Thursday, July 16, 2015

The benefits of being called Racist

It occurs to me that the present reality that true Liberals will be called racist no matter what they say is actually an opportunity as well. Logically, if you are going to be accused of a thought crime no matter how harmless--or obvious--the comments you make are, why not take full  advantage of this and start going for broke?

I think it is time we start calling ALL the alleged victories of the Left what they are: failures.

The civil rights legislation passed in the 1950's under a Republican Congress, and again in the 1960's under a Democrat President, and against the howlings of a great many Democrats, failed.  The efforts of leftist agitators to bring about the full equality of blacks in this country have clearly and beyond any shadow of a doubt failed.

Just look at the ghettos.  If you want to use another word, I would be curious what it is.

As I think about it, the efforts of people to use the power of the State to coerce opinions, and compel behavior are not different in principle than the efforts of the French Revolutionaries to remake society in their image (really, their vision of who they would have been, had they been actually decent human beings, a counterfactual); or the later efforts of the Communists to do the same thing.

Human society is a complex system. Complex systems respond to incentives and dominant tendencies.  They do not respond to fiats, or efforts to compress them flat, and then rebuild them anew.

For a long time, all Federal money, and much State money, flowed to unions, and for a long time, unions were allowed by law to ban blacks qua blacks, regardless of their individual merits.  That needed to stop, since it used taxpayer money to deny equal rights to people who may have otherwise been qualified.

But for the same reason I, as a private citizen, should be free to hire and fire people based on my perception of their worth, private companies in my view should have been left free to hire and fire--and serve or not serve--anyone for any reason they chose.

Now, you say, this is ridiculous.  How can anyone justify not letting blacks dine at Woolworths?  It is insulting.  It is degrading. Yes, it is.  It was.

Today, blacks can eat anywhere they want.  Are they better off as a group, in the North or the South?

Here is the problem: blacks were freed by law from the necessity of insisting, face to face, on the propriety of their demand to be treated with dignity.  They were freed from the social necessity of deserving respect as a price of demanding it.  Rather, they were told that they deserved respect, period, and that all of their sense of self worth was supposed to be intrinsic, supposed to be the result of having been born black.

This simple transition has had incalculable, and horrific, effects.  The problem with the ghettos is not that blacks are kept down by law.  The fact is much more insidious: they are kept down by a culture which prevents rising, which prevents the urge, the need, the passion to raise themselves to the levels of personal integrity, diligence, erudition, perspicuity, and civic mindedness which would COMPEL respect, not by force of law, but by force of personality, force of presence, force of success in the face of odds.

Compare, if your stomach will take it, Frederick Douglass with Jesse Jackson.

Here is something on Douglass:
He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Many Northerners also found it hard to believe that such a great orator had been a slave.
Would not a Civil War era Southerner, touring a typical American ghetto, not find his arguments that blacks were inherently unable to care for themselves amply vindicated?  Given free schooling, access to preferential grants and scholarships, and in many cases free housing, what have they made of it?

Here is the thing: when you deny someone the right to their own struggle, to making their own way in life, you deny them the right to grow as people.

The way to deal with a Woolworths is to educate yourself, train yourself, rise "above your raising", and then go talk with the owner of the store, and show him you are no different from--and ideally in actual fact BETTER THAN, more educated than--the white people he does serve.

And if he doesn't relent immediately, then form black businesses, black schools that are GOOD, and a community consistent with your own dignity.  And if you can't do that where you are, go somewhere where you can.  Overt racism was confined largely to the South.  This is a large country.

Eleanor Roosevelt famously said that "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent".  This is advice white people take in stride, and see the value in.

But far too many white leftists have felt, and continue to feel, the need to tell black people that they don't have to do anything, that they are "good enough", no matter how they behave, no matter what decisions they make.

This is a covert way, a very subtle way, of also telling them they are stupid and inferior.  It implies that better is not possible.  It implies that without the guidance of white Leftists--and some small number of token black people raised up in white leftist propaganda factories--you truly ARE nothing.  You truly ARE less.  This is not said, of course.  But it is clear.

And I look around me, and I ponder and ponder: how did this happen?  This is how it happened.

And I would apply the same logic to gays today.  It is not their right or privilege, and it is not helpful, to launch hateful attacks on Christians. They do not change minds.  They do not win hearts.  They certainly do not win respect.  Merely public fear, which prevents actual reconciliation, actual social growth.

The means that are chosen show clearly the moral and human advancement of those using them.  To use violence, to use coercion, is the opposite of building humanity as a whole.  It does not matter what the assumed urgency of the goal is.  There is only one way to do the thing correctly.  Everything else tears down the actual bonds of friendship, the actual bonds of community and mutual admiration.

We are told that an insult--or even a mere insensitivity--hurts people.  That may be true, but only weak, degenerate, childish people.  For mature, serious men and women it incites them to better efforts.  It grants them the opportunity of enduring insults with pride and grace and dignity.

And we make people weak, degenerate, and childish by shielding them from the honest opinions of others.  We weaken our society.  We build decadence.

And we ARE decadent, in many respects, although of course there remain many positives.  We have lost the generalized drive to understand our world, and take our educations seriously.  We have lost the civic pride to understand the issues facing our nation, and to make informed decisions based upon that knowledge.  We have lost pride in and respect for our Constitution, which has no equal anywhere in the world, either now, or at any point in human history.  In our zeal to, as many assume, "correct" wrongs, we are failing to protect the actual law, and more importantly the principle of equal rights=equal responsibilities that undergirds it.

It is time to revision the past, based upon an honest appraisal of the present.  The hammer--and Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade, and this gay marriage decision and many others have been hammers--has failed.

With regard to Roe v. Wade, I will say simply that that issue, too, should have been negotiated.  In their defense of "women's bodies", the left has forgotten that babies have bodies too.  The polarization that has happened--always the result of abusive propaganda (and there is no other kind, if we consider the abuse of truth as always damaging)--has prevented discussing the whole thing humanely, socially, away from the intruding eyes of ubiquitous would-be Governors of the Public Morality in the government.

This Planned Parenthood scandal should surprise no one.  Once one grants in principle that a baby has no more significance than a kidney stone--and this is the plain, necessary conclusion in conflating the baby with the woman--then babies are nothing more than objects to be disposed of.  We would not grudge a market in kidney stones, so why not cut up baby cadavers, or their parts?

Superficiality is common enough.  When one goes deep enough, is silent and reflective long enough, one comes face to face with one's own demons, one's own flaws and traumas and unresolved griefs.  I know this far better than most.

But not only can and do people survive this process, they in fact THRIVE in the long run as a result.  Nothing that you run from ever gets farther away from you.  It is always there, like your shadow.  It may be that light makes shadows deeper and more ominous, but with enough light, they disappear entirely.

We need a revolution in consciousness.  I say that with respect to every level of our personal. social, and political lives.  It is time to start speaking truths.  It is time to start caring about decency and GENUINE mutual respect, not that hollow shell which fear and the law compel on the unwilling.

No comments: