Tuesday, September 25, 2007

That's What I'm Talking About

On Sunday I said that I thought having Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak at Columbia University might be a good thing if it promoted a greater discussion of who and what this man is. A lot of people disagreed with Columbia's decision to invite him, but President Lee Bollinger's introductory comments went far, in my opinion, to vindicate it. What Bollinger told this psychopathic terrorist to his face no one else has told him in a public forum, and had Ahmadinejad not gone to Columbia he never would have been subjected to such a blistering and humiliating rebuke.

See here and here for the video. It's impressive for its moral clarity.

I think that the little Nazi was regretting his decision to go to Columbia before Bollinger was even half-way through his indictment of Mahmoud's depravity.

But who were the people who cheered Ahmadinejad when he delivered his feeble retort? Whoever they were surely they are the ideological and moral spawn of the people who cheered Hitler as he launched his final solution.

Michelle has lots of links and photos.


Dicey Docket

Tom Goldstein at SCOTUS Blog offers a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court docket and raises some serious concerns for conservative-leaning Americans:

I am not trying to rewrite the history of the past Term, which in fact concluded almost uniformly with significant victories for the right. Instead, my point is that the characterization of this Court is part caricature and is deeply dependent on the near-accident of the particular cases that are decided in any given Term. Although the era in which true liberalism was an ideological force on the Court (e.g., Brennan, Marshall, and Douglas) is now over, this is manifestly not a period of conservative hegemony. Like Justice O'Connor, Justice Kennedy's commitment to any ideological world view is too fragile for either wing of the Court to have genuine confidence in the outcome of an entire Term's worth of cases. And moreover, many important cases are not decided on ideological grounds or by five to four majorities.

There is in fact the genuine prospect that the Court will hold (potentially by a five-to-four vote each time) that the government may ban the possession of pistols (possibly guns altogether, if [they find that]there is no individual Second Amendment right), that child rapists cannot be executed, that certain federal legislation regulating child pornography is unconstitutional, that the Administration's treatment of alleged terrorists is unlawful, and that sentences for crack cocaine should be reduced.

Goldstein's post lays out the reasoning behind his opinion that all five of these cases could be decided in favor of the liberal position on them. If they are, it would be, as Goldstein asserts, a boon to the Republican presidential candidate who would surely campaign on the need to appoint more conservative jurists to the Court as Stevens and Ginsburg retire.

HT: PowerLine

Jena and White Guilt

We've talked before about the phenomenom described by Shelby Steele in his book titled " target="_blank"> White Guilt, the feeling many whites have that they bear within them the stain of racism and the need many whites have to seek absolution by proving that they're not, in fact, guilty of this sin.

If there's anyone who is completely free of this politically correct affliction and who's able to think clearly on matters of race it's Heather MacDonald. MacDonald has an excellent column in City Journal on the episode in Jena, LA where six blacks, angered by the appearance on their high school campus of three nooses, beat a white kid who had nothing to do with the insult until he was unconscious. The young thugs were charged as adults with attempted murder, a charge which was seen as excessive by many, and which precipitated large protests and another round of media lamentations over what Jena says about racism in our judicial system and in our society.

MacDonald thinks the demonstrators' outrage and media concern are misplaced and that they're really smokescreens that obscure some hard truths about the condition of blacks in the United States. She concludes her column with this:

The orgy of Jena coverage will not just fail to improve the lagging performance of blacks; it will impede such improvement by strengthening the victim mentality. Both whites and blacks are complicit in this sabotage. These ecstatic festivals of racism-bashing are a crippling ritual in the codependency between absolution-seeking whites and angry blacks, a phenomenon that Shelby Steele has powerfully analyzed. The demonstrators exhibit a palpable desire for the moral clarity of the civil rights era, as do the reporters, who have covered their every utterance. "This is the first time something like this has happened for our generation," one student told the New York Times. "You always heard about it from history books and relatives. This is a chance to experience it for ourselves."

He's right; there has been nothing like Selma or Montgomery for the current generation, because much of America has accomplished almost an about-face on race since the 1950s. The current martyrs to American bigotry are a far cry from Rosa Parks. Like the "Jena Six," they tend to have committed acts of violence or other crimes for which they are allegedly being excessively punished. Think of the six high school hooligans from Decatur, Illinois, whom Jesse Jackson tried to beatify in 1999 when their schools expelled them for a violent stadium fight; their backgrounds included robbery, trespassing, truancy, and failing whole school years. We are only belatedly learning that Mychal Bell, the sole member of the "Jena Six" to have been prosecuted for knocking out and kicking Justin Barker, has a previous arrest record that includes battery and property damage. Barker's injuries led to $14,000 in medical bills, according to a lawyer.

The Jena situation is undoubtedly a bit more complex than the tale that the press has woven of hate-filled whites and peace-loving blacks. But even if it were not, the catharsis that this morality play has offered to its participants is spurious. The real tragedy is the dysfunctional culture that holds back too many blacks from seizing the many opportunities open to them.

Her column is too important to miss. It should be read and discussed by every American, black, white and otherwise, from beginning to end.