familiar with, the history, will recognize Cruz’s line of attack as classic McCarthy tactics,” wrote TNR’s reporter. The mention of McCarthy is catnip for a good mainstreamer. “The Reincarnation of Joe McCarthy?” wondered a columnist for Forbes. The mere scent jogged the memory of a left-wing reporter for the New Yorker,who, Pavlov-style, wrote a story headlined: “Is Senator Ted Cruz Our New McCarthy?” She dug out old notes she had taken at a speech Cruz gave to a group of right-wingers a couple years before.
The New Yorker’s reporter didn’t mention it, but other people who were there say Cruz’s informal speech was boisterous and funny, tailored to an audience of like-minded ideologues. Just as a mention of Joe McCarthy thrills people on the left, so the right delights in mockery of Harvard, especially its law school—and especially if the speaker, like Cruz, is a graduate in good standing.
According to the New Yorker reporter, Cruz said this two years ago:
“There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were 12 who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”
Having been found guilty as a McCarthyite, Cruz is of course granted no license for hyperbole, even among friends (and donors!). When Cruz attended Harvard Law, in the mid-90s, it was still the intellectual locus of a dying movement called Critical Legal Studies that was explicitly inspired by Marx, whose other followers, history shows, seldom reconciled themselves to the U.S. government. Earnestly, with that mock disinterestedness that characterizes the most dutiful of the mainstreamers, the reporter got an “equal-time” comment from a spokesman for the law school. The spokesman confessed to being “puzzled by the senator’s assertions.” For the record.
There is a professor at Harvard Law famous for, among other things, being a Republican. The New Yorker sleuth tracked him down. He told her that in fact, during Cruz’s Harvard years, 4 professors had publicly confessed to Republicanism. There were over 200 faculty at the law school at the time, but none, according to the New Yorker’s investigation, called for the Communists to overthrow the government. The question in the New Yorker headline answered itself. Read the rest of this entry »
The DOJ was determined to make a big deal out of the various misdeeds of the Department. In so doing, it set back race relations in the United States by sending out the unmistakable message that while the DOJ could not get Wilson, it could surely get the city for which he had worked.
Richard A. Epstein writes: The most recent news from Ferguson concerns what Eric Holder has rightly called the “ambush shooting” of two police officers outside the city’s police department. This incident occurred in the wake of two detailed reports released by the Department of Justice. The first report deals in depth with the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The report recommended that the case against him be closed. The second DOJ report contained a scathing indictment of the sad state of affairs within the entire criminal justice system of Ferguson. The combined effect of these two reports is likely to make matters worse in Ferguson by combining the back-handed exoneration of Darren Wilson with the unstinting condemnation of the City of Ferguson.
“The two DOJ reports do not cohere. The first shows that Wilson’s use of force against Michael Brown was fully justified. The second uses that incident to launch a scathing attack against Ferguson, leading to the resignation of its key officials for conduct that looks on balance to be no better or worse than that in other cities around the country.”
Let’s start with the DOJ report that exonerated Wilson. The federal prosecutors ran an exhaustive review of all the physical, forensic, and testimonial evidence in the case. It is necessary to state its final conclusion in full: “Darren Wilson’s actions do not constitute prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal civil rights statute, 18 U.S.C. § 242, which prohibits uses of deadly force that are ‘objectively unreasonable,’ as defined by the United States Supreme Court. The evidence, when viewed as a whole, does not support the conclusion that Wilson’s uses of deadly force were “objectively unreasonable” under the Supreme Court’s definition. Accordingly, under the governing federal law and relevant standards set forth in the USAM [United States Attorneys’ Manual], it is not appropriate to present this matter to a federal grand jury for indictment, and it should therefore be closed without prosecution.”
“The serious consequence of the second high-profile report is to keep alive the image that racial injustice is alive and well in the United States. What the report fails to understand is that it is as dangerous to exaggerate the risk of racial injustice as it is to ignore it.”
The legal conclusion is surely correct, but the tone of the report’s findings are slanted against Wilson. It is not just the case that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution. It is that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the evidence supports that Wilson’s conduct was fully justified. During the initial encounter, Brown had tried to wrest Wilson’s gun from him by reaching into Wilson’s Chevy Tahoe SUV.
“What the DOJ now has to do is to acknowledge that the killing of Michael Brown was a justifiable homicide. It must abandon its contrived legalisms and defend Wilson, by condemning unequivocally the entire misguided campaign against him, which resulted in threats against his life and forced his resignation from the police force. Eric Holder owes Wilson an apology for the unnecessary anguish that Wilson has suffered.”
Wilson’s story was corroborated, to quote the report, “by bruising on Wilson’s jaw and scratches on his neck, the presence of Brown’s DNA on Wilson’s collar, shirt, and pants, and Wilson’s DNA on Brown’s palm.” Later on, the evidence also showed that Brown was running toward Wilson at the time Wilson fired the fatal shots, not knowing whether Brown was armed or not. The incident was far clearer than the oft-ticklish situations in which the courts have to decide whether a police officer used excessive force against a person who was resisting arrest, as with the controversial grand jury decision not to indict any police officer for the killing of Eric Garner. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo of Attorney General delivering apology to Darren Wilson
From The Washington Post:
Here is a key part of the conclusion of DOJ’s report:
As discussed above, Darren Wilson has stated his intent in shooting Michael Brown was in response to a perceived deadly threat. The only possible basis for prosecuting Wilson under section 242 would therefore be if the government could prove that his account is not true – i.e., that Brown never assaulted Wilson at the SUV, never attempted to gain control of Wilson’s gun, and thereafter clearly surrendered in a way that no reasonable officer could have failed to perceive. Given that Wilson’s account is corroborated by physical evidence and that his perception of a threat posed by Brown is corroborated by other eyewitnesses, to include aspects of the testimony of Witness 101, there is no credible evidence that Wilson willfully shot Brown as he was attempting to surrender or was otherwise not posing a threat. Even if Wilson was mistaken in his interpretation of Brown’s conduct, the fact that others interpreted that conduct the same way as Wilson precludes a determination that he acted with a bad purpose to disobey the law. (p. 86).
Audio Exclusive: Eric Holder’s Apology to Officer Wilson
Hopefully this report will put to rest some of the outlandish claims that have been made about Michael Brown’s death. For example, the report convincingly rebuts the “hands up, don’t shoot” account:
[T]here are no witnesses who could testify credibly that Wilson shot Brown while Brown was clearly attempting to surrender. The accounts of the witnesses who have claimed that Brown raised his hands above his head to surrender and said “I don’t have a gun,” or “okay, okay, okay” are inconsistent with the physical evidence or can be challenged in other material ways, and thus cannot be relied upon to form the foundation of a federal prosecution. Read the rest of this entry »
The attorney general seems intent on taking one more jab at the police before leaving the Justice Department
Jason L. Riley writes: When all was said and done, the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Mo., last summer were not extraordinary but rather all too familiar. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, a black robbery suspect, resisted arrest, attacked a police officer and was shot dead. We’ve seen this movie many times before. But what might have prompted a helpful discussion about high crime rates in black communities has instead prompted a dishonest debate over police behavior.
“…the Justice Department seems to have come to the same conclusion as the Ferguson grand jury and found no grounds for a criminal prosecution of Mr. Wilson. Mr. Holder might now be trying to justify his bigfooting by suing the city, but there is probably no basis for that, either. Hence, the leak to the media that a civil lawsuit may be in the works.”
Professional agitators in the civil-rights community push false narratives to stay relevant, but we should expect more from the Justice Department. Instead, we have Attorney General Eric Holder channeling Al Sharpton . Last week Mr. Holder said that he will soon announce the results of his Ferguson investigation. CNN, citing “sources,” reported that Darren Wilson, the police officer involved in the shooting, is unlikely to be charged but that Justice is preparing to sue the Ferguson police department “over a pattern of racially discriminatory tactics used by police officers, if the police department does not agree to make changes on its own.”
“This is about expanding federal power in the police departments. The lawyers at Justice believe they are the ones who should be promulgating national standards of how cops should behave. And police departments are so afraid of bad publicity that they agree to settle the case with all kinds of rules that Justice wants to impose.”
— Hans von Spakovsky, former Justice Department attorney
After months of looking into the incident, the Justice Department seems to have come to the same conclusion as the Ferguson grand jury and found no grounds for a criminal prosecution of Mr. Wilson. Mr. Holder might now be trying to justify his bigfooting by suing the city, but there is probably no basis for that, either. Hence, the leak to the media that a civil lawsuit may be in the works. The leak was an egregious breach of protocol and, in effect, a threat. We’ve seen this movie before, too.
[Check out Jason Riley’s book “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” at Amazon]
In 1994, Congress passed a bill that made unlawful “the pattern or practice” of conduct by police “that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” Since the law’s inception, the Justice Department has taken action against more than 50 state and local police departments, and nearly all have opted to settle rather than litigate. Investigations often come at the urging of groups like the NAACP and ACLU. Read the rest of this entry »
Tina Nguyen reports: Today, Comcast and Time Warner Cable were served with a lawsuit from a group of African-American media owners seeking $20 billion — yes, “billion,” with a “b” — for discriminatory practices, and alleges that Al Sharpton and his organizations received big money to look the other way.
“The money includes $3.8 million to Sharpton and his National Action Network. The money, it’s charged, was meant to pay Sharpton to endorse the NBCU deal and divert attention away from discrimination.”
The suit, filed by the National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM) and obtained by the The Hollywood Reporter, claims that despite touting itself as a diverse company, Comcast and TWC only carries one channel owned by a black media owner and refuses to carry any others. Furthermore, the diversity Comcast presents — including the hiring of minority personalities such as
Sharpton, and including a “memorandum of understanding” they signed with the NAACP and Sharpton’s National Urban League — is “a sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.”
The lawsuit specifically targets Comcast’s practices: so far, they argue, only one channel in Comcast’s lineup, The Africa Channel, is owned by a black person (and that person facilitated Comcast’s purchase of NBC Universal, “thus creating a serious conflict of interest”). And speaking of that purchase, the suit alleges that Comcast paid off Sharpton, an employee of MSNBC, to support that acquisition — specifically, to say that Comcast was an awesomely diverse company:
The lawsuit goes on to say that Comcast made large cash “donations” to obtain support for its acquisition. The money includes $3.8 million to Sharpton and his National Action Network. The money, it’s charged, was meant to pay Sharpton to endorse the NBCU deal and divert attention away from discrimination. As for Sharpton’s MSNBC gig, the complaint says, “Despite the notoriously low ratings that Sharpton’s show generates, Comcast has allowed Sharpton to maintain his hosting position for more than three years in exchange for Sharpton’s continued public support for Comcast on issues of diversity.”
In a statement to THR, Comcast said it was “disappointing that [NAAAOM] have decided to file a frivolous lawsuit” and that they planned to defend themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
Modern liberalism depends on the language police, and Jonathan Chait himself is Exhibit A.
Sean Davis writes: In a widely praised piece for New York Magazine, liberal writer Jonathan Chait says the leftist language police are perverting liberalism. Chait is wrong. The politically correct language police don’t pervert modern liberalism; they embody it. And amateur leftist thought cop Jonathan Chait himself is proof.
“Speech codes are a widely used tool taken right out of the fascist toolbox. If they can’t control how you act, then they’ll control how you speak. If they can’t control how you speak, then they’ll control how you think.”
In his piece, Chait catalogued numerous discussions within a large Facebook group called “Binders Full of Women Writers” to show the toxic effect that language and thought crime policing can have on basic political discourse.
“Jonathan Chait’s recent critique of political correctness insists that the phenomenon has undergone a resurgence. It hasn’t; contrary to Chait’s characterization, it never went away. The difference is that it is now being used as a cudgel against white liberals such as Jonathan Chait, who had previously enjoyed a measure of immunity.”
“Chait is hardly in a position to complain about that, given his own heavy reliance on that mode of discourse. Chait isn’t arguing for taking an argument on its own merits; he’s arguing for a liberals’ exemption to the Left’s general hostility toward any unwelcome idea that comes from a speaker who checks any unapproved demographic boxes…”
— Kevin D. Williamson
At times, members of the overwhelmingly liberal group would demand that certain sentiments not be shared. Sometimes, members declared that certain people weren’t even allowed to have opinions on a subject on account of their color, gender, or sexual orientation. Here’s a small selection from Chait’s piece:
On July 10, for instance, one member in Los Angeles started a conversation urging all participants to practice higher levels of racial awareness. “Without calling anyone out specifically, I’m going to note that if you’re discussing a contentious thread, and shooting the breeze … take a look at the faces in the user icons in that discussion,” she wrote. “Binders is pretty diverse, but if you’re not seeing many WOC/non-binary POC in your discussion, it’s quite possible that there are problematic assumptions being stated without being challenged.” (“POC” stands for “people of color.” “WOC” means “women of color.” “Non-binary” describes people who are either transgender or identify as a gender other than traditionally male or female.)
Two members responded lightly, one suggesting that such “call-outs” be addressed in private conversation and another joking that she was a “gluten free Jewish WWC” — or Woman Without Color. Read the rest of this entry »
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) January 15, 2015
Gavin McInnes writes: The only thing worse than a man is a white man, am I right? They start off as violent little bastards, biting Pop-Tarts into guns, and before you know it, they’re raping their way through college. The very privileged end up running corporations that pay women 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, and the less fortunate end up as cops who shoot black men in the head just because.
“Apparently, it’s racist to depict your own life if your own life is white. “
As our white male college professors told us, “The white man” is the “greatest trouble-maker on earth.” White male culture is Western culture and both are drenched in racism and sexism. The only hope for redemption is annihilation. Anything would be better. As social media nutbar Suey Park put it, “Whiteness will always be the enemy.” This narrative has been plowing forward like the train in Snowpiercer since the 1960s, but it appears 2014 was the year the wheels finally came off.
“I thought this attack was ridiculous but it’s still nice to see these smug fools get whisked away by their own shit storm.”
At first glance, the UVA rape story was perfect. Not only did it involve preppy white kids gang raping women, but these frat boys were so incredibly popular, nobody would dare speak out. Being raped sucks but not being invited to a party is way worse. The Duke Lacrosse case had all the same characteristics but uh, those guys weren’t blond enough. Besides, proving Jackie’s story meant Tawana Brawley would look like the exception, not the rule.
Unfortunately, the details turned out to be hard to swallow. So they threw her onto a glass coffee table and didn’t stop or even turn the lights on after it smashed? They were all cutting their hands and knees during the rape? What are they, savages? If you’re looking for a rapist that brutal, all you have to do is go to Sweden. Only he’s not blond. He’s a Muslim Somali immigrant. One of the many advantages of multiculturalism is that feminists will finally have the rapists they need to fill their statistics.
“Most were outraged by the way she appeared to sexually molest the girl—but what about the part where she outed her sister as a lesbian to her parents? Doesn’t that go against their whole credo? Do they even know what their credo is anymore?”
Lena Dunham was another girl woefully low on Republican rapists. So, she invented one. Turns out he may actually have been a Democrat. How inconvenient. The perpetually derailed Dunham is an interesting case because not only does she personify the cause, she makes a lot of money off it. She also shares the assumption of untouchability the left has. She hurls accusations at nonexistent white men while assuming nobody will put her through the same rigmarole. We first saw this last year when she was called out for not having enough black characters on her show. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not clear what led to the shooting on East 184th Street and Tiebout Avenue in the Fordham section shortly after 10:30 p.m.
The officers were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital and are expected to be OK, the NYPD said.
A law enforcement source said it appears one officer was shot in the back and the other shot in the arm. Preliminary investigation indicates the anti-crime, plain clothes officers were responding to a burglary call, a police source said.
The suspect fled in a car, crashed it and abandoned it a couple of blocks away from the scene before fleeing on foot, according to preliminary investigation, said the police source. Read the rest of this entry »
Politicians benefit from American Tribal Warfare
Glen Reynolds writes: “What if I told you,” asks a Matrix-themed photo-meme that has been circulating on Facebook, “that you can be against cops murdering citizens and citizens murdering cops at the same time?”
“Tribalism is the default state of humanity: The tendency to defend our own tribe even when we think it’s wrong, and to attack other tribes even when they’re right, just because they’re other.”
Judging by the past few weeks, this really is a Matrix-level revelation, obvious as it may seem. We have Americans protesting because of police shootings, and we have police turning their backs on New York City’s Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio over lack of support after two police were assassinated by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, a gunman from Baltimore who said he was seeking revenge for the choking death of cigarette-tax evader Eric Garner.
“In a healthy civil society, people can deal with others without worrying about tribalism, confident that disputes will be settled by neutral and reasonably fair procedures overseen by neutral and fair people.”
And, as blogger Eric Raymond notes, the response has been divided: “Because humans are excessively tribal, it’s difficult now to call for justice against Eric Garner’s murderers without being lumped in with the ‘wrong side.’ Nor will Garner’s partisans, on the whole, have any truck with people who aren’t interested in poisonously racializing the circumstances of his death.”
“In a tribalized society, what matters is what tribe you belong to, and who is on top at the moment.”
This is a tragedy, but not a surprise. Tribalism is the default state of humanity: The tendency to defend our own tribe even when we think it’s wrong, and to attack other tribes even when they’re right, just because they’re other.
[Glenn Reynolds‘ book “The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself“ is available at Amazon]
Societies that give in to the temptations of tribalism — which are always present — wind up spending a lot of their energy on internal strife, and are prone to disintegrate into spectacular factionalism and infighting, often to the point of self-destruction. Read the rest of this entry »
Progressives and the Police
‘What do we want? Dead cops!” So chanted marchers at one of the protests organized in the last month against the failure of grand juries to indict white officers in the death of black crime suspects Michael Brown and Eric Garner. On Saturday they got their wish, as a black assailant citing revenge for Brown and Garner traveled from Maryland to murder two cops sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn.
“America is full of Brinsleys who no longer abide the norms of civilized behavior, if they even know what those norms are. They need but the slightest excuse to take justice into their own hands and go on a rampage.”
“They were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform,” New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said, and so they were. Garner and Brown were resisting arrest, but the two young officers never had a chance even to pull their guns. They had been marked for death near a high-crime housing project they were trying to protect against criminal predators.
“Especially in urban America, the police walk that line between civilization and mayhem every day.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio , Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama were all quick to condemn the shooting. And let’s stipulate that no one other than the alleged shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, is responsible for pulling the trigger. Chased into the subway by police, he then shot himself. Read the rest of this entry »
News anchors have a tough job: They have to pretend like everything’s great when usually it’s, well, not. But Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson give up on pretending in a cut Saturday Night Live sketch where the two play St. Louis morning show hosts distressed by what’s going on in nearby Ferguson.
“James Franco, Saturday’s host, also appears as a guest on the show… The entire sketch is an awkward, apt comment on racism in America and how we cover that racism—as well as a fine five minutes of comedy.”
At first, Thompson and Strong try to read off some lighthearted weekend news about fun runs and concerts but decide to cut to their traffic reporter, played by Leslie Jones, who appears onscreen just to say traffic’s bad. Read the rest of this entry »
New York Post front page for Tuesday, December 2, 2014
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) November 25, 2014
[VIDEO] Al Sharpton: Hey, Let’s Play the ‘Repeat Whatever a Conservative Just Said in the Form of a Question’ GamePosted: October 14, 2014
A marvel of whimsical video-editing opportunism by David Rutz of the Free Beacon, with commentary here by HotAir‘s ALLAPUNDIT. The icing on the cupcake, really, is the music. What is that, hayride music? Square dancing? Brilliant.
Tear gas was being fired at crowds as police stood in the streets holding shields at crowds chanting “don’t shoot” while holding up their arms, which has become a symbol of protest in the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Demonstrators threw rocks at police and kicked tear gas canisters back at them.No word of injuries of arrests yet.
“Police attempted to push the demonstrators back by firing tear gas, shouting over a bullhorn that the protest was no longer peaceful.”
Crowds holding picket signs were running through the streets, while others retreated from the police. Residents were told to clear the area by police. It was unclear what set the activity off, but it was similar to what happened Saturday night when police fired tear gas at demonstrators then.
Police attempted to push the demonstrators back by firing tear gas, shouting over a bullhorn that the protest was no longer peaceful, the Associated Press reported. Many of the marchers retreated, but a group of about 100 stood defiantly about two blocks away until getting hit by another volley. Read the rest of this entry »
As dyspeptic as Andy Rooney, as cranky as Mark Steyen, and as subversive as Andrew Breitbart, Greg Gutfeld writes: In the interest of time (I’m nearly a half century old and have fewer years ahead than I’ve already swallowed up), I do my best to avoid black holes: what I call “time-suck” stories that are so murky and slippery you can’t make heads or tails of them. These stories are often most attractive precisely because their messiness lets you make them into anything you want.
In the absence of grip, rage becomes the recipe, as media hacks like me become bombarded with shrill demands for coverage. “WHY AREN’T YOU COVERING THIS STORY?!!!” is the usual refrain, often linked to stories that start loud and end in a fizzle (the Million Muslim March, anyone?). Sometimes we should cover them; other times they should be covered with a blanket and labeled “not worth it.” You see this more in our Munchean era of the constant Scream, as the internet transforms into a chorus megaphone of endless complaint, directed at those the public wish to persuade. It’s a legitimate activity — if you’re concerned, why not rally people to a neglected cause? Other times, though, it drags simpletons like me down a hole. A black hole. I avoid these holes if I cannot answer a simple question with a definitive yes: “Do I add any clarity to this mess?” If it’s no, or an “I don’t know,” I skedaddle. I don’t want to make things worse. I don’t want people to get hurt. I don’t want people to look at me and say, “Thanks for nothing, asshole.” Some of my louder and even smarter pals might disagree, but the Bundy saga was a hole — one filled with quicksand that I had no interest in drowning in. So I avoided it. Others didn’t. I’m not as smart about land issues as some, but I know a swamp when I see it. The more I read about it, the less I understood. It’s like a Pynchon novel, only more entertaining. But there’s something just as bad as these rage lasagnas, in my opinion, and it’s something you should also ignore. I refer to lectures from the media about “cozying up to extremists.” Like the piece in the Washington Post by Dana Milbank, with a headline that says exactly that: “Bundy saga reveals the risk of cozying up to extremists.” Or another from the same paper by Kathleen Parker, that reads, “The GOP’s bad fling with Cliven Bundy.” I totally get the importance of vetting any subject to avoid looking stupid. But I wonder, how many in the media offered this sage advice as most of their ilk (and their liberal cohorts in politics) gave repeated, slobbering wet kisses to the Occupy movement, which — after awhile — was reduced to a dwindling bundle of anti-Semitics, lurid felons, and fecal squatters? You’d think the OWS movement would have been relegated to the dustbin of ridicule, but instead glowing anthologies retell the story of the movement, minus the other “movements.” Do the media ever level this warning about extremism when faced with the likes of Reverend Wright? Or Bill Ayers, who actually wanted to blow people up? What about Al Sharpton? Did anyone, beside the typical cranky right winger, ever tell our president, “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t really have this race-baiting charlatan at the White House?” I find Al’s outrage toward Don Sterling quaint. Say what you want about the gibbering Sterling, but he didn’t create horrible hoaxes that ruined lives or incite hate that found its way on the streets of New York. Read the rest of this entry »
Wayne Dupree writes: Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman are heros. Their strength and conviction to free blacks from slavery are a testament to what happens when individuals think more of their community than themselves and are willing to risk everything for a cause greater than themselves.
In comparison, modern black “leaders” like Jesse Jackson Jr. and Al Sharpton are tiny and self-serving. They don’t serve black Americans or champion freedom and liberty for all. They champion liberal politics and ideology, and that’s odd; liberals want to see blacks tucked neatly into the roles of their design.
Liberals can’t abide a black person who leaves the black plantation of poverty and handouts to stand on his own two feet; they treat with contempt a black man who turns his back on their free money to work hard to make a good life for himself and his family. How dare these dissidents show the black community what they can do with their lives if they walk away from poverty and work to better themselves?
Too many liberals think they have the black race all sewed up, and it just paralyzes them to hear of black conservatives.
A Glimpse into the Political Future: Jonathan Chait’s Advance Apologia for the Democrats’ Defeat in NovemberPosted: April 15, 2014
Fred Siegel writes: Jonathan Chait has written a thoughtful, if debatable, 6,000-word article on race in the Obama years that has stirred a good deal of discussion. It can be read as an advance apologia for the Democrats’ defeat in the 2014 elections. Chait’s thesis, as he sums it up in an online surrebuttal, is that “American politics in the age of Obama has become balkanized not along racial lines, but by how people think about race.” In other words, Chait argues, “the Obama era has produced a cleavage along ideological rather than racial lines,” so that neither black conservatives who support the Tea Party nor the far more numerous white liberals who nod in agreement with Al Sharpton’s preachings on MSNBC are as anomalous as partisans assert. “Liberals,” Chait writes, “dwell in a world of paranoia of a white racism that has seeped out of American history in the Obama years and lurks everywhere, mostly undetectable.” Similarly, he goes on, “Conservatives dwell in a paranoia of their own, in which racism is used as a cudgel to delegitimize their core beliefs. And the horrible thing is that both of these forms of paranoia are right.”
“Parts of the public, not necessarily on the right, have caught on to Obama’s double game, in which his administration has been rhetorically egalitarian and operationally elitist.”
One can commend Chait for his evenhandedness—which has stirred a hornet’s nest of opposition from liberals—without accepting the equivalence he draws between these two views. But the real problem with his essay comes when he steps out of the realm of ideology and into the world of practical outcomes. Six years into the Obama presidency, Americans have ample grounds, independent of race, to dislike him.
[Check out Fred Siegel‘s book: The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class at Amazon]
According to the analysis by Katie Yoder the liberal host said “race,” “racism,” or “racist” 215 times in 2013 during his MSNBC show PoliticsNation.
“From opposition to the Obama agenda to guns and even into fashion and food, Sharpton’s finely tuned nose for racism rarely took a day off last year,” Yoder wrote.
Michael Goodwin writes: When I first heard the claim, I thought it was a mistake or hoax. A talking head was describing a raging war in the Democratic Party between progressives and centrists.
Centrist Democrats? Aren’t they already extinct?
Yes, they’re gone, the dodo birds of politics. But the chattering classes, needing something to chatter about and slow to face facts about their darling liberals, are just discovering that the party of Barack Obama and Bill de Blasio bears little resemblance to the party of FDR, JFK and even Bill Clinton.
Oh, please. Some of us have been saying this for years. The Democratic Party has gone so far left that late Senate stalwarts like Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Pat Moynihan, lions of liberalism but also of common sense and a strong military, must be spinning in their graves.