Archive for category Racialism & Racism

Shelby Steele: Poetic truths work by moral intimidation – not reason

Shelby Steele

Shelby Steele

Two of the many things my wife and I have in common is our keen, life-long passion about rational thinking and our great admiration for Shelby Steele.

In a recent article at Wall Street Journal Dr Steele discusses the Trayvon Martin — George Zimmerman issue and coins the term “poetic truths” (highlighting & additional paragraph breaks added by me) …

The purpose of today’s civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power for blacks in American life based on the presumption that they are still, in a thousand subtle ways, victimized by white racism.

This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a “poetic truth.”

Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth in order to put forward a larger and more essential truth— one that, of course, serves one’s cause.

Poetic truths succeed by casting themselves as perfectly obvious: “America is a racist nation”; “the immigration debate is driven by racism”; “Zimmerman racially stereotyped Trayvon.”

And we say, “Yes, of course,” lest we seem to be racist.

Poetic truths work by moral intimidation, not reason.

In the Zimmerman/Martin case the civil-rights establishment is fighting for the poetic truth that white animus toward blacks is still such that a black teenager— Skittles and ice tea in hand — can be shot dead simply for walking home.

But actually this establishment is fighting to maintain its authority to wield poetic truth — the authority to tell the larger society how it must think about blacks, how it must respond to them, what it owes them and, then, to brook no argument.

Perhaps the problem is even wider — applying to more than just race issues.

The “poetic truth” approach is one that can be applied to many areas in order to construct and reinforce a romanticised (if ridiculous) narrative and to repel, not just dissenter, but thinkers per se.

Shelby Steele’s term suggests not just that emotion is substituted for reason — evidence + logic, but that poetic truth constructs a falsehood which when spoken gives the speaker a heroic feeling. It’s a particular kind of emotionalism.

It has the aesthetic of melodrama. It works well on stage, in front of an audience. It creates relationships. And the relationship of the individual is not between his mind and the facts of reality. Reality is boring. Reality is for amateurs. Reality is no help at all. Life is too short to waste it on mere reality!

Poetic Truth is transcendent. The best feedback you can get from presenting the facts of reality is “Hmm … yes, that makes sense. Thanks. Have a nice day.”

Not so with Poetic Truth. There, the sky is the limit. To Infinity and Beyond!

The Zimmerman/Martin tragedy has been explosive because it triggered a fight over authority. Who gets to say what things mean …

… The civil-rights establishment’s mistake was to get ahead of itself, to be seduced by its own poetic truth even when there was no evidence to support it.

… If there is anything good to be drawn from the Zimmerman/Martin tragedy, it is only the further revelation of the corruption and irrelevance of today’s civil-rights leadership.

Greek men in tights

Greek men in tights

While I’ve been in the USA, one thing that’s struck me about the way some African-Americans (and nearly all White “liberals”) approach real and non-existent racism is how special they think they are.

They seem to think that prejudice is something abnormal and unique to them. That they are the greatest victims of racism in the annuls of history. They think their problems are the most precious problems ever. That no-one has ever suffered as they have.

Growing up in Australia in a Greek sub-culture, I found that the Greeks of my parents’ generation had a similarly inflated view of their own victimised uniqueness. As if they had been singled out for special treatment. Meanwhile they behaved (and still behave) in a far more bigoted way than any Anglo-Australian I’ve ever met.

It would be interesting to compare sores and scars.

Who is the truly the Biggest Victim? The Greeks or the African-Americans?

“My Victimhood is bigger than your Victimhood!”

I would begin by pointing out the domination of Greece by the Ottomans from the mid 1400′s until 1821. That’s 400 years of oppression. What African-American can match that?

But there’s more.

How about World War I?

Then, World War II (Nazi Occupation).

And finally, on the heels of WWII, there’s the Greek Civil War.

And as already mentioned, the migration of poor, huddled masses of Greeks to English speaking Australia.

(Aside: We won’t touch the recent self-inflicted financial troubles of Greece. That would not serve our purpose and would open us up to ridicule.)

Off to a flying start!

May your Truth wax Poetic!

 

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Michael Yon: Obama is a racist. Trayvon Martin old enough to join the Marines.

Michael-Yon

Michael Yon: Journalist, photographer, former Green Beret

With characteristic, devastating frankness, Michael Yon puts the Zimmerman-Martin case into context.

The article (page 1, page 2) is “Race Baiting and Lies in America“.

Here are some excerpts (emphasis added by me):

First up, Michael Yon tackles the “child” thing.

Trayvon Martin was 17 when he was shot. Many people say he was just a “child.”

Let’s look at the evidence. 17 year-olds can, and do, join the US military.

At 17, I joined the military and reported for duty when 18.

Before graduating from high school, I could bench press 300 pounds and hoist 225 pounds from the floor to over my head with arms locked, weighing less than 148 pounds.

At 17, my high school friend Scott Helvenston became a Navy SEAL. The youngest ever. Some people say this is not possible. To save embarrassment, naysayers might take a minute to Google “Youngest Navy SEAL.”

At 17, Wilfred Benitez was the world champion boxer.

Retired 4-star General Barry McCaffrey mentioned to me the other day that he joined the Army at 17.

At 19, I was a “Green Beret” and went to jail after accidentally killing someone in what amounted to hand to hand combat.

 Hands are lethal weapons. That someone is unarmed when he attacks means nothing.

We could fill the north seas with the bones of women who have died at the bare hands of men and the adults who have died at the hands of teenaged “children.”

At the time of his death, Mr. (Trayvon) Martin was a powerfully built, military aged male and drug user who referred to himself as a “gangsta,” and used racial slurs to describe Zimmerman. He was old enough to join the Marines if he could pass the tests but with his drug use behavioral issues they would not want him.

 The attack:

(Trayvon) Martin attacked (George) Zimmerman on a rainy night with lethal fists and mounted Zimmerman and smashed his head into a sidewalk. There was no way for Zimmerman to know Martin was unarmed or that his powerful attacker was 17 and old enough to join the Marines.

The President:

As we saw with the Zimmerman prosecution, lynchings still happen, only today the lynch mob leader is President Obama. For foreign readers who have not noticed, many Americans sense that President Obama is severely racist and divisive, uninterested in justice but revenge for injustices he never suffered.

Cracka:

There are no two ways to cut what “creepy assed cracka” means in context to the way Martin’s close friend Rachel Jeantel said he used it in relation to Zimmerman.

It was a racial slur.

Read the whole article HERE.

Thank you Michael Yon!

If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon Martin

President Obama: … if I had a son he’d look like Trayvon Martin

 

 

Update: At what age can one join the Marines?

10 USC § 505 – Regular components: qualifications, term, grade

(a) The Secretary concerned may accept original enlistments in the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, Regular Marine Corps, or Regular Coast Guard, as the case may be, of qualified, effective, and able-bodied persons who are not less than seventeen years of age nor more than forty-two years of age. However, no person under eighteen years of age may be originally enlisted without the written consent of his parent or guardian, if he has a parent or guardian entitled to his custody and control.

 

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Larry Elder tells Piers Morgan what needs to be told

After interviewing her, Piers Morgan claims Zimmerman trial witness, Rachel Jeantel, is “one smart cookie”.

Black ConservativeLarry Elder, unconvinced, tweets back: “Would YOU hire her?”

So Piers Morgan invites him onto his show to spin some pain and play his soppy make-believe.

But things don’t go the way he planned.

If you want to see how Larry Elder thinks about things, you might also enjoy this YouTubed radio segment explaining the broad differences between Republicans and Democrats:

 

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Culture of Psychotherapy versus Truth and Rights

culture of psychotherapy

Australian historian, Dr Anna Blainey Warner, sent The PRODOS Blog the following insightful note, which I’d like to share:

(Links, bracketed items and emphasis added by me)

It should be realised that this points to an underlying current in trial commentary that goes beyond Jesse Jackson or the Zimmerman trial.

I’m referring to the widespread assumption that the judicial system should be primarily for the alleged victim’s retribution rather than for the rights of the accused to be presumed innocent till proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

For example, you often hear people ask why the accused has all these rights and why aren’t we concerned with the victim, or why do we interrogate the poor victims after all they’ve been through.

Not only are victims to be presumed totally honest and credible through virtue of their alleged victimhood – the idea is that justice is not first and foremost about testing the truth of allegations, or protecting the accused against unjust accusations while protecting the wider society from criminals proved guilty.

Rather, it is about retribution for the victim on behalf of the individual victim.

This idea is encouraged not only by political advocates like Jackson but also by the culture of psychotherapy which has come to present trials in terms of ‘closure’ for the victim with the victim’s feelings being the first consideration.

A good reading on this topic is ( by writer for (TheAtlantic.com and FIRE, former ACLU board member) Wendy Kaminer’s (1996, 21 page) book entitled (It’s All the Rage).

A recent article at Legal Insurrection also touches on this interpretation, quoting part of Obama’s recent speech:

When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said this could’ve been my son.

Another way of saying that is, a Trayvon Martin could’ve been me 35 years ago.

When you think about why in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened.

I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.

As Robert Tracinski at RealClearPolitics writes in response to Barrack Obama’s recent speech on the George Zimmerman trial:

But there is a whole load of crushing disappointment carried in this line:

“I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.”

Shorter version: this is never going away.

The racial politics laid bare in the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case is never going to be healed. At least, not by him.

Pain and more pain. Therapy and more therapy. As far as the eye can see. For all eternity.

In contrast, here’s how “miracles are made” — A speech by Ronald Reagan — a man who never wallowed or traded in the pain-and-therapy scam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Was Trayvon Martin denied a “jury of his peers” as Jesse Jackson states?

Jesse Jackson’s massive blunder

Mark Finkelstein at NewsBusters briefly explains (emphasis added):

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Jesse Jackson condemned the Zimmerman verdict as a “tremendous miscarriage of justice.”

It is a mark of Jackson’s misconception of just what constitutes justice that chief among his complaints was that Trayvon Martin was denied a jury of his peers because there were no African-Americans or men on it.

But — as Jackson is apparently unaware — the Constitution provides that it is the accused, not the possible victim, who is entitled to an impartial jury (in fact the Constitution nowhere speaks of a jury of peers).

Jury of one’s peers

Putting aside Jesse Jackson’s error, here’s a summary of what “a jury of one’s peers” actually means:

jury of one’s peers  n. a guaranteed right of criminal defendants, in which “peer” means an “equal.”

This has been interpreted by courts to mean that the available jurors include a broad spectrum of the population, particularly of race, national origin and gender.

Jury selection may include no process which excludes those of a particular race or intentionally narrows the spectrum of possible jurors.

It does not mean that women are to be tried by women, Asians by Asians, or African Americans by African Americans.

And a bit more here:

In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court held that juries need not represent a cross section of a community, but merely must be drawn from a pool that is representative of the community (Holland v. Illinois, 493 U.S. 474, 110 S. Ct. 803, 107 L. Ed. 2d 905).

In 1991, it forbade prosecutors to use their peremptory challenges to exclude potential jurors on the basis of race (Powers v. Ohio, 499 U.S. 400, 111 S. Ct. 1364, 113 L. Ed. 2d 411).

And LegalZoom.com explains:

The 6th Amendment guarantees the accused the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury.

The phrase “jury of one’s peers” is not included in the Amendment, however, the courts interpret peer to mean equal, i.e., the jury pool must include a cross section of the population of the community in terms of gender, race, and national origin.

The jury selection process must not exclude or intentionally narrow any particular group of people.

A jury of one’s peers does not mean a black defendant must be tried by an all black jury or a female defendant must be tried by an all woman panel.

The objective is to select an impartial jury from a randomly selected juror pool who will be fair, listen to the facts of the case, and render a just verdict based on the evidence

The six jurors

In case you’re interested in knowing about the jurors in the George Zimmerman trial, here is a list and brief description of each from the FoxNews website:

B-51 is retired, not married and doesn’t have kids. She has lived in Seminole County for nine years. She has worked in real estate and run a call center where she said she had experience resolving conflicts. When asked if Zimmerman did something wrong by following Martin instead of waiting for police, she said: “Yeah, I guess he did do something wrong.”

___

B-29 recently moved to central Florida from Chicago. She enjoys watching the “Real Housewives” on television and works as a nurse on an Alzheimer’s section of a nursing home. She said she hadn’t paid much attention to the shooting. She said she has been arrested, but her case was disposed of. It’s not clear why she was arrested or exactly what happened to her case, though she said she was treated fairly. She is married and has several children. A prosecutor described her as “black or Hispanic” during jury selection.

___

B-76 is a white woman who has lived in central Florida for 18 years. She manages rental properties with her husband of 30 years. She has two adult children, including one who is an attorney. She is involved with rescuing animals in her free time. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime. “Everyone deserves a fair trial,” she said.

___

B-37 is a white woman who volunteers rescuing animals. She is married to an attorney and has two adult children. She said she and her husband used to have concealed weapons permits. During the last round of questioning, she said she had an issue with the type of weapons people are allowed to carry. She also thought weapons’ training was inadequate for people seeking permits. “It should become harder,” she said.

___

E-6 is a white woman who is married and has two children. She has worked in financial services and has lived in Seminole County for two years. She is active in her church and involved with her children’s school. During jury selection, she said she didn’t know the facts of the case well.

___

E-40 is a white woman who works as a safety officer and recently moved to Seminole County from Iowa. She describes herself as a football fan. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime.

 

 

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31 percent of blacks think most blacks are racists

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell writes:

… According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 31 percent of blacks think that most blacks are racists, while 24 percent of blacks think that most whites are racist.

… The time is long overdue to stop looking for progress through racial or ethnic leaders.

Such leaders have too many incentives to promote polarizing attitudes and actions that are counterproductive for minorities and disastrous for the country.

The Rasmussen Report which provided the date is HERE

Of course when Obama says things like: "If I had a son he'd LOOK like Trayvon" that can't possibly be helpful (or fair or just).

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PRODOS Film Study Group: Thomas Sowell & Shelby Steele on Racism – Facts & Fallacies

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

For the enlightenment, advancement, and inspiration of its members

PRODOS FILM STUDY GROUP

Proudly presents

With the kind permission of

The Hoover Institution

Film talks of two Black American intellectuals – being two of the
finest minds on the planet – interviewed by Peter Robinson

1. Thomas Sowell

Discusses (among other things) …

Race: Economic Facts & Fallacies

And

2. Shelby Steele

Discusses (among other things) …

Race: Methods, Politics, Obama

Read the rest of this entry »

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Acts17Apologetics on what Breivik is and is not

See also: Anders Behring Breivik: Not a Christian. Not a free marketer.

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Anders Behring Breivik: Not a Christian. Not a free marketer.

It is believed the document titled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence” by Andrew Berwick is the manifesto of Norwegian shooter, Anders Behring Breivik.

Based on this document …

It is claimed by some that Breivik is a “Christian fundamentalist”.

He’s not.

On page 1307 he writes:

Read the rest of this entry »

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John Pasquarelli: The Enigma (Channel Nine)

[photopress:john_pasquarelli_with_his_fiance_2.jpg,full,pp_image] John Pasquarelli with his fiance

Watch John Pasquarelli on Channel Nine’s Sunday program:

CLICK HERE

Listen to my interview (from 2006) with John Pasquarelli:

CLICK HERE

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