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The Essence Of Progressivism Is Refusal To Deal With Reality — Manhattan Contrarian

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2020

To be a woke progressive the first requirement is that you must refuse to acknowledge the real world as it exists. You must pretend that the world is something else, something immediately transformable into a fantasy of perfection through coercive collective action. You also must firmly close your eyes to any facts or evidence that might contradict such progressive fantasy, and indeed you must demand that any such facts or evidence be suppressed and never mentioned.

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2020-12-9-the-essence-of-progressivism-is-refusal-to-deal-with-reality

Francis Menton

Reality is harsh. Let’s face it, our world is imperfect, often even deadly. Not only that, it’s always going to be imperfect. So let’s get to work on enjoying our brief lives as best we can amidst the imperfection, while striving for such incremental improvements to the world as are within our modest capabilities.

If you think that way, you definitely are not “woke.” To be a woke progressive the first requirement is that you must refuse to acknowledge the real world as it exists. You must pretend that the world is something else, something immediately transformable into a fantasy of perfection through coercive collective action. You also must firmly close your eyes to any facts or evidence that might contradict such progressive fantasy, and indeed you must demand that any such facts or evidence be suppressed and never mentioned.

Among numerous illustrations of this point, perhaps the most striking is the current hysteria sometimes going by the name “anti-racism.” Here, the official progressive fantasy is that any under-representation of blacks (or other minority group of your choice) at designated heights of society can only be the result of “systemic racism.” Therefore all must commit to the coerced program of “anti-racism,” whereupon, I presume, perfection will promptly be achieved.

Over the past several months, you cannot have missed the parade of major societal institutions — large corporations, banks, law firms, universities, and so on — caught with insufficient numbers of minorities in their ranks and pledging to rectify the situation immediately if not sooner. As a handful of examples, here is a list from Ongig.com from July of the “awesome” “diversity” commitments of 25 major companies; or here, from Glassdoor.com from August, a list of diversity commitments from another 12 major companies; or here, from the American Bar Association, a list of hundreds of signatories, including dozens of major law firms, to the ABA’s “Pledge for Change” to increase diversity. You can easily find many, many more examples with simple internet searches.

In a post back in August, I predicted that the latest round of affirmative action commitments would be no more successful than prior rounds that have been going on for the past fifty years or more. The main basis for my prediction was my personal experience of involvement in affirmative action efforts of a major law firm over several decades, and awareness from that experience of the difficulty of moving metrics in any significant way. In simple terms, there is a very limited pool of qualified candidates. You can make job offers to all of them, but all of your dozens of competitors will also make offers to all of them, and in the end you will actually employ very few. You can also try making job offers to obviously unqualified candidates. Many of these will accept your offer, but in nearly every case they will fail quickly in a rather cruel process.

In the past I have put some effort into trying to find publicly-available data illustrating the difficulty of finding minority candidates for top jobs in sufficient numbers to meet “diversity” demands; but I have had limited success. In the current City Journal, Heather Mac Donald weighs in with a piece titled “The Bias Fallacy,” making the case that bias against minorities explains little if any of their under-representation in certain positions and professions. To her credit, Ms. Mac Donald has managed to find considerable data illustrative of the limitations of the minority talent pool relative to some of the top positions at major corporations and law firms. I give a good deal of credit to Ms. Mac Donald for finding these data, which exist only for certain categories and certain years. Here are some examples:

  • From a Survey of Earned Doctorates, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, for 2017: The percentage of doctorates awarded to blacks was 2.0% in chemistry, 1.7% in “engineering disciplines,” 1.2% in physics, 1.0% in computer science, and 0.9% in mathematics and statistics. So then, how exactly are companies looking to hire, say, computer science PhDs, all supposed to find 13% blacks to fill the ranks?
  • From my own legal profession, here are some statistics on scores earned by blacks on LSAT and bar examinations: “In 2004, only 29 blacks, representing 0.3 percent of all black LSAT takers, scored 170 or above on the LSAT, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. The average entrance score was 170 for the top-ranked law schools. There were 1,900 whites who scored at least a 170, representing 3.1 percent of all white test takers. Of black test takers, 1 percent—or 108 blacks nationwide—scored at least 165 in 2004, 165 being the average for the top ten law schools. Over 10 percent of white test takers—or 6,689 whites nationwide—scored at least 165. That gap has only grown, and it affects law school outcomes. Of black law school graduates, 22 percent never pass the bar exam after five tries, compared with 3 percent of white test takers, according to a study by the Law School Admissions Council.”

Ms. Mac Donald goes through similar data taken from results of admissions tests for business schools (GMAT) and medical schools (MCAT), both of which show equally dramatic divisions. She concludes:

There simply are not enough competitively qualified black candidates to go around. Moreover, one-third of all black males have a felony conviction.

Of course the information that Ms. Mac Donald presents here constitutes a piece of the real world that is inconvenient to the current narrative. So what is the response? Increasing numbers of schools are going in a direction of no longer requiring the entrance exams as part of the admission process. If you had noticed that trend, and were wondering the reason for it, here is Ms. Mac Donald’s take:

As long as data on the skills and behavior gap remain available, it is possible to challenge the myth of bias, at least in theory. So those facts must themselves be canceled, as well as anyone who publicizes them. That is the ultimate motivation for the movement to end the use of standardized tests in admissions. . . . The reason to eliminate standardized assessments is rather to put the College Board and the Educational Testing Service out of business entirely—and with them, any possibility of an objective measure of intellectual skills.

The idea is that if you just refuse to deal with reality, it will go away, and perfection will then dawn. But unfortunately, you can only ignore reality for just so long. In the law firm business, at some point within the first year or two, a young associate will be tasked with writing a fully-researched legal brief on a complex subject with a very short deadline (say, 24 hours), where the brief needs to be right on the first try. If an associate can’t do it, that will be immediately apparent. If you have been denied the ability to screen for ability by criteria like LSAT scores or law school grades, you are just setting large numbers of young people up for failure. In the real world, this is not a nice thing to do.

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Critical race theory: a ruling-class ideology – spiked

Posted by M. C. on November 28, 2020

But whereas a previous generation of anti-racists challenged the social significance attributed to biological differences to argue that there was one race, the human race, and emphasised universal traits that create a common humanity irrespective of skin colour, critical race theorists argue that, once constructed, race becomes an incontestable fact. As Robin Di Angelo explains in White Fragility: ‘While there is no biological race as we understand it, race as a social construct has profound significance and shapes every aspect of our lives.’ (1)

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/11/27/critical-race-theory-a-ruling-class-ideology/

Joanna Williams

Joanna Williams
Columnist

2020 has been shaped by two things. Coronavirus – and our response to it – has dominated every aspect of our lives. But something else has gripped us this year, too: anti-racism. In May, shocked by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, people all around the world emerged from lockdown to participate in Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests. In the UK, statues fell, public figures knelt in solidarity and many people blacked out their social-media posts for a day. Schools, universities and workplaces stepped up diversity training and anti-racist initiatives.

There have been protests against racism in the past, of course. But this year has been different. Never before have people on every continent, in countries and towns facing their own unique problems, turned out in such huge numbers to support the same cause. Never before have books like White Fragility, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race and How To Be An Antiracist become international bestsellers. And never before has a protest movement had such establishment backing. In the UK, BLM has been publicly endorsed by the royal family, the football Premier League, and senior politicians. Multinational corporations have got in on the act, too. Ice-cream maker Ben and Jerry’s has pledged to do all it can to dismantle white supremacy, while elite universities have issued statements denouncing their own institutional racism.

The mainstreaming and elite-backing of anti-racism initiatives speaks to a new understanding of racism. Critical race theory (CRT) used to be a minority pursuit, an obscure academic interest. In 2020 it provided the rationale for protests, books, diversity workshops and school lessons. In June, Channel 4 screened The School That Tried to End Racism, a documentary series that followed the progress of children made to undergo an anti-racist re-education programme based upon principles of CRT. New phrases entered our vocabulary. Terms like systemic racism, unconscious bias, white privilege, cultural appropriation, reparations, microaggression and intersectionality migrated from academics and activists to newspapers, radio discussions, charity campaigns and school lessons. President Trump and Kemi Badenoch, the UK’s minister for equalities, made speeches explicitly naming CRT and calling out its perniciousness.

What is Critical Race Theory?

CRT begins with a challenge to the ‘scientific’ racism of the 19th and early 20th century. In the days of empire, colonial exploitation and slavery were justified by a belief that white people were physically, mentally and morally superior to the people they ruled over. This view extended to the working class at home, who were portrayed as genetically distinct from and inferior to the upper class. This biological understanding of race began to be called into question after the Second World War, although its legacy continued to play out in Apartheid-era South Africa, Jim Crow laws in the American South and discrimination in the UK.

Critical race theorists are not the first to point out that race is socially constructed; that is, it is not a naturally occurring phenomenon but created and made meaningful by people collectively, over time and place. Few today disagree with this point. But whereas a previous generation of anti-racists challenged the social significance attributed to biological differences to argue that there was one race, the human race, and emphasised universal traits that create a common humanity irrespective of skin colour, critical race theorists argue that, once constructed, race becomes an incontestable fact. As Robin Di Angelo explains in White Fragility: ‘While there is no biological race as we understand it, race as a social construct has profound significance and shapes every aspect of our lives.’ (1)

Protesters hold placards in Parliament Square during a demonstration on 20 June 2020 in London.

Protesters hold placards in Parliament Square during a demonstration on 20 June 2020 in London.

When race is seen in this way, racism is understood as systemic; that is, built into the very fabric of societies designed by white people, for the benefit of white people. Proponents of CRT argue that ideas of white superiority and black inferiority are intrinsic to our language, culture and interpretations of history. Every aspect of our daily lives, from education, policing, the health service and employment assumes a white norm, they argue, and this makes a mockery of equality before the law and the liberal notion of equality of opportunity. As Reni Eddo-Lodge explains in Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race: ‘If you’re white, your race will almost certainly positively impact your life’s trajectory in some way. And you probably won’t even notice it.’ In an inescapably circular argument, race is constructed and made meaningful through racism; it is people’s everyday experiences within a racist society that create the reality of race.

The Origins of Critical Race Theory

CRT is newly fashionable and highly influential, but it has a long and complex history. Its origins can be traced back to a divide within the US civil-rights movement. Free speech, democracy and legal equality were initially considered integral to the fight for civil rights, but by the end of the 1960s, with progress appearing to have stalled and both racism and poverty still major problems, groups within the movement began to question the efficacy of these principles. Many arrived at the conclusion that legal equality not only left social inequality intact but actually provided the context and justification for its continuation. As the authors of Words That Wound, a key CRT text published in 1993, point out:

‘It became apparent to many who were active in the civil-rights movement that dominant conceptions of race, racism, and equality were increasingly incapable of providing any meaningful quantum of racial justice.’

Having come up against the limits of formal, legal equality, the question facing the civil-rights movement at this point was how best to achieve social equality. As Helen Pluckrose and James A Lindsay point out in Cynical Theories, more materialist activists focused on housing, schooling, employment and income. For some, this led to championing black nationalism and segregation over universal human rights. At the same time, some began to find a home within academia where, to quote Words that wound:

‘individual law teachers and students committed to racial justice began to meet, to talk, to write, and to engage in political action in an effort to confront and oppose dominant societal and institutional forces that maintained the structures of racism while professing the goal of dismantling racial discrimination.’

These academic activists argued that ‘majoritarian self-interest’ was ‘a critical factor in the ebb and flow of civil-rights doctrine’; in other words, a white-majority society would be unlikely to cede its power voluntarily (1). A key text to come out of this period was by Derrick Bell, Harvard’s first African American professor. In Race, Racism and American Law, published in 1970, Bell argued that white people only concede rights when it is in their interests to do so. By 1987, his views had crystalised further and he was able to explain that, ‘progress in American race relations is largely a mirage obscuring the fact that whites continue, consciously or unconsciously, to do all in their power to ensure their dominion and maintain their control’.

Black scholars found common cause with professors engaged in critical legal studies who sought to formulate a radical left-wing critique of dominant liberal approaches to the law. Together, they drew from ‘liberalism, Marxism, the law-and-society movement, critical legal studies, feminism, poststructuralism/postmodernism, and neopragmatism’. A key aim was to examine ‘the relationships between naming and reality, knowledge and power’ (2). This marked a splintering from the materialists and a distinct turn towards subjectivity. It led to racism being understood not just as legal and economic inequalities, but as social, cultural and psychological practices. At this point, as Matsuda et al tell us, ‘Scholars of colour within the left began to ask their white colleagues to examine their own racism and to develop oppositional critiques not just to dominant conceptions of race and racism but to the treatment of race within the left as well’. Their conclusions presented racism, ‘not as isolated instances of conscious bigoted decision-making or prejudiced practice, but as larger, systemic, structural, and cultural, as deeply psychologically and socially ingrained’ (3).

In 1981, Kimberlé Crenshaw, then a student of Derrick Bell’s, led a protest against Harvard Law School when it refused to hire a black professor to teach Race, Racism and American Law following Bell’s departure. Crenshaw, along with others, invited leading academics and practitioners of colour to lecture on a course aimed at ‘developing a full account of the legal construction of race and racism’. Bringing people together in this joint intellectual project crystalised the ideas underpinning critical race theory. By the end of the 1980s, Crenshaw’s work led her to devise a framework she labelled ‘intersectionality’ to describe how multiple features of a person’s identity can combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege. Her 1991 essay, Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics and Violence Against Women of Colour, has been especially influential.

Protesters gather near the White House, 22 June 2020 in Washington, DC.

Protesters gather near the White House, 22 June 2020 in Washington, DC.

Pluckrose and Lindsay point out that the concerns of materialists dominated the critical race movement from the 1970s to the 1980s. However, by the 1990s, a more identity-focused and postmodern understanding of CRT, driven primarily by radical black feminists such as Crenshaw, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Patricia Hill Collins and Angela Harris, was becoming increasingly popular. Today, CRT is mainstream and terms like ‘structural racism’ now refer to structures of thought far more than any structural, material analysis of society. Activists have taken the subjective, identitarian and psychological understanding of racism developed within universities and transformed it into a list of commandments all must obey.

Joanna Williams is currently researching hate crime in her role as director of the Freedom, Democracy and Victimhood Project at the think tank, Civitas.

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The Aim of the Social Justice Movement Is the Subversion of Core Western Values – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 31, 2020

Consider this politically correct lie: Western societies are oppressive toward women. This is about as obviously absurd a statement as the claim that the Soviet Union was a free country. To everyone with the eyes to see it is quite plain that women are not oppressed in Western democracies. On the other hand, women are almost invariably oppressed in non-Western societies. This truth, however, is not allowed to be articulated and most attempts to do so are met with severe consequences, especially for those involved in public institutions such as media, universities, government and even many corporations.

Here is another politically correct lie: In Western democracies minorities are oppressed. To every reasonable person the falsity of this is immediately evident. Rather than being oppressed, racial minorities in the United States and most western countries enjoy more protections and privileges than the majority. This is exactly the reason why minorities from non-western societies are so eager to come and live in western societies. So much so that we have to expand considerable efforts and resources to keep them out for fear of being overrun. Conversely, we do not see minorities living in Western democracies running away from their oppression to live in those wonderful non-Western cultures and societies of which multiculturalists are so fond. Why do you think this is? The reality of the situation and the behavior of people themselves completely disprove the official PC narrative. Any intimations of the obvious, however, immediately draws the ire of the politically correct organs and can result in prompt cancellation.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/08/vasko-kohlmayer/the-aim-of-social-justice-movement-is-subversion-of-core-western-values/

By

We have spoken previously about what the attacks on statues and churches that have been taking place as part of the so-called “anti-racism” protests reveal about the true nature of this movement. They show that these protests are not actuated by a desire to bring about racial justice, but by an aversion toward Western culture. It is not the elimination of non-existent racism that is the objective of this crusade. Its real goal is the destruction of liberal democracy.

Beneath the crass attacks on the physical artifacts of Western tradition, however, a less obvious but far more destructive assault is being launched: It is an assault on the core values and principles of Western civilization. It is an onslaught on the very values that have made its accomplishments possible. The Western miracle came about because certain ideas and principles gained hold in the occidental psyche, and it was these ideas and principles that enabled the Western mind to create a civilization that has advanced, flourished and excelled in ways unmatched by any other.

One of the quintessential, and arguably the most important, among these values is freedom of expression. The Western achievement could not have taken place without it. Conversely, it is the lack of this freedom that is the main reason for why other civilizations lag behind in almost every metric. It is not difficult to see why, since it is through an open exchange of ideas and sympathetic consideration of differing points of view that true learning and progress take place. Similarly, by giving room to creative individuals to express the innermost stirrings of their souls, great works of art are created.

It is freedom of expression that lies behind the West’s spectacular attainments in the arts, architecture, literature, science, music, technology and nearly every other area of human endeavor. Freedom of expression – particularly in its manifestation as free speech – is the essential prerequisite for one of the West’s crowning achievements: the liberal democracy. Western democracy, as some may know, is the only form of societal organization that grants and guarantees equal rights to all people living within it. It is also the only form of government capable of generating freedom and prosperity for the common man. Needless to say, like the marbles of Michelangelo, the symphonies of Beethoven or the paintings of Rembrandt, liberal democracy is a singularly Western achievement.

Freedom of expression has had a long tradition in Western culture. It can be traced more than 2,500 years back to ancient Greece. It is clearly seen at work, for example, in the great dialogues of Plato where participants openly and freely exchange their views and ideas. And even though its scope of permissiveness has fluctuated through the centuries, it has always run like a continuous thread through western history. We can get a sense of the value of this freedom and the kind of wide-ranging beneficial dialogue it engenders from an observation made by the late Sir Roger Scruton:

“All of the great scientists of our time, when you look back at Einstein and Freud and Piaget, and all those people, they were highly cultivated… And for them the intellectual development could have never been confined to something like a laboratory. It was a form of dialogue with civilization as a whole.”

Given that the current protests are being actuated by an anti-Western animus, it would only be natural to expect that those who take part in them would turn against this foundational western value. This they, in fact, do, and they do it with great enthusiasm and fervor. We have seen a startling manifestation of it recently in the rapid rise of the cancel culture which has taken over many of our important public institutions with astonishing speed. And we also see it in the extreme forms of political correctness which is being practiced and advocated by the social warriors of today.

Political correctness is the instrument of choice for those on the political Left in their drive to do away with freedom of expression. What political correctness does is to prevent the articulation of facts that are plainly obvious but inconvenient to those who seek power by illicit and undemocratic means. As most people have noticed by now, in an environment ruled by political correctness truth must not be spoken. Instead one must either stay silent or say the opposite of the truth. Those who cross the bounds of acceptable discourse are condemned and penalized.

Every oppressive society in history without exception has had its own form of political correctness. In every such society you were not allowed to state the obvious about the nature of that society and the relations within it. If you did, you would be promptly punished. In dictatorial societies political correctness is enforced directly by the State, and it is called censorship.

In the socialist society I grew up in, we had our own strain of strict political correctness. Although its language may have superficially differed on some points from the language of today’s western progressives, the principle was exactly the same: We were not allowed to say the truth; we were only allowed to say the opposite of the truth. In our case the truth was that we were an economically backward country and a vasal of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union itself was a deeply impoverished nation held together by a brutal police state operating under the banner of a convoluted kind of collectivist ideology which officially called Marxism-Leninism.

We were, however, not allowed to say what a bad situation this was. Instead we had to say that we lived in a very prosperous and free country and that the Soviet Union was our great benefactor. As for the Soviet Union itself, we had to agree that it was the freest and most affluent country in the world. All people in the Soviet Union were supremely happy individuals because of the abundant prosperity and the freedoms they enjoyed. There was no place on earth or in heaven more excellent than the Soviet Union. Thanks to the great work of Marx, Lenin and Stalin, mankind’s long dream of Paradise had at last come true in the great country of the USSR. And guess what was the worst place on earth? It was the United States of America, which was, so were we told, a land of tyranny where people had no real freedoms and where everyone was poor, miserable, oppressed and depressed. As an aside, it is remarkable to observe on how many points the views and rhetoric of the former communists and today’s progressives are virtually identical.

The communist politically correct rhetoric ran in complete contravention of reality, but we all had to pretend that it was true. Most people did not believe it, but there were some who did or wanted to. That something like this could take place in real life may seem unbelievable to reasonable people now, but lies of similar depth and magnitude are quite commonplace in many Western circles today.

Consider this politically correct lie: Western societies are oppressive toward women. This is about as obviously absurd a statement as the claim that the Soviet Union was a free country. To everyone with the eyes to see it is quite plain that women are not oppressed in Western democracies. On the other hand, women are almost invariably oppressed in non-Western societies. This truth, however, is not allowed to be articulated and most attempts to do so are met with severe consequences, especially for those involved in public institutions such as media, universities, government and even many corporations.

Here is another politically correct lie: In Western democracies minorities are oppressed. To every reasonable person the falsity of this is immediately evident. Rather than being oppressed, racial minorities in the United States and most western countries enjoy more protections and privileges than the majority. This is exactly the reason why minorities from non-western societies are so eager to come and live in western societies. So much so that we have to expand considerable efforts and resources to keep them out for fear of being overrun. Conversely, we do not see minorities living in Western democracies running away from their oppression to live in those wonderful non-Western cultures and societies of which multiculturalists are so fond. Why do you think this is? The reality of the situation and the behavior of people themselves completely disprove the official PC narrative. Any intimations of the obvious, however, immediately draws the ire of the politically correct organs and can result in prompt cancellation.

The cancel culture is the executory arm of political correctness. Things have become so extreme in recent months that people are now being cancelled for making even the most innocuous comments. The forms that cancellation can take at this time range from being publicly shamed through removal from platforms of public discourse and having one’s reputation destroyed to being dismissed from employment. Because of its nature, today’s social justice movement must inevitably position itself as an irreconcilable enemy of free speech. The social warriors’ position has its roots in a deep illiberal impulse that goes directly against the best principles of Western culture.

Suppression of free expression has been invariably practiced by totalitarians and tyrants of all ranks and species, whether they emerged from the West or from other civilizational streams. Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Un were all sworn enemies of free speech exactly as are today’s anti-racism activists. All these tyrants instituted their own kind of political correctness and cancel culture. Today’s social justice warriors are thus firmly rooted in the tradition of those Leaders. The politically-correct, cancel-happy progressives who march through the streets of Western cities and lord it over the social medial platforms are the true heirs of these Leaders’ intolerant, illiberal impulse, which is deeply anti-Western in nature. Needless to say, all the Great Leaders mentioned above have thoroughly ruined their societies and left a deep trail of misery and corpses in their wake.

Free expression and free speech are, of course, not the only core Western values that have come under attack from the progressives. Others include the concept of private property, the idea of equal rights and equality before the law among others. Like their tyrannical predecessors, social justice warriors of today are not interested in constructively addressing the real problems in the society in which they live. Carried along by a destructive instinct, they want to bring down their society. Most of them have no clear conception of what should replace it. What they know, however, is that they want nothing to do with the principles of free speech, tolerance of dissent, respect for private property, etc., on which free and affluent societies are built. The main problem with this approach is that societies not based on these values are not good places to live. Just ask the people of Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Kim’s North Korea, Castro’s Cuba or Pol Pot’s Cambodia.

Vasko Kohlmayer [send him mail] is a naturalized citizen.

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Loathing the West: The Real Reason ‘Anti-Racism’ Protestors Desecrate Christian Churches – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 25, 2020

Their behavior will appear inexplicable only as long as we accept at face value the stated goal of the protests, which, they say, is the elimination of racism. Racial justice, however, is what this movement is about. In an earlier piece, we have suggested that the actual purpose of this “anti-racism” campaign is the subversion of Western civilization. Once we clearly grasp this truth, the apparently irrational blitz by “anti-racism” protestors on Christian artefacts will no longer seem incoherent. It will, in fact, make perfect sense.
The vandals’ objective is not, as so many people assume, to eliminate one form of alleged injustice from our society. Since in the United States and in other Western democracies institutional racism is non-existent (see here, here and here), objections against it cannot be genuine. The intention is not to fix a non-existent problem, but to tear down societies on which this false charge is hoisted. The attack on Christianity is part and parcel of this undertaking.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/08/vasko-kohlmayer/loathing-the-west-the-real-reason-why-anti-racism-protestors-desecrate-christian-churches/

By

Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Act II, Scene II)

“Last weekend, at least four Catholic Church-affiliated buildings and statues from Boston to Los Angeles were set on fire or vandalized. A blaze that gutted the 249-year-old San Gabriel Mission, once led by Father Junipero Serra, is being investigated as possible arson” reported the Washington Times on July 15. The piece was titled “’No place for God’: Left-wing protesters turn focus to churches as vandalism, arson escalate.”

The article quoted Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle who said: “Given that there were four attacks on Catholic churches nationwide over a 48 hour period, from July 10 to July 12, suspicion, obviously, turns toward the left wing extremists who have been toppling statues of Saint Junipero Serra and attempting to remove a statue of Saint Louis.”

On June 1, the Catholic News Agency put out a wire headlined “Churches in 6 states damaged by violent protests.” It read in part:

“Church buildings in California, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky, Texas, and Colorado were attacked. Many of the defaced or damaged churches were cathedrals. The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver sustained permanent damage. Vandals repeatedly struck the Denver cathedral on multiple nights of the protests and riots over the weekend. The church building and rectory were spray painted with the slogans “Pedofiles” [sic], “God is dead,” “There is no God,” along with other anti-police, anarchist, and anti-religion phrases and symbols.”

On July 22, the Wall Street Journal published a piece called “Desecration of Catholic Churches Across U.S. Leaves Congregations Shaken.” The sub-headline was: “More than half a dozen incidents in recent weeks include arson, decapitation of statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.” The piece opened as follows:

“Parishioners and clergy were shocked and grieving following a spate of vandalism at Catholic churches in various U.S. cities in recent weeks. Catholic institutions from Boston to Florida reported more than half a dozen attacks on church property, including statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, between July 10 and 16.”

On July 21, the CNS network released an item headlined “Statue of Jesus beheaded in Florida among latest attacks on Catholic churches.” It began:

“The beheading of a statue of Christ at a Catholic church in the Miami Archdiocese has saddened the parish community of Good Shepherd Church and prompted Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski to call on law enforcement to investigate the incident as a hate crime. On July 15, the statue at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Southwest Miami-Dade was found with its head chopped off and knocked from its pedestal.”

“Churches burned and vandalized in riots” announced a headline from the Washington Examiner. The article commenced with this sentence: “Several churches were burned and vandalized over the weekend as protests of police brutality turned to rioting and looting in many American cities.” Three paragraphs later we learned that “St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, one of the most famous churches in America, was vandalized Saturday night with references to the Black Lives Matter movement and the F-word.”

The question that arises is this: Why would those marching under the auspices of Black Lives Matter while protesting the death of George Floyd attack Christian churches? What exactly is the logical link between their professed cause – which is anti-racism – and their onslaught on Christian houses of worship?

Christianity, after all, played no part in the unfortunate George Floyd incident. There is no indication that the officers involved in his arrest were motivated by religious sentiments. In the days that followed, Christian pastors and figures across the spectrum unanimously expressed grief over Floyd’s death and churches across the land conducted services and held vigils in his name.

The violence of “anti-racism” protestors against Christian symbols and houses of worship has left many people startled and confused. Understandably so, since there seems to be no detectable link between the demonstrators stated goals and their actions. This obvious contradiction was pointed out by Valerie Richardson writing in the Washington Times: “It would be quite a stretch to blame churches for George Floyd’s death, police brutality or Confederate memorials, yet houses of worship and religious statues are coming under attack in the protest mayhem.”

To say it would be “quite a stretch” is an obvious understatement. The protestors’ rhetoric and behavior would appear outright self-contradictory, and yet one cannot but feel that there is a method in this apparent madness. Why, then, we ask, do champions of racial justice attack sacred Christian objects? Why do they behead statues of Jesus and topple those of the Virgin Mary?

Their behavior will appear inexplicable only as long as we accept at face value the stated goal of the protests, which, they say, is the elimination of racism. Racial justice, however, is what this movement is about. In an earlier piece, we have suggested that the actual purpose of this “anti-racism” campaign is the subversion of Western civilization. Once we clearly grasp this truth, the apparently irrational blitz by “anti-racism” protestors on Christian artefacts will no longer seem incoherent. It will, in fact, make perfect sense.

Along with our Greco-Roman heritage, Christianity has been one of the two great pillars of Western culture. It was Catholic Christianity that kept the light of civilization through the Dark Ages in Europe and that subsequently carried the continent into the Renaissance and beyond. It was Catholic Christianity that inspired and brought into being the magnificent Cathedrals of Europe and the stupendous marbles of Michelangelo and all of the great art in between. It was the great theologians of the Church who spoke of the infinite worth of the human soul and prepared that ground for the revolutionary idea that all human beings – no matter how great or small – are entitled to equal considerations and rights. (Tellingly, the West is not the only civilization which believes this, but also the only one which has implemented this idea in practice.) Later it was the Protestant ethic of hard work, frugality and deferred gratification that helped fuel the forces of free market capitalism which generated unprecedented levels of prosperity for ordinary people. We could speak for hours about the countless ways in which Christianity – both of the Catholic and Protestant strain – shaped and advanced Western civilization. But this is not necessary, since its influence is all-too obvious: Much of our culture, our moral sensibility, our ethical codes, the manner in which we conduct our societal life and, in fact, the very way we look at the world derives directly or indirectly from the Christian religion.

Therefore, any movement that would seek to undermine Western civilization must sooner or later turn on the West’s Christian heritage. This is inevitable. Being such a movement, the “anti-racism” crusade that is sweeping across Western democracies has done exactly that. The moment we grasp the true driving force behind this movement, its attacks on Christian symbols will be seen as completely natural and predictable.

We pointed out previously how the “anti-racism” protesters’ attacks on the statues of great men who contributed to the advancement of the West is driven by their anti-Western agenda. The desecration of Christian churches is born of the same psychological impulse – aversion toward Western civilization and the desire to bring it down.

There are many aspects of the protestors’ behavior that reveal what they are truly about. For example, if they were genuinely concerned about racism, they would surely stage at least some of their events in front of mosques. Mosques, as most people know, represent a civilizational stream that has been pronouncedly racist. Not only do most Islamic societies engage in blatant racist practices to this very day, they actually see nothing wrong with it. And yet the self-proclaimed anti-racism protestors voice no complaints in that direction. Do you see the contradiction here?

It is worrisome that so many people do not see through this. This fact is attested by the vast amounts of donations from individuals, organizations and corporations to various racial justice groups and especially Black Lives Matter, the organization under whose auspices the “protests” are conducted. The New York Times ran a piece in June titled “Racial Justice Groups Flooded With Millions in Donations” in which it reported that such groups received 90 million dollars in contributions for their bail funds alone. The bail funds are, of course, used to assist those arrested for widespread violence and criminal destruction of public and private property that has been taking place during these so-called protests.

There are, however, some people who see the truth of the matter. One of them is Ken Blackwell, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. This is what he said: “These folks have an agenda, which is to fundamentally transform America.” Ken Blackwell is correct. The vandals’ objective is not, as so many people assume, to eliminate one form of alleged injustice from our society. Since in the United States and in other Western democracies institutional racism is non-existent (see here, here and here), objections against it cannot be genuine. The intention is not to fix a non-existent problem, but to tear down societies on which this false charge is hoisted. The attack on Christianity is part and parcel of this undertaking.

This project is not confined to the United States. Because it has not been reported in the media, most Americans do not realize that in recent years there have been many attacks on Christian sites in Europe. According to a report  from Gatestone Institute:

“[R]oughly 3,000 Christian churches, schools, cemeteries and monuments were vandalized, looted or defaced in Europe during 2019 — which is on track to becoming a record year for anti-Christian sacrilege on the continent. Violence against Christian sites is most widespread in France, where churches, schools, cemeteries and monuments are being vandalized, desecrated and burned at an average rate of three per day, according to government statistics. In Germany, attacks against Christian churches are occurring at an average rate of two per day, according to police blotters. Attacks on Christian churches and symbols are also commonplace in Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Spain. The attacks overwhelmingly involve Roman Catholic sites and symbols, although in Germany, Protestant churches are also being targeted.”

It can only be expected that such attacks will accelerate – both in Europe and the US – as “anti-racism” protests gain pace. The protestors themselves make their intentions clear as they barely attempt to hide their true motives. In many cases they do not bother to make even tenuous links between their faux cause of “anti-racism” and their attacks on Christianity. In fact, they are surprisingly brazen about their goals. By inscribing slogans such as “God is dead,” and “There is no God” and by drawing anarchist and pagan graffiti on the walls of Christian edifices, these “anti-racism” protesters could not be more clear about what they really want.

Just think about it: What do pagan symbols have to do with the struggle for “racial justice?” Have pagan cultures ever been known for their racial tolerance and equality? Have they ever been known to treat minorities with compassion and understanding? Anyone who knows anything about history knows that there has been little social justice in pagan cultures. As a rule, the way pagan societies treat their minorities is appalling. To express this truth in modern idiom, pagan cultures almost invariably discriminate – often brutally – on the basis of race, gender, national original, disability, sexual orientation and on the basis of whatever else that can make one different from the ruling elite in charge. The only societies that have treated minorities with understanding and compassion have been those arising from the Western civilizational stream. Western societies are the only ones in history in which minorities are given the full measure of human respect and equal rights. As far as we know, there have been no significant social justice movement in pagan societies. This should not surprise, since any would-be activists against oppression in non-Christian cultures usually come to a quick end.

Pagan cultures do not suffer social warriors gladly. The only truly successful social justice movement in the world – one that has won equal rights for all people in certain societies – has been the civilizing influence of Christian culture. It is only after non-western societies come into contact with the West that their minorities can hope for fair treatment and equal rights. Why, then, today’s Western “anti-racist” warriors defile Christian churches with pagan symbols and crass obscenities? The anarchist signs – painted right next to the pagan ones – tell us what they are really after: the toppling of society. Could the message be any more obvious?

The evidence the protestors leave behind unmistakably shows that their desecration of Christian artifacts has nothing to do with concerns about racism. Rather it is an expression of an aversion toward Western civilization of which Christianity has been a great pillar. The incoherent rhetoric and self-contradictory behavior make it plain that it is the subversion of Western culture that is the ultimate goal of today’s “social justice” movement.

Vasko Kohlmayer [send him mail] is a naturalized citizen.

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The Real Target of ‘Anti-Racism’ Protests: Western Civilization, and Its Values – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 17, 2020

There was, however, a jarring incoherence in the whole enterprise. Even though the protests were ostensibly about the supposedly pervasive racism in Britain, they were launched and conducted in the name of George Floyd. The question that arises is this: If you are protesting racism in the UK, why do you do it in the name of a man who had nothing to do with the UK? 

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/08/vasko-kohlmayer/the-real-target-of-anti-racism-protests-western-civilization-and-its-values/

By

That Western civilization is in crisis has been obvious to some people for some time. The dramatic events of recent months in America and Europe have brought home with great vividness and immediacy the seriousness of this crisis. The protests and looting that swept through the United States quickly turned dozens of inner American cities into something akin to bombed out war zones. The surging wave of violence and anarchy, however, was not the only issue of deep concern. Equally alarming was our society’s response to it. Instead of taking measures to reestablish order and the rule of law, our political system malfunctioned at the moment of emergency. Fractious and paralyzed, the political establishment not only failed to implement meaningful measures to take control of the situation, it – unbelievably – tied the hands of the law enforcement, forcing it to stand by as destruction unfolded right before our eyes. Rather than encouraging and empowering the police to fight the unfolding anarchy, the events took a truly bizarre twist when some politicians and public officials began cutting funding for the very bodies and agencies tasked with protection of public order.

It is no exaggeration to say that the protests shook our society to its very foundations. They exposed a number of latent fault lines and further exacerbated those that had been painfully obvious before. The situation suddenly appeared to be so dire that many people began to fear that our nation – and indeed the whole of Western society – may be on the brink of disintegration. These fears may well be justified, since America was not the only country so shaken. Protests of similar natured gripped other Western democracies as well.

Most would now agree that the West is in the throes of an existential crisis. What is not so clear or agreed upon, however, is the nature of the crisis or even what the core issues and problems are. This lack of clarity is disconcerting, because if we cannot accurately identify the cause, we cannot take effective measures to address it. The first step toward understanding the nature of our plight, therefore, is to grasp what these protests were really about, since they obviously represented a violent eruption of the discontent and pathologies that have been festering in the Western psyche and which now threaten to engulf and destroy our societies.

The stated reason for these protests – both in the United States and Europe – was racism, which is said to be the great moral failing of our civilization. In the United States especially, we saw protesters asserting with great vehemence and anger that our society is oppressive toward minorities, particularly black people. But for anyone who knows the situation in the United States there was something fundamentally problematic with these assertions. They just don’t ring true.

Even though it is true that the United States has had a history of racial injustice – as, in fact, almost all countries have – it is most definitely not the case today. In a sincere effort to correct past wrongs, in the last sixty years the United States has undertaken tremendous efforts to assist and uplift its black population. This massive multipronged undertaking has been carried out with great resolution and at tremendous cost. It took the form of financial and material assistance, of various types of reverse discrimination, racial quotas in employment and education, preferential treatment of various kinds, lowering of professional and educational standards for black people and a host of other measures. Most of this was motivated by a genuine desire to improve the lives and situation of African Americans.

After six decades of this we can say with complete confidence that never in history has a power-yielding majority done so much for a racial minority as white Americans have done for black Americans. As the writer Fred Reed put it: “In truth, America has made the greatest effort ever essayed by one race to uplift another. 

The fact is that not only black people have equal rights – individual, civil, legal and political – with whites, but our current societal system is actually biased in favor of racial minorities. If truth be told, blacks in America today enjoy more protections, rights and advantage than white people do. American whites are the only ruling majority that has voluntarily relinquished its hold on power and made blacks the most protected, financially supported and privileged racial minority in history. This much is obvious to any objective observer.

Racism the American way: The 44nd President of the United States with the first lady and the first family

The claim that the United States is a racist society is thus completely at variance with reality. It is simply not true. Read the rest of this entry »

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What the US protests reveal, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on June 11, 2020

As historian Kevin Phillips – Richard Nixon’s electoral adviser – has shown, Anglo-Saxon culture gave rise to three successive civil wars [3] :
- the first English Civil War, known as the “Great Rebellion” (which pitted Lord Cromwell against Charles I 1642-1651);
- the second English Civil War or “War of Independence from the United States” (1775-1783);
- and the Third Anglo-Saxon Civil War or “Civil War” in the United States (1861-1865).

What we are witnessing today could lead to the fourth. This seems to be the view of former Secretary of Defense General Jim Mattis, who recently told The Atlantic that he was concerned about President Trump’s divisive rather than unifying policies.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article210166.html

by Thierry Meyssan

Anti-racism protests in the United States have rapidly evolved into a promotion of the ideas championed by the Democratic Party. It was no longer a question of fighting for equality in law for all or challenging the prejudices of certain police officers, but of reopening a cultural conflict at the risk of a new Civil War.

Protests across the West against racism in the United States are masking the evolution of the conflict there. It has evolved from a questioning of the remnants of black slavery to a conflict that could challenge the integrity of the country.

Last week I pointed out that the United States should have disbanded after the break-up of the Soviet Union to which it was attached. However, the imperialist project (the “Endless War”) led by George W. Bush had made it possible to revive the country after the attacks of September 11, 2001. I also pointed out that in recent decades, the population had moved around a great deal in order to regroup by cultural affinity [1]. Inter-racial marriages were again becoming rare. I concluded that the integrity of the country would be threatened when non-black minorities entered the challenge [2].

This is precisely what we are witnessing today. The conflict is no longer between blacks and whites, since whites have become the majority in some anti-racist demonstrations, Hispanics and Asians have joined the processions, and the Democratic Party is now involved.

Since Bill Clinton’s term in office, the Democratic Party has identified with the process of financial globalization; a position that the Republican Party belatedly supported, without ever fully adopting it. Donald Trump represents a third path: that of the “American dream”, i.e. entrepreneurship as opposed to finance. He got elected by declaring America First! which did not refer to the pro-Nazi isolationist movement of the 1930s as claimed, but to the relocation of jobs as later verified. He was certainly supported by the Republican Party, but remains a “Jacksonian” and not a “conservative” at all.

As historian Kevin Phillips – Richard Nixon’s electoral adviser – has shown, Anglo-Saxon culture gave rise to three successive civil wars [3] :
- the first English Civil War, known as the “Great Rebellion” (which pitted Lord Cromwell against Charles I 1642-1651);
- the second English Civil War or “War of Independence from the United States” (1775-1783);
- and the Third Anglo-Saxon Civil War or “Civil War” in the United States (1861-1865).

What we are witnessing today could lead to the fourth. This seems to be the view of former Secretary of Defense General Jim Mattis, who recently told The Atlantic that he was concerned about President Trump’s divisive rather than unifying policies.

Let us go back to the history of the United States to see where the sides are. Populist President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) vetoed the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) established by Alexander Hamilton, one of the fathers of the Constitution, who favoured federalism because he was violently opposed to democracy. Just as Jackson’s disciple, Donald Trump, is today in opposition to the Fed.

Twenty years after Jackson, came the “Civil War” to which today’s protesters all refer. According to them, it pitted a slave South against a humanist North. The movement that began with a racist news item (the lynching of black George Flyod by a white policeman from Minneapolis) continues today with the destruction of statues of southern generals, including Robert Lee. Actions of this type had already taken place in 2017 [4], but this time they are gaining momentum and governors from the Democratic Party are participating.

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The Democratic Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, announced the removal of a famous statue of General Lee at the request of white protesters. It is no longer a question of fighting racism, but of destroying the symbols of the country’s unity.

However, this narrative does not correspond at all to reality: at the beginning of the Civil War, both sides were slavers, and at the end, both sides were anti-slavers. The end of slavery owes nothing to the abolitionists and everything to the need for both sides to enlist new soldiers.

The Civil War pitted a rich, Catholic, agricultural South against a Protestant, industrial North aspiring to make a fortune. It crystallized around the issue of customs duties which the South believed should be set by the federal states, but which the North intended to abolish between the federal states and have the federal government determine.

Therefore, in debunking the Southern symbols, the current demonstrators are not attacking the remnants of slavery, but denouncing the Southern vision of the Union. It was particularly unfair to attack General Lee, who had put an end to the Civil War by refusing to pursue it with guerrilla warfare from the mountains and by choosing national unity. In any case, these degradations effectively pave the way for a fourth Anglo-Saxon civil war.

Today the notions of South and North no longer correspond to geographical realities: it would rather be Dallas against New York and Los Angeles.

It is not possible to choose the aspects of a country’s history that one considers good and to destroy those that one considers bad without calling into question everything that has been built on it.

In referring to Richard Nixon’s 1968 election slogan, “Law and Order,” President Donald Trump is not trying to preach racist hatred as many commentators claim, but is returning to the thinking of the author of that slogan, Kevin Philipps (quoted above). He still intends to make Andrew Jackson’s thought triumph over Finance by relying on Southern culture and not to cause the disintegration of his country.

President Donald Trump finds himself in the situation Mikhail Gorbachev experienced at the end of the 1980s: his country’s economy – not finance – has been in sharp decline for decades, but his fellow citizens refuse to acknowledge the consequences [5]. The United States can only survive by setting new goals. Such change is particularly difficult in times of recession.

Paradoxically, Donald Trump is clinging to the “American dream” (i.e., the possibility of making a fortune) when US society is stuck, the middle classes are disappearing, and new immigrants are no longer European. At the same time only its opponents (the Fed, Wall Street and Silicon Valley) are proposing a new model, but at the expense of the masses.

The problem of the USSR was different, but the situation was the same. Gorbachev failed and it was dissolved. It would be surprising if the next US president, whoever he may be, succeeded.

Translation
Roger Lagassé

 

 

 

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