Saturday, August 1, 2009

Looking for Racism in All the Wrong Places

Much of the national media was all atwitter over the fact that two white men and two black men were having a beer together at the White House the other night. The talking heads spent much of the evening and the next morning trying to discern the portents in this event for the future of race relations in this country. They reported assiduously on all the important details like which brand of beer the principals sipped, what role was played by each, whether the vice-president was allowed to say anything, etc.

Meanwhile, if they were really interested in reporting on a significant story about race and racism they should have followed the lead of the Washington Times. The Times has a report on one Jerry Jackson, a Democratic committee member in Philadelphia and New Black Panther who had been charged with intimidating voters in last November's election. It turns out that Mr. Jackson is not just an overzealous Obama supporter but a man infected with a deep-seated hatred for whites. The Times examines Mr. Jackson's Facebook page where they found Mr. Jackson expressing his racism with incredibly vile racial invective.

We wonder whether the media would be looking the other way if Mr. Jackson were a white Republican saying such hateful things about blacks. He's not, of course, so he gets ignored by the traditional media which can rarely find racism anywhere but among middle class whites. Blacks are allowed to be virulent racists, but if a cop investigates a possible break-in which turns out to involve black men then he and the woman who reported it are vilified as the worst sort of human beings.

Here are a few of the ponderings taken from Mr. Jackson's Facebook page:

  • "F*** Whitey's Christmas"
  • An image of an execution scene from the cult hit film "Pulp Fiction"
  • A photo of a man holding a sign saying, "DEPORT WHITE PEOPLE"
  • A derogatory anti-cop poster titled "BEWARE OF PIG"
  • An image of Saddam Hussein before his execution
  • A photo of a cop sitting next to a black child in a toy car. Beneath the image the phrase "Racial Profiling: It Starts Early"
  • A photoshopped movie poster of the "Bourne Supremacy" is re-worded to say "The Bourne White Supremacy" A swastika is added to Matt Damon's cheek, and the scope of his firearm is photoshopped to look as if he is about to shoot a black man. The "n" word is used to describe who "Matt Damon hates" in this movie poster. The phrase, "They should have just stayed in Africa" is photoshopped at the top of the image.

Not only has Mr. Jackson apparently been given a pass by the media but the Obama Justice department chose not to prosecute him for his misconduct at the polls and, just as bad, the man was reappointed to work the polls in the upcoming primary in Philadelphia. I wonder what Professor Gates thinks about that.

If people want to have a conversation about race in this country let it start with the case of Mr. Jackson.



Some people just have too much time on their hands:

Thanks to


Smiley-Face Fascism

We've often remarked that fascism is an ideological bacillus endemic not, as is commonly supposed, to the right but to the left. Indeed, fascism and conservatism are almost complete opposites of each other. Washington Timescolumnist Jeffrey Kuhner explains why, taking as his starting point Jonah Goldberg's fine book, Liberal Fascism. Kuhner writes:

Both Hitler and Mussolini were national socialists. They were militant pagans hostile to Christianity, religious orthodoxy and tradition. They believed in the cult of personality, mass propaganda and the pseudo-spiritual transformational nature of politics: charismatic leadership as a means of fulfilling people's deepest aspirations. They glorified the state, as well as the subordination of the individual and the family to the collective. They created a corporatist economy that combined big business, big labor and big government. They emphasized the nationalization of key industries, redistribution of wealth, massive public works projects and trade protectionism. They established a so-called "social safety net" through national health care, unemployment insurance and government pensions. They erected a cradle-to-grave welfare state.

Fascist social policy was so popular that President Franklin Roosevelt incorporated much of it in the New Deal.

Embarrassed by the horrors of World War II and Auschwitz, the West's liberal elite disowned Hitler and then falsely portrayed him as a reactionary right-winger.

Kuhner then goes on to show how President Obama's policies reflect many of the characteristics of fascism noted above. He hastens to point out that, to be sure, Obama is neither Hitler nor even Mussolini:

He is not a crypto-dictator. Nor does he believe in an authoritarian police state or territorial expansionism. But Hitler and Mussolini were men of a different age, time and national culture; their fascism was distinctly German and Italian.

Mr. Obama's fascism is uniquely American. His revolution is not of blood and iron, but of pork and bailouts. His fascism is a potent mix of incremental socialism, messianic liberalism and puritanical environmentalism. It is not the crude militarism of the jackboot but the sugar-coated, forced spoon-feeding of the nanny state.

Whether it's militaristic or no, smiley-face fascism is still coercive and freedom-denying. It's still totalitarian, and it's still fascism. Let's hope that our elected leaders recognize the road they're taking us down before it's too late. Let's hope, too, that they're not taking us down this road deliberately.