By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet
“If it were not for double-standards, liberals would have no standards at all.”
Recently a hero of mine passed away: conservative warrior M. Stanton Evans (1934-2015). Mr. Evans had a sharp wit, and an even sharper mind. He was a well-respected journalist, editor and author, and a true historian in his own right, in my opinion. Although I would suspect Stan Evans would take exception to my labeling him an “historian.” He instead preferred the title of “amateur historian.” But I think he deserves the title of historian, minus the “amateur” qualifier. But that’s just the kind of man Evans was–humble and genuine.
A native of Texas, M. Stanton Evans was a leader in the conservative movement for over four decades. He wrote for National Review, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and The Freeman, and served for 14 years as editor of the Indianapolis News. Mr. Evans was a political commentator for news organizations such as CBS and National Public Radio for over twenty years, and he founded the National Journalism Center in 1977. A former chairman of the American Conservative Union, he was also a professor of journalism at Troy University. He received numerous honorary degrees and awards.
Evans wrote nine books. And I would highly recommend any of his works. One book I read by M. Stanton Evans delved deeply into the untold story and history of Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy titled Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies. I must admit, after reading it, I’ve never been the same since. As a matter of fact, it took me a long time to get through all 600-plus pages because I kept stopping to do my own research on the astonishing revelations contained in his seminal work.
M. Stanton Evans pored over some 110,000 FBI documents concerning the McCarthy hearings for some 10 years before his book Blacklisted by History was officially published in 2007. It is meticulously researched. Evan’s book on McCarthy has been called “the Rosetta Stone of liberal lies.”
Evans was close friends with the late Herbert Romerstein, who wrote the well-researched book The Venona Secrets. The Venona decrypts were encrypted communications going back and forth between Moscow and their Soviet agents operating within the United States. They reveal a breathtaking level of infiltration at the highest levels within the U.S. government, going all the way up to the White House. Evans and Romerstein collaborated on the book Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government, an appropriate followup to Blacklisted by History.
Two people greatly influenced by M. Stanton Evans’ work were Ann Coulter and author Diana West, who recently wrote the compelling book American Betrayal—which is also meticulously researched, and contains a plethora of original source information and numerous citations. Ann Coulter’s book Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism is largely based on Evans’ book Blacklisted by History.
In 2013, M. Stanton Evans spoke at Hillsdale College, enlightening and entertaining the audience with some little known history that, in my opinion, needs to be shouted from the rooftops. This was also Mr. Evans’ desire—that aspiring journalists, historians and writers would grab the proverbial baton and take off where he left off.
From this point on I would like to go over some of the little-known history and facts Mr. Evans brought up during his presentation at Hillsdale College.
The thesis of Evans’ speech at Hillsdale concerned comparisons between scandals like Watergate versus current scandals within the Obama Administration, such as Benghazi and the IRS targeting of conservative groups.
M. Stanton Evans was a true conservative. And he was no fan of President Richard Milhouse Nixon. As a matter of fact, Stan Evans assisted the campaign of John Ashbrook, who ran against Nixon in 1972. Naturally, this did not score any points with Richard Nixon. Evans went on to say, “I didn’t like Nixon, until Watergate.”
Some of the reasons Stan Evans was none too enamored with Nixon had to do with many of the “progressive” policies Nixon embraced and championed during his term as U.S. president.
For example, Evans points to Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s role in the “thawing out” or “un-freezing “of relations between the Soviet Union and Red China known as détente (“relaxation”). This period was marked by numerous SALT (strategic arms limitation talks) agreements and ABM (anti-ballistic missile) treaties. Nixon also implemented wage and price controls, and founded the EPA and OSHA. Nixon was also quoted as saying, “We’re all Keynesians now.”
“After all that, Watergate was a breath of fresh air,” said Evans. This explains why Evans has stated, “I never liked Nixon, until Watergate.”
One of the major thrusts of Evans’ 2013 speech at Hillsdale concerned the mobilization of government against any political dissent. Evans claims the weight of the federal government against its dissenters goes all the way back to FDR’s administration.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was opposed by a group called the America First Committee, which was founded by Charles Lindbergh. General Robert E. Wood, chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Company, presided over the committee. America First was a non-interventionist group opposed to America’s entry into World War Two. Regardless of how one might feel about America First and Lindbergh’s views on staying out of the Second World War, it would be hoped that most Americans would be disturbed by the heavy-handed way the U.S. government decided to deal with the organization.
FDR brought the full weight of the government against America First and a magazine called Scribner’s Commentator, the unofficial voice of the America First Committee. FDR’s efforts eventually put Scribner’s magazine out of business.
An article appearing in the Wall Street Journal elaborates further on the use of the IRS by FDR, and other U.S. presidents, to shut down critics:
President Franklin Roosevelt used the IRS to harass newspaper publishers who were opposed to the New Deal, including William Randolph Hearst and Moses Annenberg, publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Roosevelt also dropped the IRS hammer on political rivals such as the populist firebrand Huey Long and radio agitator Father Coughlin, and prominent Republicans such as former Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. Perhaps Roosevelt’s most pernicious tax skulduggery occurred in 1944. He spiked an IRS audit of illegal campaign contributions made by a government contractor to Congressman Lyndon Johnson, whose career might have been derailed if Texans had learned of the scandal.
It was FDR who first employed wiretapping. The practice continued under the subsequent Truman Administration, as well as coverups like the manipulation of grand juries. The first example occurred during the Amerasia Spy Case. In 1947, there was obstruction of justice of the grand jury hearing the case of around 40 Soviet agents that were on the federal payroll. The grand jury manipulation by the Truman Administration resulted in all the agents being freed.
The culmination of all this came under the administration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK), following through to Lyndon Baynes Johnson’s (LBJ) presidency. This is little known and unpopular history that many liberal historians would prefer to either gloss over, or ignore altogether.
There was extensive use of wiretapping by JFK’s administration. An all-out campaign was waged to silence political opponents by using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The so-called Fairness Doctrine was founded in its modern form under Kennedy. The list is long in measures taken to silence opponents of JFK’s New Frontier—a label for his administration’s domestic and foreign programs.
The key to all this is the Reuther Memorandum, named after socialist labor organizer Victor Reuther, brother of Walter Ruether, a leading official with the United Automobile Union (UAW). The Reuther’s were big backers of JFK and his New Frontier, and staunchly opposed to conservatives in all their modulations.
The Reuther Memorandum was a December 19, 1961, letter from Victor Reuther to Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, which spells out a game plan for silencing conservatives. M. Stanton Evans dedicates a chapter on the Reuther document in his book The Liberal Establishment (1965).
Another author, Fred W. Friendly (a liberal), covered the Reuther memorandum in his book The Good Guys, the Bad Guys, and the First Amendment: Free Speech vs. Fairness in Broadcasting (1976), and how it was used to crush opposition and dissent by using the IRS, FCC, and other government bureaus.
Point three of the Reuther plan states “the flow of big money to the radical right should be dammed to the extent possible”—namely, by use of IRS audits, and denying or revoking the tax-exempt status of right-of-center political education groups. The Reuther strategy was also continued under LBJ’s administration. All of this was carried out under JFK and Bobby Kennedy in the early 60s, including the personal involvement of the President of the United States himself.
Benjamin C. Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post for 25 years, until his death in 2014, was executive editor of Newsweek during JFK’s presidency, and a big player during the Watergate scandal. He also wrote the book Conversations with Kennedy.
Bradlee wrote about a conversation he had with President John F. Kennedy, claiming JFK told him he went into the tax returns of wealthy Americans, including John Paul Getty, and said they were not paying very much taxes. Kennedy allegedly told Bradlee: “I guess I shouldn’t be telling you this … it’s probably illegal.” Bradlee never mentioned a word about this conversation at the time, but included it in his book.
In response to the Reuther letter, the Ideological Organizations Project was launched by the IRS, with help from Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. Another liberal author, John A. Andrew III, wrote the book Power to Destroy: The Political Uses of the IRS from Kennedy to Nixon. The first two chapters cover the Ideological Organizations Project, and lists organizations targeted by the IRS in order to shut them down. Lo and behold, they were all conservative groups.
There are uncanny similarities between the Ideological Organizations Project and the ongoing IRS scandal involving the targeting of conservative groups under the Obama Administration. Obama’s IRS went so far as to question conservative groups about which books they have read, even questioning them about the nature of their “prayers.”
Of course, there are those who say the current IRS targeting is nothing but a “phony scandal,” including President Obama. In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, the president alleged there wasn’t even a “smidgen of corruption” concerning the targeting of conservative and Christian groups seeking tax-exempt status.
Yet former IRS head Lois Lerner pleaded the fifth when questioned about her involvement in the targeting scandal. Additionally, a second IRS staffer, Gregory Roseman, pleaded the fifth as well during the House Oversight Committee’s investigation of the IRS.
Gregory Roseman, who worked as a deputy director of acquisitions at the IRS, exercised his constitutional rights when Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) started interrogating him about panel findings that he helped a friend procure potentially $500 million worth of IRS contracts.
As Stan Evans points out, and evidenced by the Reuther memorandum, U.S. administrations have a long history of weaponizing government agencies for use in squelching their political competition.
During the Watergate scandal, Nixon tried to mobilize the IRS against his rivals, but he didn’t get very far. IRS staffers were not interested in helping Nixon, but did help JFK during his presidency.
Furthermore, there were a series of very serious coverups that occurred on President Kennedy’s watch, that one could argue far surpassed the Watergate scandal in gravity and scope.
For example, there was the overthrow of South Vietnam’s first president Ngo Dinh Diem on November 1, 1963, just three weeks prior to the assassination of JFK. Diem was murdered the very next day. The coup against Diem was organized by the U.S. government. The action was taken on behalf of the State Department by then Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, Roger Hilsman, and former Nixon running mate Henry Cabot Lodge, who was also the ambassador to Saigon.
The removal of Diem resulted in the disintegration of the anti-communist resistance in South Vietnam. Granted, Kennedy may not have known about the involvement of Lodge and Hilsman in organizing a coup d’tat against Diem. But it does all trace back to people within his administration.
A second example of a major coverup during JFK’s presidency is the story of Otto Otepka, Deputy Director of the United States State Department’s Office of Security in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Otepka was focused on John Stewart Service, who was implicated in the Amerasia Spy Case. The JFK administration wiretapped Otepka, ransacked his office, and bugged his phone in the early 60s.
The coverups and machinations of JFK’s administration go far beyond the exploits of Richard M. Nixon. But this history is often overlooked, or swept under the rug by liberal authors and historians.
One very important point M. Stanton Evans made during his 2013 speech at Hillsdale College is the fact that most historians nowadays have a left-bent. Many historians are liberals. Mr. Evans encouraged conservatives to write more about history, so that important or little known history is not lost or rewritten to suit a political agenda.
M. Stanton Evans will be sorely missed. His contributions in uncovering lost historical facts, and history that has been intentionally hidden or revised, cannot be overstated, as far as I’m concerned. I hope his insightful and meticulous work does indeed inspire more people to dig deeper into our fascinating, yet, at times, disturbing past. Just be sure to remember Evans’ Law of Inadequate Paranoia: “No matter how bad you think something is, when you look into it, it is always worse.”
By: Benjamin Weingarten
That a short letter penned by an Iraq War veteran and signed by 46 of his colleagues in the Senate would earn the ridicule, scorn and derision of the left, while generating wobbliness among the more politically craven members of the right, is a testament to its virtue.
The primarily pedagogic letter’s detractors have invoked the Logan Act, signing a petition calling for the prosecution of the letter’s signatories on grounds of treason. But little could be further from treasonous than publicly opposing a policy that legitimizes and empowers a mortal enemy of America and her interests.
Worse still, legislators who in actuality undermined American interests by negotiating with our enemies are mentioned in the same light. This list of shame includes: John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi among others.
1. Sen. Cotton’s letter forces the left to defend the indefensible
Whether addressing the congressional speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the letter authored by Sen. Tom Cotton, the left rarely attacks on substance because it realizes the content of its opponents’ message is credible, and the character of the messengers is widely seen as unimpeachable.
The same cannot be said however of the deal that President Barack Obama seeks to consummate, and the parties sitting at the negotiating table.
Across the political spectrum Iran is seen as the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.
Iran has been forthright in stating its desire to destroy Israel.
It is further unquestioned that a nuclear-armed Iran will have grave consequences including acceleration and expansion of the Middle East’s arms race.
It is also crystal clear that the Obama administration does not have the will or desire to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, and is rumored to have stymied Israel’s own plans to conduct such an operation.
Finally, the Obama administration has opposed at every turn efforts to implement tougher sanctions that would aim to economically cripple, and politically undermine its mullahs.
To date, the president has instead chosen to ease sanctions on Iran, facilitating the flow of billions of dollars back into its ailing economy, and tacitly supported its elite forces in their fight against the Islamic State. Further, the president has sought to portray Iran as a pillar of Middle East stability and perhaps America’s top ally in the region over Israel. He has done so while concurrently negotiating a deal that by published accounts will allow Iran to enrich uranium and ultimately develop a nuclear bomb — even if Iran is fully compliant with the terms of the accord. These actions have served to legitimize and empower Tehran, while at the same time increasing the threat to the United States and her allies.
For these reasons, any actions that challenge the president’s negotiations shine a spotlight on a disastrous policy, forcing the left into the uncomfortable spot of defending the self-evidently indefensible.
2. Sen. Cotton’s letter represents a direct challenge to President Obama
There is little that unites the left more than attacks on the policies of President Obama, which it reflexively spins as attacks on the president himself.
This is most clearly evidenced by pundits such as Chris Matthews, who implied Sen. Cotton and his colleagues are racists for signing a letter that is singularly factual and aimed at questions of policy.
In the eyes of the left, the least-vetted, least-challenged president in the modern era must never be touched.
Should anyone have the temerity to do so, the left closes ranks and pillories the offender.
Even the few members of the left who brazenly challenge the Iran policy of President Obama face the administration’s wrath.
3. Sen. Cotton had the gall to actually invoke the Constitution in defense of his action
Give the Congresswoman credit for her candor.
In that moment she perfectly crystallized the modern left’s view of the Constitution – it is an afterthought, a powerless piece of parchment should it stand as an impediment to Democrat designs.
Does anyone honestly believe that the left is upset at Sen. Cotton’s actions because he did not follow some sort of protocol to which the left has never subjected itself, and which the Constitution does not require? Does the left honestly believe either in letter or spirit that Cotton and his colleagues actually violated the Logan Act?
Rarely have the Democrats during the Obama reign argued for the sanctity of protocol, let alone the rule of law – except when it comes to others voicing opinions they find inconsistent with their narrative and/or harmful to their agenda (e.g., Netanyahu’s speech before Congress).
Senator Cotton is not violating either the Constitution or the Logan Act by writing a letter that informs Iran as to the Senate’s prerogative on foreign policy, and illustrates the weakness of an unratified agreement in the first place. If anything, he is pointing out to the Iranian leadership how the US Government was set-up to work – checks and balances of which some in the Obama administration and on the left seem sorely unaware.
4. Sen. Cotton’s letter contains painful truths
If the negotiations that President Obama was unilaterally conducting with a genocidal jihadist regime were in the best interest of the United States, a letter such as Sen. Cotton’s would be dismissed out of hand and simply ignored.
At most, Democrats would welcome it as discrediting of Republicans.
Yet the left has not attacked the letter on either of these bases.
To the contrary, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki and Secretary of State John Kerry have both been forced to acknowledge that Sen. Cotton and his colleagues are correct in noting that any nuclear deal is nonbinding on the next president, should it not be placed before the US Senate and have at least 67 senators agree to ratify it.
This is a hard pill to swallow for the left in general and President Obama in particular, given that from the beginning of his presidency, he has made unconditional negotiations with Iran a central part of his foreign policy.
An Iran deal may indeed serve as President Obama’s only foreign policy legacy in light of the Arab Spring turning to winter, and the increasingly bellicose and unrestrained postures of Russia and China looming large.
Given what we know about Iran, one can only hope that history does not afford Mr. Obama this “legacy.”
Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: How Would You Improve Race Relations In America?
Wolf Howling: To improve race relations, you first have to understand why race relations are problematic today, and why, by all metrics, are black Americans worse off than other races? It can all be summed up in one picture:
This picture is from one of Rev. Al’s protests a few years ago. The sign the woman is holding up says everything. Racism is no longer a real issue in society, but the left must maintain the canard that it is. Blacks must be made to see themselves as permanent victims of racism and as being championed by the race hustlers of the left. Moreover, it’s important to note the poor grammer used on the sign. It screams out that the woman who wrote it has been failed by whatever schools she attended, thus limiting her opportunities to thrive in America.
So with that in mind, the first thing to understand about race relations is that the left are invested in seeing that the “racial divide” remains as wide as possible. This is political, as it has been since the early 60’s, when the Marxist “new left” — our modern left — made common cause with the heirs of Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement. They morphed that movement from an effort to build a color blind society with equality of opportunity for all into a color centric, unified block of people who are fed daily a tautology that they are, and will ever be, permanently victimized by white conservatives. While quite literally everyone I know on the right would like to heal the “racial divide,” for the left, their very political survival depends on using it to “divide and conquer.”
The second thing to understand is that blacks have paid a heavy price indeed for their Faustian bargain with the left. By virtually every metric, while the lives of blacks have improved, and while many black individuals have been able to embrace the opportunities this country has to offer, a very substantial portion of blacks have not. In America today, some 25% of blacks live in poverty; over 70% of children are born to unwed mothers; 30 to 40 percent of inner city kids don’t graduate from school, and a very substantial number who do graduate are functionally illiterate. These problems are cyclical. Nothing the left has done for blacks has broken this cycle.
The third thing to understand is that the left takes blacks for granted. In the pantheon of left wing victim groups, perhaps no group gets more attention and ink, but falls lower on the scale of importance. When it comes to blacks, the left feels no need to balance their needs against those of left wing economic interests because they have the only thing they need from blacks — their votes — already locked up.
So, how to improve race relations? The answer in today’s post-racial America starts and ends with politics. Conservatives must convince blacks that they have their best interests at heart and that the solutions they propose will, in the long term, work to their advantage. When conservatives call for the end to teacher’s unions, no single group of people would benefit more from that then blacks. When conservative call for an end to, or at least a lowering of, the minimum wage, no single group of people would benefit more from that then blacks. When conservatives call for altering laws that decrease the stability of the family unit, no single group of people would benefit more from that then blacks. Conservative must make their case, both that they have black Americans interests firmly at heart, and that blacks have been sorely used by the left.
But to do that, conservatives have to break through a wall of lies and propaganda from the left, at the national level, but most importantly, at the local level. They need to appear at every black forum to make their case, from the NAACP to Howard University to the inner city schools and the local black churches, despite the fact that they will be buried under an avalanche of race cards. And they need to become vociferous in immediately responding to the race card whenever it is played. All of that requires determination, money, and conviction. Rand Paul has flirted with it, and my hat is off to him for at least making some efforts in this regard, but it needs to become a focus for conservatives and Republicans alike, at all levels. That and only that is how you will improve race relations in America.
Mister Chambers: I’d impeach Obama, then exile him to Devil’s Island with Sharpton, his advisor Jarrett, and most of the so-called Muslim leaders in the country. I’d kick out all Muslim prison chaplains from U.S. prisons until they passed a thorough background check. And then I’d rehaul the education system to make it easier for inner city kids to attend charter schools, while simultaneously making it harder to receive welfare benefits. Supplement with a dose of positive reinforcement from mentors, who preached family values and the importance of two parents, faith, and hard work.
Not sure it would work completely, but taken together, it would be a step in the right direction. And not all that expensive.
The Right Planet: The first thing I’d recommend is to run all of the Marxists and their sympathizers in government out on a rail. At the heart of Marxism is the strategy of pitting one against the other–divide and conquer. What I observe from the leftists in government these days is a constant assault on our culture, turning it upside-down and inside-out (see Antonio Gramsci). I have never in my lifetime seen anything like the racial division between white and black like I am seeing now. And a lot of this division is coming down from the top–meaning, the Obama Administration. I’m convinced the administration wants racial strife. This is evidenced by the fact that the White House and DOJ keep inflaming and inciting the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere. One has to ask themselves, to whose benefit? It appears the only people who benefit from a racially-charged atmosphere is the administration. They create the problem (alleging racism), make the people scream, and then come in and say they have the solution to fix everything, i.e., more draconian legislation and regulations that does nothing but solidify and increase their own power–the people be damned.
I’m afraid there will always be bigotry to some degree. Haters gonna hate. There is no one-step solution that can “solve” the problem of hate entirely. But there are some things we can focus on that would go a long way in fostering racial harmony. One big factor at play here, in my opinion–and one I don’t hear discussed enough (but kudos to those who do)–is bad behavior. And let me be clear, bad behavior is no respecter of race or ethnicity. It’s not a white or black thing. There are badly behaved individuals from every race–white, black, red, yellow and brown. By focusing on behavior, as opposed to skin color, it really wrecks the whole leftist race narrative that we are all constantly bombarded with every single day. Addressing behavior removes race from the equation, and, instead, puts the focus where it belongs.
JoshuaPundit: I think the answer to this question depends on what we’re talking about. And if we’re being honest, here in America we’re obviously talking about black and white relations. I personally take it a step further, and would say we’re not talking about race at all, but mentality and culture.
I speak specifically about the slave mentality. Generally speaking, anyone whom observes blacks from the Caribbean or from many African cultures will notice a distinct difference in the way they approach life, achievement, family life and education. That’s because the slave mentality, again, generally speaking, was eliminated in those cultures some time ago.
The slave mentality is not one of personal initiative. You look to the Massah for direction, and for everything you get. And whatever it is, you always expect more, and with as little personal effort as possible, because after all, you’re entitled to it, aren’t you?
As someone whose people also endured a particularly painful slavery (something we revisit in a few weeks) The history of what happened then and the behavior of many of the Israelites as related in the Book of Shemos (Exodus) is a perfect example of this mentality at work, as anyone who reads it will immediately recognize. That’s exactly why G-d had them wander in the wilderness for 40 years after the fiasco with Canaan and the spies, to allow a new generation to take over who were capable of being a free people.
Changing culture is no easy thing, especially when certain aspects of that culture encourage just the the mentality I’m talking about. The current regime is pretty egregious about using this mentality to stay in power, but that’s the Tammany model Democrats have used for years.It’s difficult and even counterproductive in the short term to entertain fantasies of removing them by anything but legal means, and even if you did it would only exacerbate the problem.
It would be necessary to completely retake education back from the Left and the unions, eliminate the entire government bureaucracies and roll back decades of entitlements and race based preferences. It would be necessary, I think, to eliminate the diversity industry and the accompanying legislation entirely. Dealing effectively with illegal migration so that black unemployment between 18-30 could ramp down from the 25% it is today would also help, along with restoring Welfare reform. I could even envision a sort of CCC for young men regardless of race to be taught useful trades and socialized with moral education…something the public schools used to do but haven’t since teaching became just another union gig.
Many of the traditional black churches could be allies in that moral education if they wanted to, encouraging the salvaging of black youth and the black family.Between 1940 and 1965, blacks were more likely to be married than whites and black out of wedlock births were a fraction of what they are today.
Above all, it would be necessary for America to declare an end to the entire circus of ‘white guilt’ and to focus on the simple goal of equality before the law. This would involve a measure of honesty I’m not sure we’re capable of today, but we should be. Ultimately, this is a question for Black America to decide. The changes I suggest would benefit all Americans, but I reject utterly that ‘saving black America’ is someone else’s responsibility. Creating mechanisms that allow people to help themselves is one thing, but taking the onus for any failure or the credit for any success is merely a continuation of the old mentality.
Frankly, I’m not even sure much of this could be done given the current legal/political climate, and anyone whom tried would face massive opposition from the usual suspects. But that’s what it would take.
The problem with combating this, for most normal Americans at least, is psychological. Because the professionally offended load their “discourse” with emotionally powerful concepts and terms, the average American who sees this happening and realizes how ridiculous and stupid it all it nevertheless is tempted to shy away from opposing it lest they be term “racist” or “bigoted.” All this does is enables the racemongers to go further and further with it.
Are race relations and the state of affairs for racial minorities in America really worse than they have been for decades? Especially with respect to black-white relations, are black Americans really more oppressed, more held down, than at any time since Jim Crow?
The answer to that question is “no.” In fact, the situation is far, far different from that which is usually portrayed by your typical leftist demagogue. Race relations are continuing to improve steadily, despite the best efforts of the Left. The situation for black Americans is, in fact, getting better and better with each passing year (though the current plan to legalize and import millions of low-skill, low-wage foreign workers who will be directly competing with large chunks of the black community for jobs and patronage won’t do them much good). Black Americans enjoy legal parity with whites; they can live where they want, get the same jobs, enjoy the same legal privileges, and so forth. Indeed, in many ways (such as enjoying access to affirmative action and some would say preferential protections from hate crimes laws); blacks are a little more equal than whites in some areas – overcompensation for past injustices, you might say.
So no, despite the Left’s continued efforts to stir up hatred and wrath, the on-the-ground reality is that black and white Americans are more equal and less mistrustful that at any time before. Understand this baseline fact, and you will understand just why the Left’s arguments about continued, pervasive racial “injustice” and their incessant pot-stirring efforts are so wrongheaded and despicable.
Second, if we want to see the hard-fought gains of the past several decades remain, instead of being eroded by the acid vitriol of the Left’s propaganda, then we have to find a way to wrestle control of the discussion about race in America away from the crazies on both sides like the KKK, NAACP, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Let’s think about it for a minute – who has the most to gain from continuing to set Americans against each other along racial lines? Who profits from this divide-and-conquer strategy that weakens America? How do you think “Reverend” $harpton can afford his flashy suits and his new high-maintenance girlfriend?
So why do we let these people continue to dominate the discussion? Why do we allow those with the basest motives to drive our national debate on this issue? More broadly, how do we wrestle back this discussion from the Left, in general, since the Left are the most motivated to have it, seeing as they profit from it politically and financially? After all – and let’s be honest here – the Left is largely responsible for racial tensions in this country. Left to themselves, most Americans of all races would note our differences and then proceed to work together to build this country. The fact that there is so much continued ill-will and agitation generating racial tensions is because the Democrats and the Left want it to be this way. Racial demagoguery scares people and gets their votes, donations, and most importantly, power over peoples’ minds. When you constantly tell people that they’re being held back by the mythical “Man,” instead of encouraging them to put away the past and look to the future, you make them dependent on you to “right the wrongs,” both real and (now mostly) imagined. You bring them into your power, and you can do whatever you want with them.
The starting point for taking back the discussion has to begin with honesty. We do need to acknowledge that there have been great injustices done in the past to people because of their race. Means more than admitting historical facts that we all know, but accepting that this past does color the way people look at the present, and ignoring or trying to minimize past injustices is not helpful to having an honest conversation. White conservatives need to stop bristling whenever someone mentions Jim Crow, slavery, the Tuskegee experiments, the repeated lies and backstabbing America did to the Native Americans, and so forth. Recognize that these are, indeed, legitimate historical reasons why people might be less than willing to accept a rosy view of America. But at the same time, emphasize that these are past events – and we live in the present. Living in the past destroys the spirit, living in the present with an eye to the future invigorates it. Honesty involves moving the discussion beyond the past.
At the same time, demand that honesty be a two-way street. The Left and racial minorities need to be willing to admit that the things that the average American observes are in fact real, and not just racist Republican constructs. The reason more black men are incarcerated than whites is because blacks commit a disproportionate share of crimes in America. If nothing else, the FBI’s uniform crime statistics tell us that. Pervasive poverty in the black community is not to due to “institutionalized racism,” but to systematic pathologies – welfare dependency, destruction of marriage, out-of-wedlock births, and so forth – that have crept into their community since the War on Poverty and the Great Society were inflicted upon them by the Democrats. Conservative opposition to increased welfare and other social spending is not “racist” and is not an attack on blacks in America. It is in fact quite the opposite – it is a rescue attempt that will ultimately help blacks (indeed all Americans) to get back on their feet and prosper. Until the Left can find it within themselves to accept these realities and face facts, a genuine conversation will be very difficult to pursue.
Further, we need to recognize and point out that most of what the Left calls “racism” is not. Things like systematically disadvantaging people before the law because of their race, lynching people because of their race, making people use different facilities because of their race – those are genuine racism. Most everything the Left calls “racist” today is not. The Left has succeeded in “moving the goalposts” on racism, a logical error which, ironically, highlights just how unnecessary continued fear of real racism really is anymore, beyond very isolated incidents. So now, the Left has to redefine “racism” to mean “promoting welfare reform” or “passing voter ID laws” or “demanding enforcement of immigration laws.” Basically, anything the Left doesn’t like becomes “racist,” because the Left needs racism to continue to exist so as to perpetuate its relevancy in fundraising and vote-wrangling.
Lastly, we need to assert with the utmost vigor that actually using terms like “racist” and “bigot” in the discussion about race – unless you’re talking about a lynching – is an automatic deal-breaker. The Left has overused these terms to the point where they have no real meaning anymore. Their use is not indicative of someone who has the moral high ground, but rather of someone who is too stupid or conniving to engage in an honest, intelligent conversation about an issue that continues to exist in our nation. Screaming “racist” at someone trying to honestly deal with the problems facing America’s black community is like shouting at your plumber for “hurting” the fitting he’s trying to remove to fix your water leak. It’s stupid and counterproductive.
Ultimately, conservatives and liberty lovers need to be proactive and wrestle the discussion back from the Left. What we do not need to do – even though this is advocated by a lot of folks who like to say it because they think it makes them sound like some kind of rugged individual or something – is to simply ignore the discussion. Sorry, but race is not going away, and the conversation about race isn’t either.
This being the case, we can either continue to be cowed by it, or we can punch the Left in the face and take it from them. Vote for the latter. Doing so is going to require some fortitude on the part of people who love America, however. It means we have to be upfront about contradicting our neighbors and co-workers and family members when they make false assertions about race or start mindlessly slinging epithets around. It means we have to overcome the psychological barrier of “not being liked” or “being perceived as mean” and start forcing people in this country to face facts.
Do it, and we will see America get better. Don’t, and America will only continue to fragment into the balkanized nightmare that the Left would love for it to be.
Cap Black: After 48 years as a Black man, here’s my two-part. two cents on improving race relations:
1. DO NOT, hint, hint, DO NOT lower the bar for young Black men! Recent liberal mania to remove felony conviction check boxes on job applications and related reentry program fever provide perverse incentives for young Black men to consider serious criminal records as misguided proof of ethic authenticity instead of a matter of profound shame.
If it’s wrong for your kids, then guess what- it’s wrong for ours too!
Telling a group of often low income Black boys without political connections that it’s okay for them to destroy their lives through crime is the height of bigotry!
2. Refer to suggestion number 1 as often as possible until it sinks in culturally!
Raising the bar on personal responsibility for young Black men ( I type as a former one, btw, lol ) lowers the crime rate, number of fatherless households and other negative statistics being mass produced by very bad decision making enabled by liberalism!
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: In order to improve race relations in America, we have to start with the public education system. We need to restore the teaching of American and World History and present an unbiased and factual accounting of the history of humankind. Our history of slavery is not a black and white issue as some present it to be. We should assure all public schools deliver the best teachers and teaching environment to all children, whether they are in poor inner city districts or in suburban neighborhoods. As a society we have committed to the education of our children. We must give them equal opportunity so they can enjoy personal success in whatever they choose to do with their lives. The goal is to produce responsible, productive, and contributing members of society.
We need to demand personal accountability on the part of parents, both mothers and fathers, in providing for the support of the children they have chosen to bring into the world. It is not society’s responsibility to raise another’s child or children. Civilized society begins with the family unit. No matter how we try, we cannot get away from this fact.
Affirmative action and quotas should be eliminated. Everyone, no matter what race or sex, should be given equal opportunity based on their personal talents, accomplishments, desires and drive.
We cannot expect race relations to improve in America unless and until everyone understands where we came from and where we are today. It has taken fifty years of The Great Society and the race baiters to create a dependent, hopeless and bitter class of predominantly African Americans. It is going to take another fifty years to undo the damage done by the progressives under the guise of helping them. We need less government involvement and we need to demand more personal accountability and responsibility. We need to publicly call out the race baiters and expose them and their true intent.
The Independent Sentinel: When the Obama administration is gone, race relations will instantly improve.
Barack Obama has shown us everything not to do. The opposite should work well, starting with not blaming the police for crime caused by poor parenting and gang activity.
Instead of pouring money into programs to bring illegal immigrants into the country, we should pour money into education and job training for youth in crime-ridden areas. The unemployment rate for blacks is abysmal. It’s double that of whites. Race relations would improve dramatically if they could get jobs.
Race relations has been politicized by the left and as long as they exploit minorities to keep their support, improvements will be limited.
Well, there you have it!
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