In the waning years of the Obama Administration, a strident new form of race hustling emerged. Combining elements of identity politics, Foucaultean power dynamics, Cultural Marxism, and Nineties-style corporate diversity training, Critical Race Theory (CRT) emerged as a powerful ideological bludgeon with which to batter anyone with the audacity to be white.
At its core, CRT proposes a simple thesis: any person of color, in any material or spiritual condition, is automatically oppressed compared to white people, because white people benefit from inherent privilege due to their whiteness. Alternatively, black and brown people face systemic racism—racism present in the very structure of the West’s various institutions—so even when not facing overt acts of racism, they are still suffering from racism nonetheless. The source of white people’s “privilege” is that systemic racism benefits them at the expense of black people.
The problem is easy to spot: any personal accountability is jettisoned in favor of group identities, so any personal setbacks for a darker-skinned individual are not the result of that individual’s agency, but rather the outcome of sinister, invisible forces at play within society’s institutions themselves. Similarly, any success on the part of a lighter-skinned individual is due to the privilege that individual enjoys.
It’s easy to forget now, but last summer was terrifying. Race riots erupted in cities all over the country as a result of the death of George Floyd, a fentanyl-addicted career criminal who has now been sainted by our elites. The summer of rioting and looting did more to undermine racial harmony and social peace in our nation than any event of the last decade.
Now that The Usurper Biden sits upon the throne, the rioting seems to have subsided, as least for now, although there was a shooting at George Floyd Square amid the one-year anniversary observance of his death. Even so, I remember how scary last summer was, with radical, violent BLM and Antifa protests breaking out even here in South Carolina.
Part of the growing homesteading movement seems inspired, in part, by the wild lawlessness of the cities. Why live cheek-by-jowl with people who hate you because of your supposed privilege—and pay a hefty premium in rent to do so—when you can live affordably and safely in the country? I have at least one neighbor who seems to be doing that, and I’ve made some half-hearted efforts of my own at the same.
Regardless, I pray for peace—and prepare for the worst. I’d encourage you to do the same.
During the recent incarnation of the domestic terror organization Black Lives Matter, a group of BLM organizers in Florence, South Carolina received permission to paint a “Black Lives Matter” mural on a section of street in downtown Florence. The mural is meant to depict various scenes from African and African-American history, including some Egyptian elements.
The mural itself was a community effort, and took around three or four days to paint. In all fairness, it was a peaceful project with the full support of the City of Florence, and seemed to be an expressive way for the black community to participate in a project that isn’t overtly destructive. Creating art—even historically inaccurate, propagandist art—is generally preferable to looting stores.
However, the City of Florence has decided to remove the mural. Naturally, it’s resulted in a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth from blacks and gentry white liberals in Florence, who are accusing Mayor Wukela—a red-diaper baby and progressive Democrat—of racism, of suppressing black voices, and the usual litany of complaints.
Of course, that has nothing to do with why Florence City Council—which is overwhelming Democratic and heavily African-American—is removing the mural.
We’re continuing our dive into the B-sides and deep cuts of the TPP oeuvre. For this Lazy Sunday, I decided to check out September 2019.
Whoa! What a gold mine of hidden gems and nuggets, forgotten in the tide of events. I didn’t realize how many good posts I generate during that first full month of the 2019-2020 school year. There’s enough for a couple of weeks, but here are three forgotten posts to tide you over until next Sunday:
“Remembering 1519” – With The New York Times‘s 1619 Project all the rage—a retelling of American history in which racism and slavery are the only pertinent factors in our grand national story—this post examined a piece from The Federalist about Hernan Cortez’s conquest of the Aztecs in 1519. Rather than framing it as evil Europeans callously destroying the peaceful natives (any fifth grader can tell you the Aztecs were anything but peaceful), he flips the script to something closer to the Truth: the Catholic Christian Spaniards toppled a wicked regime built on human sacrifice and false gods. The Spanish weren’t angels, but they destroyed a great evil.
“Saturn: The Creepiest Planet?” – Quora inspired this post, and the site has now become a favorite of mine for people smarmily answering astronomy questions. The Solar System has always fascinated me, and Saturn in particular is alluring—so mysterious and regal, with its massive rings. I’ve even written a song, “The Rings of Saturn,” which I will hopefully record one day. The Quora post in question asked “What is the creepiest planet in our solar system?”; the answer, per a recording of Saturn’s electromagnetic waves, is Saturn. The embedded video to that recording is now, sadly, dead, but I’m sure some intrepid searching could turn it up.
“A Tale of Two Cyclists” – One of my more frivolous and cantankerous posts, this short screed denounces “spandex-festooned cyclists riding in the middle of a busy lane during rush hour.” Yet my sympathies are entirely with the second cyclist, “a black man of indeterminate age…. wearing street clothes, and riding what appeared to be a fairly rundown bike.” I have no problem with folks who use a bike as their primary means of transportation, lacking any other options. But these large groups of “cyclists” who ostentatiously hog entire lanes at 5 PM drive me batty.
That’s it for this Sunday! We’ll continue our exploration for at least another week, as there are some more goodies from September 2019 to explore.
A couple of days before the start of the school year, my school underwent a round of indoctrination professional development: the dreaded diversity, equity, and inclusion training ($5 subs got a sneak peek of my handwritten notes earlier this week, which I uploaded as a digitized PDF). As these things go, it wasn’t terrible, but there was plenty of social justice buzz words, and a subtle, implied anti-white bias to it. Really, it was an anti-Truth and objectivity bias.
This Saturday, permit me to be your guide through the harrowing world of corporate-style diversity training in the Year of Our Wokeness Two-Thousand and Twenty C.E. (because “A.D.” is discriminatory against non-Christians, even though the B.C.E./C.E. dating system is still based on the Birth of Jesus Christ!).
Yesterday, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and 2012 Republican presidential primary candidate Herman Cain passed away after a long struggle against The Virus. Cain was 74.
Breitbartcalls Cain a “Conservative firebrand,” which was apparent to anyone following the crowded 2011-2012 Republican presidential primaries. Like 2016, that was a crowded primary field, with tons of conservative darlings and Establishment types alike jumping into the field. Back in those days, everybody thought Barack Obama was going to be the next Jimmy Carter—an ineffectual, overly-progressive one-termer. The economy stunk, Obama seemed out of his depth, and conservatives were united and motivated to get out and vote.
Herman Cain quickly set himself apart from the rest of the crowd, though—he wasn’t a career politician, but a successful businessman (according to John Derbyshire, Cain is also somewhat a mathematical genius). He put out his bold “9-9-9 Plan“—flat, nine percent national sales, income, and corporate tax rates. Cain’s reasoning: “If ten percent is good enough for God, nine percent is good enough for the federal government.” Yes, it was a bit far-fetched, but it was catchy, and in an era of high corporate and income taxes—both of which undermined American business competitiveness domestically and abroad—it resonated with voters. The implicit reference to the biblical tithe also let voters know Cain was a devoted Christian, which was a welcome change from the open hostility of the Obama administration to religious liberty.
A major lesson of the 2016 election was that the neoliberal consensus of the prior thirty years was not the panacea its advocates claimed. Trump’s candidacy was premised on the notion that the national government should work for the interests of the nation’s people, not on behalf of globalist concerns and aloof cosmopolitan elites. Government could be reformed to strengthen the nation, rather than operating as the piggy bank for and protector of internationalists.
It’s interesting to reflect how entrenched the assumptions of neoliberalism were prior to 2015-2016. When Trump began his historic campaign, virtually no one on the Right was talking about tariffs, other than Pat Buchanan (and a long essay on the necessity of a trade war with China that Oren Cass wrote for National Review in 2014). The outsourcing of jobs overseas was assumed to be a short-term sacrifice that would result in more efficiency (ergo, lower prices on consumer goods) and more skilled jobs here. We were a “nation of immigrants,” so we’d better throw the doors wide open.
With Trump’s election, a long-dormant populist wing reemerged, consisting both of conservative Republicans and disgruntled Democrats. Tariffs became an important foreign and domestic policy tool. A trade war with China soon began, and the United States renegotiated the NAFTA agreement with Mexico and Canada. Manufacturing jobs began returning to the United States, and immigration laws began to be enforced (so long as those Hawaiian judges didn’t get in the way). The economy, rather than contracting as the free trade hardliners warned, grew exponentially, and even now is recovering at a remarkable clip after The Age of The Virus temporarily sidelined it.
It’s been awhile (3 April 2020) since I’ve written a Phone it in Friday, which means I’ve been doing my job and writing actual content on Friday, not just slapping together listicles of random thoughts (that link is not intended to diminish Audre Myers, a far more engaging random thinker than me). That said, today seems like a good opportunity to phone it in—after a day of baby wranglingyesterday, and a fitful night’s sleep (thanks in part to some heavy, but delicious, meals).
Yesterday, I wrote about the destruction of statues of American leaders—the destruction of American history. My position is that tearing down virtually any statue—Confederate, Union, Theodore Roosevelt, etc.—is the untenable erasure of our nation’s history. Further, the historic illiteracy of the woke SJWs has seen the defenestration of statues of abolitionists—an absurdity for groups that claim to be fighting against the legacy of slavery.
In that context, I made a big deal about the toppling of a statue of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln has assumed something of a demigod status in American history, one that glosses over some of the thorny issues of how to respond to the secession of the Southern States (a real question at the time was, having opted into the Constitution, could States later opt out; for a good biographical read on that issue, check out “A Voice of Reason” by John Marquardt at the Abbeville Institute). Lincoln was certainly a man with many noble qualities, and a keen constitutional mind. The toppling of his statues is the height of insanity—or nearly so.