Saturday, June 05, 2004


I received recently an email from one of my U.S. readers that helped me understand why most Americans seem to hate even hearing the word "race":

"I had an argument with my neighbor Dwayne this afternoon after my jog. He's a black man, a few years younger than I am. He keeps a nice house and yard and drives a fancy car. We've always gotten along well. Today, however, the discussion turned to Bill Cosby's recent criticism of black parents for not raising their children properly. My neighbor jumped all over Cosby, saying he had no right to tell poor blacks how to live. I didn't challenge any of this, because I wanted to stay on good terms. I mainly let him talk. Then he brought up President Bush, saying he was a racist. I asked for evidence. He had none. When I pressed him as to why he thinks Bush is a racist, he said he just knows. I told him that a few years ago, Bush and his wife drove Alphonso Jackson and his wife (a black couple) to ritzy Highland Park to look at homes. He wanted Jackson as his neighbor. Does that sound like a racist? And who has a black National Security Adviser and Secretary of State? Since Dwayne couldn't cite any evidence for his belief that Bush is a racist, I asked whether all whites are racist. He said no.

At one point I said, half jokingly, that that was the stupidest thing Dwayne had ever said. This changed the tone. He told me to go and not stop by to talk to him any more. He told me to keep my dogs off his grass. It was tense. I pleaded for a moment, then walked away. This man is angry. Until today, I didn't know it. He said at one point that only two presidents cared about blacks: John F. Kennedy ("and they shot him for it") and Bill Clinton. He loves Clinton, as surveys show almost all blacks do. He hates Bush, as surveys show almost all blacks do. Republicans may as well give up on blacks; they're convinced, without evidence, that Republicans are out to get them. They're seething with resentment and anger."

I can see no reason at the moment why that anger will ever abate. Blacks do very poorly compared with whites and it takes a big man to blame himself for the fact that he and his kind are not doing well. "Blame others" is always a much more preferable thing to do than blaming oneself. And when a whole half of national politics is telling you that your failure to reach the heights is because you have been discriminated against, it would be remarkable indeed if you did not believe it. So-called "liberals" breed that anger. They need it and thrive on it. Without the black vote they would sink like a stone.

So is there a solution to the anger? Giving blacks equality that they have not earned (affirmative action) has some superficial attractiveness. The trouble is that that has now been tried on a large scale and the anger still seethes. The gap is probably too big and too basic to be closed by anything short of totalitarian measures. So one hopes that one day the only real alternative will be turned to: A strictly colour-blind and merit-based system that will persuade at least most people that whatever anybody has, has been earned by themselves or their parents. Instead of encouraging race-consciousness (affirmative action) Americans should have put all their efforts into eradicating it. Making sure of equality of opportunity for all would be a far better way of getting the social system to be seen as fair.



Jeff Jacoby points out that GWB's "idealism" in striving to make the Middle East more democratic is also practical. Trying to bring about an Iraqi government that is both stable and democratic is undoubtedly a difficult challenge but past American policy that satisfied itself with stability only led to the events of 9/11. John Kerry, by contrast, is stuck in the failed past of American isolationism. So who said that it is conservatives who resist change? They only resist half-baked Leftist proposals for change. At the moment it is the Democrats who are refusing to change from a policy that has obviously failed. Leftists have of course always promoted themselves as idealistic and "principled" but the fact that their idealism and principles have vanished in a puff of smoke now that they see electoral advantage in having no principles should surprise no-one. That the people who supported Stalin and the Soviet system throughout the Cold war were "idealistic" was always a joke.

Wavering British Leftist Roger Simon also notes how the behaviour of most of the Left over Iraq contradicts all that they once claimed to stand for: "Who really is "progressive" anyway, those who have been backing democracy in Iraq or those opposing 'unilateral' intervention in totalitarian states?"

And this site records something that BBC journalists were saying before the Iraq invasion but which BBC managers would not let them put into writing: "The far left was becoming the far right. It had gone as close to supporting Ba'athist fascism as it dared". Again something that would surprise only those deluded souls who thought that the Left had principles.



In connection with my comment yesterday about a post on the blog of Leftist law professor Brian Leiter, it has been drawn to my attention that there is another way one can interpret Leiter's Delphic words. He is probably in fact arguing that because Americans have moved to the Right in recent years (itself a proposition in need of proof) THEREFORE the universities cannot have been preaching Leftism. The unstated but highly amusing premise in that being that all preaching must be influential! That other influences (9/11 anyone?) might more than cancel out any influence from Leftist preaching is just not allowed for in that particular parody of logic! I had not considered that he might be putting forward an argument quite as ridiculous as that but he is a Leftist after all.

More bad news for the "outsourcing" warriors: "U.S. employers hired almost a quarter-million new workers in May, swelling payrolls by nearly 1.2 million for the year so far in a jobs market steadily gaining steam ahead of November's presidential election." Outsourcing is a sign of an efficient and healthy economy.

It's pretty common these days for all kinds of organisations and lobbies to produce scorecards to help voters from their particular audience to judge better the performance of elected officials. Apparently the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' "scorecard" for rating the performance of various congressmen equates issues of liberal political dogma with conformance to catechism and church doctrine. This raises the question as to whether the USCCB's primary allegiance is to Catholicism or liberalism. See here

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Mirror sites here and here


The Left cannot face the fact that the American intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq is fundamentally humanitarian. The most effective response to the 9/11 events and the one in America's own best interests would have been a retaliatory strike using nukes to take the whole of Afghanistan off the map -- followed by a threat that Mecca would go sky high if there were any further Islamic attacks on the USA or its allies. That would have made Islam a religion of peace overnight. But GWB rightly rejected that easy road because it would have involved the death of millions of innocents. He chose instead to go after just the bad guys -- an extremely difficult task. And its difficulty is causing continuing American deaths in Iraq to this day. But Americans have always given their blood in order to be humane. They did it in two world wars and in Vietnam and they are doing it now in the Middle East. The only alternative strategy that the Left have is to do nothing -- thus inviting more and more attacks.

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