Thursday, May 31, 2018


That’s Racist!...

...and, it may rain tomorrow.

There’s a lot of “racism” in the news recently...this week, this month, this year. In fact it’s so pervasive (we are told) that talking about it has taken on the same significance as a weather forecast. Any weight that may have previously been given to the word “racist” is now gone. Overuse, misuse, and...stupid use, has made the word, ...useless.

Starbucks shut down thousands of its stores to school their staff in the wondrous world of self-reflection on unconscious racist thought crimes. A famous actress/comedian had her popular sitcom ended because she made a racist comment toward a person that doesn’t even resemble any specific ethnic group but does kind of resemble the animal she was compared to — race being irrelevant (though the intention may have been racist). I always thought that Valerie Jarrett bared a resemblance to Yoda in Star Wars (who — like Jarret — doesn’t even look vaguely African American).

Being rude, ill-mannered, or ignorant is certainly a bad thing but I’m not sure that it’s up there with inflicting physical harm or depriving one of equal opportunity.

If someone directs cruelty, aggression, or deprivation of opportunities to a person for being a member of a specific group, punish accordingly. Even if it’s not for being a member of a specific group. Cruelty is always a bad thing, ...isn’t it? If someone is course and uncouth and makes insulting remarks about someone else on account of their ethnicity or social status, deride them as pathetic and ill-mannered people or question their intelligence. But...

Many of us hold negative views of specific groups based on a generalized appraisal of how that group seems to behave compared to other groups. There are very few among us that are not guilty of that, most of all the leftist hypocrites who obsess upon such things.

There’s a joke that goes like this:

In heaven the police are British. The chefs Italian. The mechanics are German. The lovers are French. and it's all organised by the Swiss.

In hell, the police are German. The chefs are British. The mechanics are French. The lovers are Swiss. and it's all organised by the Italians.

Of course this is light prejudice...because it involves Europeans - fair game to the P.C. Police.

I’ve heard similar “jokes” to the effect that, “Why are blacks so money hungry and Jews so lazy?” — groups and statements that are off limits. The question is almost funny because the appraisals are the opposite of what discrimination typically sees or says. Everyone “gets it” right away. The intents are surly exaggerations but even softening such statements (“Jewish people have become skilled in business over time due to a variety of factors in their history.” / “Blacks have a more casual and relaxed approach to their efforts.”) doesn’t change the fact that group stereotypes exist because there is often an underlying truth to the observation. This puts individuals in a bad situation since they are pigeonholed into expectations that may or may not be true of them specifically. The issue ultimately boils down to the unfortunate philosophical point that we are individuals and part of larger social constructs — a conundrum.

In the end, one can justly note that not everyone in a given group fits the group stereotype but it doesn’t change the fact that there are characteristic images built up over time regarding group qualities. Pretending that the stereotype is groundless fools no one.

Valerie Jarrett, in responding to Roseanne Barr’s recent “racist” tweet, noted the injustice of those who hold their purse more tightly or walk to avoid encounter with a person from a certain ethnic group (she meant blacks). It’s actually a stupid statement. First of all, there are a variety of other factors that will determine a person’s behavior. Most middle class white people walking down a street will likely choose to avoid a white guy in grubby clothes, multiple piercings, and tattoos while being indifferent to a well-groomed black businessman. Most black people would no doubt have the same “prejudice” in such a case.

How bad is racism today — after the voting public elected an African-American to the presidency twice? Ironically, it could be legitimately argued that the noted former president was instrumental in fanning the flames of racial conflict that, prior to his administration, had simmered considerably.

Because real, notable, aggressive racism has declined from daily life so much, it has become necessary for the usual neo-Marxist opportunists to invent grievance over more subtle forms of “racism.” “Micro-aggressions,” “white privilege,” and “cultural appropriation” are the latest fads in the Jacobin’s tradecraft. Utter nonsense, and like so much in the “racism” game, no one outside of Marxist university enclaves is buying it, particularly in view of the fact that so much concern over “racism” is just another strategy d’ jour for political posturing.

A few decades ago there was a best selling book with the title, “All I really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” The basic gist of the book is that the simple lessons learned in Kindergarten regarding being a decent responsible person are all one really needs to lead a responsible and decent life. ‘Maybe a tad bit simplistic but the points made are good ones.

Treating people badly is the wrong course of action for anyone who really hopes to be happy and successful. People — all people — have their views on others. Some of those views are narrow-minded, mean-spirited, or overly generalized. Oh well...

Screaming about real or imagined slights daily gets old really fast, especially when the rants continually come from a self-anointed group (college professors, journalists, and professional grievance hustlers) perpetually seeking to speak for others. Maybe it’s racist to think that...and maybe it’ll rain tomorrow but, who cares.

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