Is truth irrelevant?

(The following is a guest post by Thomas Sowell, a national treasure.)


It is amazing how many people seem to have discovered last Wednesday that riots are wrong — when many of those same people apparently had not noticed that when riots went on, for weeks or even months, in various cities across the country last year.*

For too many people, especially in the media, what is right and wrong, true or false, depends on who it helps or hurts politically. Too many media people who are supposed to be reporters act as if they are combatants in political wars.

Someone once said that, in a war, truth is the first casualty. That has certainly been so in the media — and in much of academia as well.

One of the most grotesque distortions growing out of this carelessness with the facts has been a removal of Abraham Lincoln’s name and statues from various places, on grounds that he saw black people only as property.

Such criticisms betray an incredible ignorance of history — or else a complete disregard of truth.

As a lawyer, Abraham Lincoln knew that there was nothing in the Constitution which authorized him or any other president to free slaves. But he also knew that a military commander in wartime can legally seize the property of an enemy nation. Defining slaves as property gave President Lincoln the only legal authority he had to seize them during the Civil War. And once they were seized as property, he could then free them as human beings.

But, if the Emancipation Proclamation had based its action on defining the slaves as human beings, with a right to be free, the Supreme Court of that era would undoubtedly have declared it unconstitutional.

Millions of human beings would have remained slaves. Would ringing rhetoric be worth that price?

As for the claim that Lincoln did not regard black people as human, he invited Frederick Douglass to the White House.

Gross distortions of history, in order to get Abraham Lincoln’s name removed from schools tells us a lot about what is wrong with American education today.

Many schools are closed because of the coronavirus and the teachers unions. And many schools in minority neighborhoods failed to teach children enough math and English, back when they were still open. So it is incredible that school authorities have time to spend on ideological crusades like removing names and statues from schools.

Such criticisms betray an incredible ignorance of history — or else a complete disregard of truth.

Unfortunately, too many American educational institutions — from elementary schools to universities — have become indoctrination centers. The riots that swept across the country last year are fruits of that indoctrination and the utter disregard for other people’s rights that accompanied those riots.

At the heart of that indoctrination is a sense of grievance and victimhood when others have better outcomes — which are automatically called “privileges” and never called “achievements,” regardless of what the actual facts are.

Facts don’t matter in such issues, any more than facts mattered when smearing Lincoln.

Any “under-representation” of any group in any endeavor can be taken as evidence or proof of discriminatory bias. But those who argue this way cannot show us any society — anywhere in the world, or at any time during thousands of years of recorded history — that had all groups represented proportionally in all endeavors.

In America’s National Hockey League, for example, there are more players from Canada than there are players from the United States. There are also more players from Sweden than from California, even though California’s population is nearly four times the population of Sweden.

Californians are more “under-represented” in the NHL than women are in Silicon Valley. But no one can claim that this is due to discriminatory bias by the NHL. It is far more obviously due to people growing up in cold climates being more likely to have ice-skating experience.

This is one of many factors that produce skewed statistics in many endeavors. Discriminatory bias is among those factors. But it has no monopoly.

Yet who cares about facts any more, in this age of indoctrination?


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

* Felipe’s note: Last year’s widespread, leftist riots were scarcely reported in the mainstream media, so if you get “informed” by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc., it’s why you are ignorant of them.

Irredeemably stupid?

Those who are working overtime to delegitimize white Americans have coined a term that they use as a weapon — “white privilege.”

The propaganda is that being white is a racial privilege that elevates white Americans above other Americans and enables white people to oppress blacks. It doesn’t strike those who use the term as a weapon that these same “racist white people” are the ones who elected Obama president and put Kamala Harris in the Senate.

“White privilege” conveys the idea that white people have impunity. They can abuse, even kill, people of color without consequence. Yet, it is white officer Chauvin who is in jail charged with the murder of black George Floyd, while the two black Maryland teenagers who murdered 59-year-old white John Weed at the county fair for not giving them a dollar were sentenced by white female judge Julie Stevenson Solt to “anger management training” and “behavior modification” but otherwise unpunished.  Here is the report.

The story was covered locally.

But it was kept out of national news while white Americans were pumped full of guilt for their “racism.”

The story is more than the lack of justice for John Weed and his family. Unlike George Floyd’s relatives who benefited from millions of dollars in donations from white people, money did not pour into the coffers of John Weed’s relatives. Unlike George Floyd’s death, John Weed’s did not become a national sensation.

White supremacists did not riot, loot, and burn their way through black neighborhoods. You were never even told about John Weed’s brutal murder and the pass that white justice gave to the two black thugs who murdered him, spit on his body, and danced around it in glee. So much for “white privilege.”

The outcome of the November election will tell us if Americans are irredeemably stupid.

But judge Julie Solt did much more than deny justice to John Weed and his family. She denied justice in the abstract. Sentencing a murderer to anger management conveys that blacks have impunity from punishment for injurious consequences of their actions.

Obviously,  privilege lies with black Americans. They benefit from racial quotas in employment, promotion, and university admission. There are crimes that only whites can commit and only blacks can suffer. That black teenagers have no qualm about assaulting and beating to death a white man in public at a county fair is proof that blacks are aware of their impunity.

The response to rioting and looting by the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, New York, Chicago and other cities have reinforced the belief of blacks that the racism of white people gives them impunity from their illegal actions. The kneeling of elected public officials before Antifa and Black Lives Matter, the imposition of stand-down orders to police, the absence of property protection against looting and destruction, the release without charges of looters, the public apologies made to the criminals by public officials, all of this clearly conveys to blacks the impression that they have impunity.

The impression of impunity that white liberals have given to blacks has obvious implications for public safety and law and order.  This is what you get.

The vicious propaganda in the United States against white people is as bad if not worse than the Nazi propaganda against Jews, and it will have the same result. Indeed, it already has. What is the difference between kristallnacht and the looting and burning of white businesses?  

Theaters, concert halls, and museums in downtown areas of America’s racially diverse cities have an uncertain future. People who live and work in downtown areas and use public transportation will find life increasingly risky. Indeed, cities could collapse as apparently is happening in New York.

What is the difference between kristallnacht and the looting and burning of white businesses?  

The propaganda against white Americans never lets up. We have the anti-white propaganda film, “The Long Shadow,” which defines “social justice” as prevailing over white people. This summer PBS has broadcast this indoctrination film in 50 cities, and a second wave is on its way. It is the kind of film that softens up white people to accept widespread looting and burning as  justified “peaceful protest” over George Floyd’s death, a death that they were never told occurred from Floyd’s overdosing on fentanyl, a dangerous opioid.

The demonization of white people in the United States has reached the point that the media, the universities, and the Democrat Party are anti-white. The Democrats have selected an anti-white “woman of color,” Kamala Harris, as their candidate for vice president. Harris has even called her running mate, Joe Biden, a racist, although she is now backing away from this accusation, accusing him only of being friends with racists in Congress.

If Democrats win, the likelihood of visibly impaired Joe Biden serving four years is slight. He will be succeeded by Harris, and many suspect that is the plan. Biden’s only function is to serve as the way to put an anti-white female of color into the presidency. What comes next? Gun confiscation and defunded police? An open season on white Americans? You might scoff, but this is already the case in sections of some cities.

A racially diverse political entity cannot exist in peace with equal rights and protection of law if one race is taught to hate another, or races are taught to hate one other. In the United States for many years blacks have been taught to hate whites. Blacks and whites are taught that being white is a privilege that prevents social justice. This privilege allegedly comes from whites as slave owners who have continued their dominance over blacks.

In the consciousness that has been created for blacks, whites were the only slave owners and blacks the only slaves. As the syllogism goes, slavery is racism. Therefore, white Americans are racists. This is the lesson in school and university classrooms, and it is the message of The New York Times 1619 Project.

This is not a formula for the success of our racially diverse society. Yet it is the formula that white liberals, white progressives and white leftists have created and institutionalized.  

Donald Trump is especially hated, because he was elected by the “racist white working class,” the “Trump Deplorables.” All propaganda organs are allied against Trump. If white Americans cannot see through the propaganda and put Democrats in control, they will have cut their own throats. The outcome of the November election will tell us if Americans are irredeemably stupid.

***

(The above was written by Paul Craig Roberts at the Institute for Political Economy. The column was also lightly trimmed and edited by me.)

Note: A tip of the sombrero to John Zimmerman, my high school buddy and retired airline captain for bringing this column to my attention.

The limeade days

limes
The afternoon refreshment.

IN THESE DIFFICULT days of race-baiting and rioting above the Rio Bravo and other parts of the world, all caused by one rogue, white cop stupidly killing one black thug, we find tranquility here with simple pleasures, especially limeade.

Since my child bride’s gym remains shut and the downtown plaza too, which keeps me mostly at home afternoons, all due to the Kung Flu hysteria, we’ve developed other routines, and one is limeade, which I make myself roundabouts 5 p.m.

Up until about three days ago, the afternoons were stuffy, typical springtime weather, and the limeades have been very refreshing. But the rains have started, albeit sporadically, especially in the middle of the night, and life has cooled off sweetly.

This makes limeade less essential, but we’ll continue for a while if only because I have a nice pile of limes still in the kitchen. I squeeze four in each glass, add filtered water, Stevia sweetener and ice cubes. Hoo-boy!

view
No rain clouds at this moment, but the air is cool.

Steal shoes for justice!

I LIVED IN SANTA MONICA a spell around 1965. I worked in a Beverly Hills car lot, parking the Cadillacs of the One-Percenters, but I didn’t feel resentful. Had I not been so broke, I would have had more fun, maybe even stayed in California.

Perhaps if a rogue cop had killed an unarmed thug on the other side of the country during my time in Santa Monica, I could have easily plundered some stores as payback for that death, and pocketed some moolah.

Or maybe not. I was not raised that way.

Here’s an engaging video about Black Lives Matters “protests” in Santa Monica, which apparently now considers itself a socialist paradise. We did not see ourselves that way when I lived in Santa Monica. It was just a fun beach town.