Friday, November 13, 2015

The Brown Inquisition

And why stop at the point fixed by the honorable Member for Oldham rather than at the point which would have been fixed by a Spanish inquisitor of the sixteenth century? When once you enter on a course of persecution, I defy you to find any reason for making a halt till you have reached the extreme point. 
--Lord Macaulay, 1833

Anger is an energy
Anger is an energy
Anger is an energy
--Rise, John Lydon, Public Image Ltd

Ecstatic black power advocates have taken down a university president for, among other vague sins, failure to "acknowledge" his "white privilege". The marginally black retired professor (as Joe Frazier once said deprecatingly of "black power" advocate Muhammad Ali's choice in wives, "light, bright and almost white"; though maybe not so bright--see below) replacing him is himself a career diversicrat who just so happens to have been involved in the campaign to oust his predecessor, and--despite a career as a civil rights trial lawyer and law professor--appears to hold a child's view of how assertions should be tested:

“How can anyone deny there’s a race relations issue on this campus? Are they not listening to the people who are saying there is? Are they calling all these people liars? That’s as bad as calling all of them racist. This is a problem because a huge part of our community agrees that it’s a problem.”

The video from which this is taken (labelled "Response to skeptics" and made before the professor's appointment) is a fine example of the curious combination of delusion and condescension which is the current stuff of black advocacy:


First, activist leader Jonathan Butler confidently contends your doubting the assertion proves the assertion (If you don't think there's a problem you're part of the problem).

Then the argumentum ad populum; the professor comes on to assert that if only enough people say there's a problem, there's a problem. Indeed, doubt is itself wrong; "as bad as calling all [skeptics] racists". The professor seems to have lost the thread: that all whites (not just doubters) are racists is given; indeed, it's the ultimate cause of the problem, as asserted by the "huge" moral faction he cites. Black students are under siege in a sea of white racism.
Even those white collaborators within the movement are tainted with "white privilege" that both makes them complicit and limits their ability to see the reality of white oppression. The irony gets lost in all the irony. It gets hard to keep up, so we should be gentle in our assessment of the sixty-eight year old professor's ability to maintain pace. But he should be a real fire plug in his new role as administrator.

But the professor does have something on which to hang his argument: if enough reasonable (let's be generous now) individuals testify to a problem, it's overwhelming anecdotal evidence thereof. Yet when we get into these individual allegations they all tend to be trivial or strain credulity. Even the core allegations of boorish rednecks and scat-swastikas would be, in a saner world, laughable.
Then there's the further problem of misplaced responsibility, which, as far as I can tell, hasn't even gotten an airing. In all the hysteria, no one dares question just why a university head is responsible for rowdy townies.
Needless to say, that the infamous swastika might be yet another hoax likewise is an idea that no one with anything to risk can raise without the reasonable fear he too would be stripped of livelihood and reputation. Furthermore for what should seem obvious, that even if these things happened they hardly constitute a reign of terror. But this is par for the course now in America. Political convention regarding race is a shrieking fanaticism: it makes no distinction between the trivial and profound. Just as every problem arising from race relations is attributable to white racism; an infinite regress of racist turtles, all the way down.

But more to the point, and as is always in these cases, the hysteria ignores the running joke and gruesome reality of the American commons, evident to anyone not cloistered or imbecilic: the routine black intimidation of smaller, meeker whites that is a social constant.

Speaking of meek whites, coming on to complete the fallacious trifecta we get the ever-present white quisling, fittingly offering as proof the fallacy of emotion. Fitting because white fascination with black emotionalism is a core component of our dysfunctional relationship to them. If you could only see how glorious these black kids were in their anger, you would be shamed into conviction, says the Nice White Woman, not yet sacrificed to the Maoism of which she desperately partakes.

"I challenge them to really listen to the students. Listen to their cries. Listen to their voices, that are trembling with fear, that are trembling with anger, that are trembling with disgust, that are trembling with questions, if they should even be here at Mizzou."

Tremulous indeed. But she stumbles on to something, despite her best efforts, with that last line. You have to wonder how much black emotion is just resentment of perceived inadequacy. If you're black and attending a university for which you are not prepared, which may very well be the majority of black students, you have a choice: be a mediocre, failing student, or a romantic, winning victim. Extrapolate that beyond the university and black hostility to white culture, chauvinism and extreme territorialism about black culture and its "appropriation", make perfect sense

Black culture is powerful--which is not the same as saying it's good for us. Before civil rights blacks were compelled to emulate white norms but were not expected to excel whites in achievement. To essentially be second-rate white people.
Now, due to the seductive power of black culture and the perception of black superiority in those things a decadent society values, or at least obsesses over--sexuality, physicality, brutality even--blacks have managed to flip the American script. Faced with the same obvious racial differences but with the old restrictions removed, black culture is winning. Instead of a country with a minority black population emulating whites we've become a country with a majority white population emulating blacks. Uncle Tom is out; Uncle Tim is in.

But what this all amounts to is the ongoing persecution of whites for being white, masquerading as a struggle against white persecution of blacks, for being black. No intention, much less conspiracy necessary: just a tragic confluence of things that are always operative: human emotion, ambition, politics, stupidity, cowardice and, always, vanity. How will it end?


josh said...

If I had talent, I would write a socratic dialogue between Socrates and the new Missou president wherein Socrates tries to focus the conversation on the nature of justice and the pres responds with non-sequitors about man-splaining.

Dennis Dale said...

Interesting. I'm down for a dare. Which dialogue do you think would lend itself best?

Rhetocrates said...

Euthophro, without a doubt.