Posts Tagged ‘racism’

UN says Trump slur on ‘shithole’ countries is ‘shocking’ and ‘racist’

January 12, 2018

Spokesman Rupert Colville says US president’s comments open the door to ‘humanity’s worst side,’ ‘go against universal values’

From agencies
The Times of Israel

The United Nations on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump’s reported description of African nations and Haiti as “shithole” countries as “shocking and shameful,” and “racist.”

Trump on Thursday questioned why the US would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway in rejecting a bipartisan immigration deal.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that “you cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes.’”

Colville said that the comments, if confirmed, were “shocking and shameful” and “I’m sorry, but there’s no other word one can use but racist.”

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US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on prison reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, January 11, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB)

He also took issue with Trump’s reported suggestion that the United States should welcome immigrants from places like Norway, whose population is overwhelmingly white, instead of from African countries and Haiti.

“The positive comment on Norway makes the underlying sentiment very clear,” Colville said.

He said Trump’s reported comment could endanger lives by potentially fanning xenophobia.

“Like the earlier comments made vilifying Mexicans and Muslims, the policy proposals targeting entire groups on grounds of nationality or religion, and the reluctance to clearly condemn the anti-Semitic and racist actions of the white supremacists in Charlottesville — all of these go against the universal values the world has been striving so hard to establish since World War II and the Holocaust,” he said.

“This is not just a story about vulgar language. It’s about opening the door wider to humanity’s worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and destroy the lives of many people.

“This is perhaps the single most damaging and dangerous consequence of this type of comment by a major political figure,” he added.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-says-trump-slur-on-shithole-countries-is-racist/

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Erdogan Seeks to Mend Turkey-Europe Ties: ‘They Oppose Trump’s Jerusalem Move Just Like Us’

December 28, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he wants to ‘decrease the number of enemies and increase friends,’ pointing to Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium

The Associated Press Dec 28, 2017 12:06 PM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan near Tunis, Tunisia, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan near Tunis, Tunisia, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017 Hassene Dridi/AP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he wants to mend strained ties with several European nations, saying Turkey is forced to “decrease the number of enemies and increase friends.”

In comments published in Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday, Erdogan describes the leaders of Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium as “old friends,” calls recent contacts with them “quite good” and notes that they, like Turkey, oppose a controversial U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“We have no problems with Germany, or with the Netherlands or Belgium,” Erdogan told journalists on his return from a trip to Africa. “On the contrary, those in power there are my old friends. They have wronged me, but that’s another matter.”

Ties frayed after authorities in some European nations prevented Turkish government ministers from holding political rallies to court expat votes ahead of a referendum in Turkey earlier this year over giving Erdogan expanded powers. Erdogan aimed a series of insults at his allies accusing European officials of racism, harboring terrorists and behaving like “Nazis.”

European nations also have balked at the deteriorating state of human rights and democratic institutions in Turkey, especially in the wake of last year’s failed military coup. Erdogan’s government embarked on an unprecedented crackdown on opponents, arresting around 50,000 people and purging more than 110,000 public sector workers. A state of emergency declared after the coup attempt allows Erdogan to rule by decree, often bypassing parliament.

Several German or German-Turkish nationals, including a prominent journalist, have been jailed on terror-related charges as part of the crackdown, further damaging ties with Berlin.

Turkey blames the coup attempt on followers of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. The cleric has denied masterminding it.

Erdogan also said he hopes to visit France and the Vatican in the new year.

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read more: https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/turkey/1.831659

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Bonfire of the academies: Two professors on how leftist intolerance is killing higher education

December 13, 2017
At colleges and universities all over the country, students are protesting in increasingly virulent and sometimes violent ways. They demand safe spaces and trigger warnings, shouting down those with whom they disagree. It has become rote for outsiders to claim that the inmates are running the asylum; that this is analogous to Mao’s Red Guard, Germany’s brown shirts, the French Revolution’s Jacobins; and, when those being attacked are politically “left” themselves, that the Left is eating its own. These stories seem to validate every fantasy the Right ever had about the Left.
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As two professors who recently resigned from positions at a college we loved, and who have always been on the progressive-left end of the political spectrum, we can say that, while none of those characterizations is exactly right, there is truth in each of them.

The Evergreen State College is a public liberal arts college in Olympia, Wash., at the southern tip of Puget Sound, surrounded by water and forests. Being public means it has a socioeconomically diverse student body, which brings a variety of life experiences to campus. It is not an elite college made up primarily of rich kids. It is, rather, an experimental college with a curricular structure that, for both better and worse, is like no other. Most students take full-time 16-credit programs, for up to a full academic year. Instead of hopping from organic chemistry to genetics to art history, students are immersed with others whom they come to know well in full-time, interdisciplinary programs that are often team-taught by faculty. This allows professors to know each student individually, and is particularly well-suited to students with high potential and unusual learning styles.

To give but one example of what was possible at Evergreen, in 2015-16, we team-taught a year-long program called Evolution and Ecology Across Latitudes. It included an intensive, 11-week trip through Ecuador, in which we explored the Amazon, the Andes Mountains, and the Galápagos Islands, and also studied the pre-Colombian peoples of Ecuador — the Inca, Cañari, and Huaorani, to name just a few. We started the year with epistemology, taught statistics, and considered the modern history of Latin America as well. Before our trip, we worked with several of our low-income students to help them get grants so that they could study abroad with us. We were a diverse group in nearly every way.

We were among Evergreen’s most popular faculty, and year in, year out, our students wrote stellar evaluations of us. Our programs were always full, even in a time of falling enrollments. Yet, we work at Evergreen no more. What happened to this brilliant, flawed experiment? There are too many subplots to recount, but here is one thread that, we hope, others can use to spot insurgencies on their own campuses.

In 2015, Evergreen hired a new president. Trained as a sociologist, George Bridges did two things upon arrival. First, he hired an old friend to talk one-on-one to members of our community — faculty, staff, and students. We talked about our values and our visions for the college. But the benefit of hindsight suggests that he was looking for something else. He was mapping us, assessing our differences, our blind spots, and the social tensions that ran beneath the surface. Second, Bridges fired the provost, Michael Zimmerman. The provost, usually synonymous with the vice president for academics, is the chief academic officer at an institution of higher education. Zimmerman would have disapproved of what Bridges had in mind and would have had some power to stop it. But he was replaced by a timid (though well-liked) insider who became a pawn due to his compromised interim status and his desire not to make waves.

Having mapped the faculty and fired the provost, Bridges began reworking the college in earnest. Surprise announcements became the norm as opportunities for discussion dwindled.

The president took aim at what made Evergreen unique, such as full-time programs. He fattened the administration, creating expensive vice president positions at an unprecedented rate, while budgets tightened elsewhere due to drops in student enrollment and disappearing state dollars. He went after Evergreen’s unparalleled faculty autonomy, which was essential to the unique teaching done by the best professors.

All of this should have been alarming to a faculty in which professors have traditionally viewed administrative interference in academic matters with great suspicion. But Bridges was strategic and forged an alliance with factions known to be obsessed with race. He draped the “equity” banner around everything he did. Advocating that Evergreen embrace itself as a “College of Social Justice,” he argued that faculty autonomy unjustly puts the focus on teachers rather than students, and that the new VP for Equity and Inclusion would help us serve our underserved populations. But no discussion was allowed of students who did not meet the narrow criteria of being “underserved.” Because of the wrapping, concerns about policy changes were dismissed as “anti-equity.” What was in the nicely wrapped box turned out to be something else entirely.

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When protesters interrupted the fall 2016 convocation, claiming that “Evergreen cashes diversity checks but doesn’t care about blacks,” Bridges did not let the self-described radicals take over. He might as well have, though, for the next day he apologized for not doing so. “I regret having made this decision,” he wrote, making it clear that, upon reflection, he felt he should have let the protesters dominate and derail the proceedings.

Any parent, or indeed, anyone who has ever mentored someone will recognize that the president’s apology was guaranteed, if not calculated, to embolden the protesters. Put aside for the moment that the grievances being aired — Evergreen is a hotbed of racism! — amount to empty assertions. We have heard no stories that hold up under scrutiny of actual institutional racism at the school. Those who assert that racism is ubiquitous at the college cannot point to it. Even so, assume for the moment that Evergreen did have racism running rampant. Even under those conditions, would apologizing to students for asking them to respect the college and its invited speakers be the right move? Of course not.

What happened next was predictable. Protests became more frequent and intrusive. Protesters showed up at the swearing-in ceremony of the new campus police chief, Stacy Brown, and shut it down. Brown, an officer with impeccable credentials and a good heart, who is herself also an Evergreen graduate, was thus denied the honor she deserved. One faculty member added insult to injury by writing to her to say that police are not wanted on campus. Soon thereafter, protesters showed up at another ceremony, the dedication of a campus building to the last president of Evergreen, Les Purce. Purce happens to be black. Protesters grabbed the microphone and read an epithet-rich announcement claiming that the school is “unsafe for marginalized students.” The current president stood in the background, silent and limp.

Meanwhile, the “Equity Council” that Bridges had appointed and empowered shifted into high gear. It produced a document laden with proposals that tear at the foundations of a liberal arts college. It recommended, for example, using “diversity and equity in the criteria for prioritizing faculty hires.” As is clear from the minutes of the council’s meetings, this goes well beyond affirmative action, which is itself illegal in the state of Washington. Taken to its logical conclusion, this policy would mean hiring no more artists, or chemists, or writing faculty, or any faculty, really, unless their research or training could be defended on the grounds of “equity.” That would spell the end of the liberal arts college.

In Nov. 2016, the Equity Council held the “canoe meeting.” Remarkably, as with so much of the history we are laying out here, this meeting was captured, and the whole episode is available for viewing online. It has to be seen to be believed. Ostensibly, the meeting was called to discuss the adoption of a Strategic Equity Plan. But the contents of the 38-page plan were not discussed. Instead, there was a celebration, with much hand-wringing and some tears, of just two pages of the plan devoted to its goals. These were nothing more than a string of platitudes about helping historically disadvantaged people in order to put all graduates on an equal footing. There was no debate or discussion about how this incredible feat was to be accomplished. There was no time given to objections. After all, who could possibly object? The audience was told that there was a binary choice between being allies of the plan or becoming enemies, and that regardless of anyone’s opinion, “we’re going to do it.”

And then came the canoe. First, senior administrators were called by name, invited to walk down to the stage, and to step into a large and imaginary canoe. Then, everyone in the room was invited to come aboard, en masse. Finally, everyone walked in a line, as if in a canoe, out of the building together, on a fantastical voyage toward campus equity. An Indian drum beat and the recorded sound of crashing surf were in the background.

Afterward, Evergreen’s email system echoed to the virtuous cry of “I’m in the canoe!” Bret, who had refused to climb aboard, wrote and circulated his dissent, suggesting that what was happening at the college amounted to a campaign of intimidation. Dissent was impossible. He added that he did not believe the plan would benefit students of color, now or in the future. The email responses were disheartening. One colleague wrote that “white people … cannot dictate the terms of this conversation.” Another emailed that “there are multiple versions of ‘truth’ that exist at once.” Still another wrote: “If our students are telling us … that they are experiencing a hostile environment, we must take our students at their word.”

That is the sound of inquiry and due process dying.

At the beginning of this year, true believers in faux-equity intensified their campaign. Evergreen was, remarkably, compared to Little Rock in 1957. At faculty meetings, Bret was publicly denounced as a racist for repeatedly and fruitlessly asking that the plan be discussed thoroughly. Heather was on sabbatical, engaging far less with the goings-on on campus.

In April, the event that nominally brought Evergreen to national attention arrived. Historically on campus, a day in April has been chosen as a “Day of Absence,” on which some people of color chose to absent themselves from campus to demonstrate their important roles at the college. This year, the organizers decided that the process should be reversed, and white people were “asked” to leave the campus for the day. When Bret respectfully challenged the invitation to absent himself over email, the blowback from faculty and staff was telling. One wrote, “I love imagining students, staff and colleagues of color having the campus to themselves to do their work.” Another commented, “By switching the Day of Absence programming, we are physically moving our bodies so that people of color can be centered for ONE DAY on campus.” Yet another wrote: “I feel strongly about honoring the call for white-identified people to absent themselves from campus.” The interim provost had already sent an email saying “This expanded programming and call for even broader participation in both Day of Presence and Day of Absence also mean faculty will need to make adjustments to teaching and associated classroom scheduling.” Many faculty committed long in advance to require students to participate.

If this is an ask, we don’t want to see a tell.

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Weeks later, on the morning of May 23, an unruly group of students disrupted Bret’s class, yelled and chanted at him, barred the police from entering the scene, and then went to hold court with the college administration. Many of the protesters did not even know what they had been asked to come protest. Students acted badly, and then stupidly, taking video and posting it for the whole world to see. But it was not the students who were the driving force behind this disruption. They were, rather, empowered and encouraged by bad decisions by the administration, and by the faux-equity cabal, represented by a minority of faculty and staff.

These faculty members and their accomplices in the administration are primarily at fault. They are the adults. At an institution of higher education, it is the faculty’s job to teach, not to preach; to educate, not indoctrinate. Some of the students who became protesters will be paying off their loans for years, and for what? They were let down by an institution that imposed and nurtured grievance and propaganda rather than educating and conferring knowledge. Evergreen handed them temporary power, an intoxicating thing, instead of establishing boundaries and legitimately empowering them with insight and wisdom.

Later that afternoon, hundreds of people, mostly students, held a forum in a fourth floor room. The entry, a long hallway, was entirely controlled by protesters who had been emboldened by the successes of their disruptions earlier in the day. The college administration had promised that it would “train” faculty, and the campus police chief had been ordered to attend the forum unarmed, an important symbolic victory for a movement that advocates an end to police presence on campus with the acronym ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards). Bret attended, as did many of his students. Two of his students, neither of them white, attempted to defend him to the angry crowd. They were shouted down. Not following the faux-equity party line meant that you would be informed that you were wrong, that you were a traitor, and that you needed to change.

The meeting was decidedly threatening and unsafe. While it was going on, some of Bret’s students texted him from other points in the room to tell him that protesters were hiding mace, and discussing not letting him leave. He texted Heather, in case he found himself a hostage: “I am told I will not be allowed to leave.” “Not sure what to do.”

At that moment, Heather was holding our two sons close to her at home. By coincidence, it was also the moment when a giant maple in our backyard cracked in half, and fell, crashing into another tree and landing suspended, where it would hang for months. The silence that followed was deafening. It seemed that our world was shifting. The protesters might detain Bret, the police chief had been disarmed, and nobody with authority was stepping up.

These protests at Evergreen were not like protests many readers will remember from their own college days. Nor were they like the ones we had participated in ourselves. Both of us protested as college students before the first Gulf War, and again after the bailouts that followed the 2008 financial collapse with the Occupy movement. It was heady stuff, but it never approached violence. And, agree with us or not, we were objecting to policy, not claims of bias that are immune to scrutiny. This was different.

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The protesters did let Bret leave, but they assigned “handlers” to him and his students. And although Bret was able to have a productive, if tense, dialogue with protesters in small groups, the leaders inevitably intervened to stop such off-script activity.

By the next day, any gains were lost. Protesters stormed the last faculty meeting of the year, where newly emeritus faculty members were being lauded. They took over the meeting, stole a celebratory retirement cake, and said things like “Didn’t you educate us on how to do shit like this?”

The radicals blockaded the library, trapping employees and students inside, frightening several. One faculty member who had participated with the students in shutting down the faculty meeting held court outside the library, telling two faculty colleagues that “you are now those motherfuckers that we’re pushing against.” She told them to “go inside and listen to the students … or take your ass home … Two options: Go inside, go home.”

The protesters subjugated and humiliated everyone who did not fall into line. When they ordered the college president to stop gesticulating with his hands, on account of the presumably aggressive nature of his hand gestures, he promptly did so. When they insisted that he have an escort to use the bathroom, he acquiesced. They hurled obscenities and insults at him and others.

That evening, the same faculty member who had been issuing peremptory commands outside the library wrote to the campus community to say how proud she was of the protesters, and to reinforce an earlier thought from one of the radicals. “They are doing exactly what we’ve taught them today,” she wrote. What do you suppose the response to this email was? Horror, shock, quiet distaste? In some circles, yes, but the only people who responded publicly wrote to thank her.

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On Thursday of that week, May 25, Bret and his students held class off campus, for their safety. Some of his students had been followed, harassed, doxxed. A day earlier, protesters had scoured the campus looking in cars for “an individual” whom Brown, the police chief, believed to be Bret. On Thursday, while biking past campus to get to town, Bret watched people recognize him and dive for their phones. Uncertain whether he was being paranoid, he diverted to the campus police station. Brown told him that he needed to get off campus immediately, and off his bike, too, indefinitely. He was too easy a target on his bike, and the police couldn’t protect him, as they had been ordered to stand down. In practice, that meant the police were locked in the police station.

At the same moment, the interim provost sent an email to all staff and faculty claiming he had not felt threatened on campus that week, but that if others had, they should find time to “come talk to me or an academic dean in person.” Heather wrote back to the list, suggesting that the administration was obscuring the truth, and that there was a public safety problem on campus. On social media, the same faculty member who had celebrated the radicals’ behavior responded by suggesting that “some white women come collect Heather Heying’s racist ass.”

Later that day, a sign on the locked door of the police station read, “Police Department is Closed. Call 911 in case of an Emergency.” We went with Bret’s class to the Capitol, where we spoke with the governor’s advisers on higher education and civil rights. We told them that the campus had descended into a state of anarchy, and that we needed help. Help never arrived.

As one faculty emeritus wrote during the chaos, “What is screamingly strange about the charges of racism … is that never are we given specific examples.” Nobody denies that racism exists. But our school was being likened to the battlegrounds of the civil rights movement, despite a failure to produce any examples. When one wondered why, another clause in the activist script became apparent: Asking for evidence of racism is itself evidence of racism.

On May 26, Friday morning, Fox News called. It was Tucker Carlson’s producer. The show was going to run a segment on Evergreen that night. Did Bret want to be part of it? No, he didn’t want to. But he felt he needed to. Fox was, at that point, the only member of the national news media that had shown up. YouTube was on fire with videos that protesters had posted, but most journalists were staying away, presumably because the story didn’t fit comfortable, mainstream narratives.

Two notable things happened after Bret went on Fox. One was that a substantial minority of our colleagues at Evergreen called for a “disciplinary investigation” against him. Why? Apparently, people on the Left aren’t allowed to talk to those on the Right. It is against the rules. Prohibitions against talking to “the other side” widens the intellectual fissure opening up in our society. It creates the very silos we are warned against. By speaking to others, Bret was breaking rank, and so treated like a deserter, or traitor. One thing we know is that when you’re being told by your antagonists who you’re not supposed to talk to, it’s probably a good indicator of who you should be talking to.

The other thing that happened after Bret went on Fox was that well over 1,000 viewers wrote to him. A couple of emails came from white nationalists, people perhaps similar to the New Jersey man who later phoned in a threat to the college, which shut the campus down for two days. Another email was a nasty piece of anti-Semitic hatred. But the overwhelming majority were supportive and eloquent. The writers were from across all known fault lines — socioeconomic class, race, national origin, location on the political spectrum. There were letters from First Nations people, high school students and university faculty, Evergreen students and alums, a man building a school in Uganda. And the thing that unites them is their call to stand strong. They say: Do not back down. And: At this moment, I am so glad to have respect for someone with whom I might politically disagree.

Doesn’t that sound like an antidote to the polarization that has gripped the body politic? An ability to reach out across prejudice and talk to people? To respect those with whom we do not share identical core beliefs?

Brown, the police chief, resigned in August, telling us that she had been given all of the responsibility, but none of the authority, to keep people safe on campus. Zimmerman, the ousted provost, testified in a congressional hearing to both the value of a liberal arts education, and to the madness occurring on campuses. We were told, during mediation with the college at the very end of summer, that the college was quite pleased with the direction it was going, and that there would be no veering from the course that we continue to regard as disastrous. We suggested that we could help change Evergreen’s reputation as a laughingstock to that of a beacon of hope, of viewpoint diversity and actual civil rights, in an ever bleaker higher education landscape. The college wanted no part of it.

We asked for leave, and were denied it. The college made it clear that they wanted us gone permanently. And so, in shock, feeling betrayed, heartbroken and livid, we left. We settled with the college for half a million dollars — about two years’ joint salary after our legal fees — a small price for two tenured professorships. Grief takes many forms, and we feel it, but we also feel that we were paid to leave a burning building. Unfortunately, we can do nothing for our many friends — students, staff, and faculty — still stuck on the inside.

The story goes on and on and on. There are so many threads and subplots that it feels dishonest to tell any version without all of them, but we must.

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Hateful white nationalists comprise a tiny but exceedingly loud minority of people on the Right. The analogous group on the Left is the virulent social justice crowd. Those who would have us destroy Martin Luther King’s dream comprise a small but disproportionately loud minority of people on the Left. Also, we would argue that “Right” and “Left” make little sense in either of these contexts. Both fringe groups, extremists wherever they are found, are more accurately described as authoritarian.

We come from the Left, and our values and worldview have not changed. But our understanding of the landscape has, as has our understanding of who is most likely to be interested in pursuing democratic goals through democratic means. A democratic system needs intelligent dissent, which means that it must create and protect the conditions in which people can learn how to think critically, and how to critique ideas and proposals. Those are longstanding values on the Left, but today, they are hanging by a thread.

At Evergreen, a small fraction of students was the face of the protests, some even going so far as to patrol campus with baseball bats, threatening people, and vandalizing property. But the vast majority of students were not part of the protests. Some were yelled at, insulted, assaulted, even battered. Some left the school. Some graduated. Some are keeping their heads down, angry and scared, until they, too, graduate, while they wonder why their experiences are apparently of no interest to the college administration.

What of Martin Luther King’s dream? Why are we being advised by the social justice crowd that we shall not focus on the content of our character, but instead must focus primarily on the color of our skin (and our gender identification, sexual orientation, and various other signifiers of intersectional oppression)? This would be MLK’s nightmare. Why is it being handed a megaphone?

We are honored to be part of the nascent Coalition for Free Speech and Civil Rights, spearheaded by 1960s-era civil rights activist Bob Woodson. At a meeting this fall in Washington, Pastor Darryl Webster, who runs an organization that helps men integrate with family and community, made clear an important distinction in these discussions. There are those who would have us concentrate on historical and current inequities that provide people different leverage in life; and there are those who argue, no matter what hand you were dealt, to look forward, and make the most of your cards. The distinction is an important one as the conversation moves forward.

Left and Right historically disagree on the extent of current inequities in the system, and on the wisdom of solution making. Those on the Left tend to focus on the inequities in the system; those on the Right tend to argue for personal responsibility. The Left tends to see structural unfairness, and is inclined to intervene. The Right tends to see a landscape of opportunity, and fears the unintended consequences of new initiatives. Both positions have merit and, despite the frequent tenor of conversations between factions, they are not mutually exclusive. Wisdom is likely to emerge from the tension between these worldviews, uniting good people around the value of a fair system that fosters self-reliance as it distributes opportunity as broadly as possible.

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So, is this present uprising Maoist? Are the inmates running the asylum? Has the extreme Left gone off the deep end? A bit, a bit. But with apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien, we offer a different analogy: One script to rule them all, One script to find them, One script to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

For today’s social justice warriors, only one narrative shall be allowed. It is unquestionable. Those who dissent are guilty. The “equity and inclusion” movement, cloaked in words that sound benevolent and honorable, is a bludgeon. To the outside world, Evergreen’s implosion looked like a student-motivated response to conditions on the inside. But the terrible conditions don’t really exist, and the real power dynamics, between administrators and faculty, were obscured by a narrative constructed to make resistance impossible.

The script showed up at our public, liberal arts college, and we, the evolutionary biologists, are now gone. It showed up at Duke Divinity School, and Paul Griffiths, a Catholic theologian, has resigned after being vilified for questioning training in racial equity. His words are to the point: “Events of this sort are definitively anti-intellectual. (Re)trainings of intellectuals by bureaucrats and apparatchiks have a long and ignoble history; I hope you’ll keep that history in mind as you think about this instance.”

Includes videos:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/bonfire-of-the-academies-two-professors-on-how-leftist-intolerance-is-killing-higher-education/article/2642973

Racism, Protests, Magazine Political Correctness, Higher Education, Race and Diversity, Freedom of Speech,Fox News, College, Education ,News ,Politics

Also read: Harvard vs. Hillsdale: It’s cultural suicide to sic Washington on the Left’s institutions

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FBI report on black ‘extremists’ raises new monitoring fears

November 18, 2017

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Jeff Sessions

WASHINGTON (AP) — An FBI report on the rise of black “extremists” is stirring fears of a return to practices used during the civil rights movement, when the bureau spied on activist groups without evidence they had broken any laws.

The FBI said it doesn’t target specific groups, and the report is one of many its intelligence analysts produce to make law enforcement aware of what they see as emerging trends. A similar bulletin on white supremacists, for example, came out about the same time.

The 12-page report, issued in August, says “black identity extremists” are increasingly targeting law enforcement after police killings of black men, especially since the shooting of Michael Brown roiled Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. The report describes cases in which “extremists” had “acted in retaliation for perceived past police brutality incidents.” It warned that such violence was likely to continue.

Black leaders and activists were outraged after Foreign Policy revealed the existence of the report last month. The Congressional Black Caucus, in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, said the report “conflates black political activists with dangerous domestic terrorist organizations” and would further erode the frayed relationship between police and minority communities.

“I have never met a black extremist. I don’t know what the FBI is talking about,” said Chris Phillips, a filmmaker in Ferguson.

Before the Trump administration, the report might not have caused such alarm. The FBI noted it issued a similar bulletin warning of retaliatory violence by “black separatist extremists” in March 2016, when the country had a black president, Barack Obama, and black attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

But black voters overwhelmingly opposed Donald Trump. And they are suspicious of his administration, which has been criticized as insensitive on racial issues, including when Trump was slow to condemn white nationalist protesters following a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former Alabama senator whose career has been dogged by questions about race and his commitment to civil rights, did not ease lawmakers’ concerns when he was unable to answer questions about the report or its origins during a congressional hearing this past week.

Sessions said he was aware of “groups that do have an extraordinary commitment to their racial identity, and some have transformed themselves even into violent activists.” He struggled to answer the same question about white extremists.

It wouldn’t be unusual for an attorney general not to have seen such an FBI assessment, which the FBI creates on its own to circulate internally among law enforcement agencies. But the exchange with Rep. Karen Bass, a Los Angeles Democrat, presented an uncomfortable moment.

“What worries me about this terribly is that this is that it is a flashback to the past,” Bass said after the hearing. She said she was especially concerned after receiving complaints from members of Black Lives Matter, who said they were being monitored and harassed by police in her district.

The group rallies after racially charged encounters with police, but it is not mentioned in the FBI’s intelligence assessment. Even so, Bass said she worried the report will send a message to police that it’s OK to crack down on groups critical of law enforcement.

The FBI does not comment on its intelligence bulletins, which usually are not public. In a statement, the FBI said it cannot and will not open an investigation based solely on a person’s race or exercise of free speech rights.

“Our focus is not on membership in particular groups but on individuals who commit violence and other criminal acts,” the FBI said. “Furthermore, the FBI does not and will not police ideology. When an individual takes violent action based on belief or ideology and breaks the law, the FBI will enforce the rule of law.”

The assessments are designed to help law enforcement agencies stay ahead of emerging problems and should not be seen as a sign of a broader enforcement strategy, said Jeffrey Ringel, a former FBI agent and Joint Terrorism Task force member who now works for the Soufan Group, a private security firm. Agencies can decide for themselves whether the assessment reflects a real problem, he said.

Still, some veterans of the black and Latino civil rights movement said the FBI assessment reminded them of the bureau’s now-defunct COINTELPRO, a covert and often illegal operation under Director J. Edgar Hoover in the 1950s and 1960s. Agents were assigned to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalists,” Hoover said in a once-classified memo to field agents.

David Correia, an American Studies professor at the University of New Mexico, said the new memo carries a similar message.

“It’s part of their playbook,” he said. “They try to characterize legitimate concerns about something like police violence as somehow a danger so they can disrupt protests.” The FBI used a similar tactic to try to cause confusion among New Mexico Hispanic land grant activists in the 1960s, he said.

The cases listed in the new bulletin include that of a sniper who said he was upset about police treatment of minorities before killing five officers during a protest in Dallas, and a man who wrote of the need to inflict violence on “bad cops” before killing three in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In each of the cases, the FBI alleges the suspects were connected to radical ideologies linked to black nationalism.

Phillips, who is set to release a film about the shooting of Brown and its aftermath, said if the FBI were really worried about unrest, it should turn its focus to the concerns of the people “who are protesting in the streets” instead of targeting people who face discrimination daily.

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Contreras reported from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Follow Sadie Gurman at http://twitter.com/sgurman and Russell Contreras at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

 

Black Americans Need Bourgeois Norms — Higher Ed’s Latest Taboo Is ‘Bourgeois Norms’

October 12, 2017

Frederick Douglass would have agreed with Amy Wax.

This summer, law professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander caused a stir with an op-ed lamenting the decline of what they called “bourgeois norms.” “All cultures are not equal,” they rightly observed. Those that encourage self-restraint, delayed gratification, marriage and a strong work ethic tend to thrive. Those that tolerate or excuse substance abuse, out-of-wedlock pregnancy and dropping out tend to break down.

Frederick Douglass, circa 1866.
Frederick Douglass, circa 1866. PHOTO: THE GRANGER COLLECTION

Ms. Wax and Mr. Alexander were instantly accused of racism by the growing army of angry academics who police the prevailing narrative of black victimhood. According to this narrative, black progress is determined not by personal choices and individual behavior, but by white supremacy, America’s history of slavery and discrimination, and institutional racism. Touting “bourgeois values” is interpreted as an offense against authentic black culture.

The assumptions underlying this narrative bring to mind Frederick Douglass’s description of slaveholding whites, some of whom gave their slaves time off between Christmas and New Year’s Day—and enough alcohol to keep them drunk the whole time. “Many of us were led to think that there was little to choose between liberty and slavery,” Douglass wrote. “We had almost as well be slaves to man as to rum.” When the holidays ended, the hung over slaves happily returned to the fields, desperate to get away “from what our master had deceived us into a belief was freedom.”

According to Douglass, some slaves chose not to spend their holidays drunk, but to engage instead in constructive activities like visiting family, hiring themselves out, or engaging in recreation. Even under slavery, the differences in culture and behavior celebrated by Ms. Wax and Mr. Alexander had potency for blacks. Nothing was more of a threat to the whole rotten institution than a self-disciplined slave who walked with dignity in the face of mistreatment.

A better life has always been available to those who reject undisciplined and irresponsible behavior, and embrace self-determination and personal responsibility. So-called bourgeois values have always empowered blacks to persevere and overcome bitter oppression. They provided the moral “glue” that held the black community together during the hardest of times.

The life-affirming values that enabled Douglass and others to survive retain their potency in the 21st century. Hundreds of examples of achievement against the odds prove this point. In cities around the country, activists like Bertha Gilkey have ousted drug dealers from public housing projects, transformed their communities, and sent hundreds of young people to college. Neighborhood moral mentors and character coaches from Washington, D.C., to Milwaukee have changed the behavior, attitudes and life trajectories of once-violent gang members.

Today, the race grievance industry declares that what constitutes “normal” for blacks is different than what constitutes “normal” for whites. In the same way, 19th-century slaveholders assumed that idle drunkenness was the hallmark of authentic black culture.

Mr. Woodson is founder and president of the Woodson Center.

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We at Peace and Freedom have long admired Frederick Douglass.
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Higher Ed’s Latest Taboo Is ‘Bourgeois Norms’

  
An op-ed praising 1950s values provokes another campus meltdown— from the deans on down.

By Heather Mac Donald
The Wall Street Journal
Sept. 18, 2017 6:46 p.m. ET

To the list of forbidden ideas on American college campuses, add “bourgeois norms”—hard work, self-discipline, marriage and respect for authority. Last month, two law professors published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for a revival of the “cultural script” that prevailed in the 1950s and still does among affluent Americans: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. . . . Eschew substance abuse and crime.” The weakening of these traditional norms has contributed to today’s low rates of workforce participation, lagging educational levels and widespread opioid abuse, the professors argued.

The op-ed triggered an immediate uproar at the University of Pennsylvania, where one of its authors, Amy Wax, teaches. The dean of the Penn law school, Ted Ruger, published an op-ed in the student newspaper noting the “contemporaneous occurrence” of the op-ed and a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and suggesting that Ms. Wax’s views were “divisive, even noxious.” Half of Ms. Wax’s law-faculty colleagues signed an open letter denouncing her piece and calling on students to report any “bias or stereotype” they encounter “at Penn Law ” (e.g., in Ms. Wax’s classroom). Student and alumni petitions poured forth accusing Ms. Wax of white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia and demanding that she be banned from teaching first-year law classes.

Ms. Wax’s co-author, Larry Alexander, teaches at the University of San Diego, a Catholic institution. USD seemed to be taking the piece in stride—until last week. The dean of USD’s law school, Stephen Ferruolo, issued a schoolwide memo repudiating Mr. Alexander’s article and pledging new measures to compensate “vulnerable, marginalized” students for the “racial discrimination and cultural subordination” they experience.

USD’s response is more significant than Penn’s, because it is more surprising. While USD has embraced a “social justice” mission in recent decades, the law school itself has been less politicized. It has one of the highest proportions of nonleftist professors in the country—about a quarter of the faculty. Mr. Ferruolo, a corporate lawyer with strong ties to the biotech industry, presented himself until recently as mildly conservative. If USD is willing to match Penn’s hysterical response to the Wax-Alexander op-ed, is there any educational institution remaining that will defend its faculty members against false accusations of racism should they dissent from orthodoxy?

Two aspects of the op-ed have generated the most outrage. Ms. Wax and Mr. Alexander observed that cultures are not all “equal in preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy.” Their critics pounced on this statement as a bigoted, hate-filled violation of the multicultural et hic. In his response, Penn’s Dean Ruger proclaimed that “as a scholar and educator I reject emphatically any claim that a single cultural tradition is better than all others.” But that wasn’t the claim the authors were making. Rather, they argued that bourgeois culture is better than underclass culture—specifically, “the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-‘acting white’ rap culture of inner-city blacks.” The authors’ criticism of white underclass behavior has been universally suppressed in the stampede to accuse them of “white supremacy.”

The op-ed’s other offense was extolling the 1950s for that decade’s embrace of bourgeois virtues. “Nostalgia for the 1950s breezes over the truth of inequality and exclusion,” five Penn faculty assert in yet another op-ed for the student newspaper. In fact, Mr. Alexander and Ms. Wax expressly acknowledged that era’s “racial discrimination, limited sex roles, and pockets of anti-Semitism.”

None of the professors’ high-placed critics have engaged with any of their arguments. Mr. Ferruolo’s schoolwide letter was one of the worst examples. The dean simply announced that Mr. Alexander’s “views” were not “representative of the views of our law school community” and suggested that they were insensitive to “many students” who feel “vulnerable, marginalized or fearful that they are not welcomed.” He did not raise any specific objections to Mr. Alexander’s arguments, or even reveal what the arguments were.

Instead, he promised more classes, speakers and workshops on racism; more training on racial sensitivity; and a new committee to devise further diversity measures. Stronger racial preferences will most certainly follow. The implication of this bureaucratic outpouring is that the law-school faculty is full of bigots. In reality, Mr. Alexander and his colleagues are among the most tolerant people in human history, and every University of San Diego law student is among the most privileged—simply by virtue of being at an institution with such unfettered intellectual resources. The failure of administrators like Mr. Ferruolo to answer delusional student narcissism with obvious truth is an abdication of their responsibility to lead students toward an adult understanding of reality.

What are university administrators and faculty so afraid of? The Wax-Alexander op-ed confronted important issues responsibly and with solid grounding in social-science research. Each of these administrative capitulations sends a message to professors not to challenge the reigning ideology. The result is an ever more monolithic intellectual environment on American campuses, where behavioral analyses of social problems may not even be whispered. What happens to America if those banned ideas turn out to be true?

Ms. Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “The War on Cops” (Encounter, 2016).

Israelis Express Worry Over Rise of Germany’s Far Right AfD

September 25, 2017
BY LAHAV HARKOV
 SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 13:02

Jerusalem Post

Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick calls to reach out to AfD Party.

A demonstrator protests against anti-immigration party Alternative fuer Deutschland in Germany

A demonstrator protests against anti-immigration party Alternative fuer Deutschland in Germany. (photo credit:HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)

Israeli opposition lawmakers expressed concern over the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which came in third place in Sunday’s German election.

The far-right has not been represented in the two houses of Germany’s legislature since the 1950s

Israel-Germany Parliamentary Friendship Group chairman MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) said he respects the results of Germany’s democratic election, but sees them as a warning sign.

“The rising strength of the extreme Right in Germany teaches us about a growing, dangerous atmosphere. Xenophobia, racism and extremism are conquering a significant portion of the German public, and prove that the democratic layer is fragile and vulnerable,” Shai stated.

Shai added that Merkel, whom he called one of Israel’s greatest friends in the world, must spend the coming term examining the change in her country and blocking its rightward drift.

Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni expressed confidence that “just as [Merkel] knew to courageously stand up for her values, she will also know how to deal with the worrying rise of the extreme, antisemitic Right.”

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid tweeted congratulations to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her election to a fourth term in office, but added in Hebrew: “An important challenge stands before Germany: To eradicate the strengthening extreme right in their land.”

Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz tweeted in German that “this election is a bad day for Germany democracy, with the entry of xenophobes and open antisemites into the Bundestag.”

MK Dov Henin of the Joint List, who has identified as a communist, said, “The ugly wave of the racist, antisemitic and Islamophobic Right is growing in the whole world and is an expression of a deep crisis in the system. The answer cannot be rallying around a disappointing social order; rather, an alternative of real change in the other direction.”

Likud MK Yehudah Glick courted controversy by saying that the AfD is not as bad as opposition lawmakers have said.

“All those panicking over the election of a right-wing party in Germany should know that Frauke Petry, who stands at the head of the party, is working intensively to remove any suspicion of antisemitism from the party,” Glick tweeted.

Petry, the party’s co-chairperson, said soon after the election that she will not join the AfD faction in the Bundestag.

Glick followed up the tweet by saying that he is concerned that there are “Nazi elements” in Germany, and that racism towards any minority, including Muslims, must be combatted. In addition, he said he was not congratulating the AfD, just commenting on the “panic” over them. Petry, he said, has visited Israel and Yad Vashem and opposes racism and antisemitism.

“Whoever thinks all evil is on the Right and the whole Right is evil, is wrong. There are moderates on the Right like Petry, and there are things that are no less disconcerting in the other parties… including Merkel’s party’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Remember the [German] foreign minister’s preference of Breaking the Silence over our prime minister? Remember the speech by the head of the Socialist Party, Martin Schulz, in the Knesset, when he said Israel steals water from the Palestinians?” Glick wrote.

The Likud MK argued that Israel should seek ties with positive factors in all parties and combat negative factors in all parties.

According to Glick, “The growth of the Right throughout Europe comes from deep concerns of many Europeans over a radical Islamic takeover of Europe. Whoever thinks this is an unfounded concern is mistaken. Translating that into racism is worrying.”

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Is The U.S. Moving Toward A New Civil War? — Pandora’s box

August 29, 2017

From Zero Hedge

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces ) via SHTFplan.com,

At the rate things are going, a full-blown civil war appears to be materializing. 

Colin Kaepernick began it all with “taking a knee” in protest of the National Anthem. 

Fast-forward one year later, and read this, released by Yahoo Sports for just how far it has gone:

“The Colin Kaepernick story has gotten seemingly endless attention because its reach goes far beyond football.

A pretty good reminder of that came Saturday afternoon in New York City, which is far removed from Kaepernick’s former NFL home of San Francisco. At a rally in Brooklyn, dozens of current and former New York police officers wore shirts that said “#WeStandWithKap” and at the end of the rally they took a knee and raised their fistaccording to the New York Daily News.

Kaepernick became a household name when he took a knee for the national anthem last season to bring attention to racial injustice, including police brutality. It also appears to be one reason he has not been signed by any NFL team this offseason.

The police officers noted to the Daily News that they were speaking out against their belief that NFL teams aren’t signing Kaepernick as punishment for his protest.

“What Colin Kaepernick did is try to bring awareness that this nation unfortunately has ignored for far too long,” said NYPD Sgt. Edwin Raymond, an organizer of the rally, according to the Daily News. “And that’s the issue of racism in America and policing in America. We decided to gather here today because of the way he’s being railroaded for speaking the obvious truth.”

So, now the New York City Police Department weighs in on this.  They claim Kaepernick is being “railroaded,” eh?  Funny: He didn’t do it the year he went to the Super Bowl with the 49ers and a billion people were watching.  He didn’t stand for anything then, and he stands for nothing now.  That flag and that anthem represent something…and many died to keep the nation flying that flag and playing that anthem intact.  The sad irony of rights under the Constitution is that Kaepernick has the right to protest…a right that was enabled for him to exercise by his betters.  Look up the pictures of him and his buddies holding up automatic rifles, standing for nothing except themselves: perfect symbols of a decayed society and a dying empire.

The country is committing suicide as we speak.  The push for revision and redaction in all the history books has been on for some time.  Now we’re seeing actual mobs of demonstrators surrounding these historical statues.  The push is on.  On August 19, demonstrators in Detroit gathered to protest and demand removal of a statue of Christopher Columbus.  In all the major cities, the push to remove these statues along with protests continues.

It’s not going to stop here.  Now that Bannon is gone, a letter was sent to the President by more than a dozen conservative groups asking for him to not move toward a more moderate stance.  Indeed, over the weekend he “Tweeted” the Boston Police Department commending them on the way they handled the protests there.  The President has also adopted this “wishy-washy” stance of “we all need to heal the wounds” in the U.S., as if any of these protests had any relevance to any injustices happening today.

Seriously, this is all out of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”  Go back and review the Glenn Beck programs of 2012-2014…when he presented some very good information on the Weather Underground (particularly Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers), as well as Cloward and Piven, and all the “outstanding” work by Van Jones to topple the system.  I’m not a personal fan of Beck’s, but back then he used to have very comprehensive layouts that were easily referenced and noted that concerned these Marxists and Communists marching under the banner and guise of “social justice.”  All that stuff that Van Jones had planned back then, with funding from Acorn and George Soros…it is manifesting itself here and now.

There is a civil war coming, as it is the domestic initiative that must be pursued to bring the United States down to the canvas…rendering her ineffective when the foreign initiative…an attack comes…to give the final count.  In both battles, nobody will be able to retreat to a neutral corner.  If the U.S. stays intact, then the NWO loses, and vice-versa.  These protestors (paid and genuine) are but a sampling of the platter to be served…a buffet right out of Pandora’s box.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-28/full-blown-civil-war-materializing-nobody-will-be-able-retreat-neutral-corner

Steve Bannon’s Revenge — And Why the Left Can’t Let Go of Racism

August 29, 2017

The anti-Trump response seems bent on outdoing the president’s excesses.

 Image result for Steve Bannon, photos

Aug. 28, 2017 6:55 p.m. ET

When Steve Bannon phoned an editor at the American Prospect and unloaded on his White House colleagues, he effectively issued his own pink slip. His offense was particularly egregious because it came right after the president had brought in a new chief of staff to end West Wing behavior like Mr. Bannon’s.

But on his way out Mr. Bannon said something interesting. “The Democrats,” he told Robert Kuttner, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is…

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Why the Left Can’t Let Go of Racism
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Liberals sell innocence from America’s past. If bigotry is pronounced dead, the racket is over.

At a protest in Lancaster, Pa., May 20.
At a protest in Lancaster, Pa., May 20. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Is America racist? It used to be that racism meant the actual enforcement of bigotry—the routine implementation of racial inequality everywhere in public and private life. Racism was a tyranny and an oppression that dehumanized—animalized—the “other.” It was a social malignancy, yet it carried the authority of natural law, as if God himself had dispassionately ordained it.

Today Americans know that active racism is no longer the greatest barrier to black and minority advancement. Since the 1960s other pathologies, even if originally generated by racism, have supplanted it. White racism did not shoot more than 4,000 people last year in Chicago. To the contrary, America for decades now—with much genuine remorse—has been recoiling from the practice of racism and has gained a firm intolerance for what it once indulged.

But Americans don’t really trust the truth of this. It sounds too self-exonerating. Talk of “structural” and “systemic” racism conditions people to think of it as inexorable, predestined. So even if bigotry and discrimination have lost much of their menace, Americans nevertheless yearn to know whether or not we are a racist people.

A staple on cable news these days is the “racial incident,” which stands as a referendum on this question. Today there is Charlottesville. Yesterday there were the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and others. Don’t they reveal an irrepressible racism in American life? At the news conferences surrounding these events there are always the Al Sharpton clones, if not the man himself, ready to spin the tale of black tragedy and white bigotry.

Such people—and the American left generally—have a hunger for racism that is almost craven. The writer Walker Percy once wrote of the “sweetness at the horrid core of bad news.” It’s hard to witness the media’s oddly exhilarated reaction to, say, the death of Trayvon Martin without applying Percy’s insight. A black boy is dead. But not all is lost. It looks like racism.

What makes racism so sweet? Today it empowers. Racism was once just racism, a terrible bigotry that people nevertheless learned to live with, if not as a necessary evil then as an inevitable one. But the civil-rights movement, along with independence movements around the world, changed that. The ’60s recast racism in the national consciousness as an incontrovertible sin, the very worst of all social evils.

Suddenly America was in moral trouble. The open acknowledgment of the nation’s racist past had destroyed its moral authority, and affirming democratic principles and the rule of law was not a sufficient response. Only a strict moral accounting could restore legitimacy.

Thus, redemption—paying off the nation’s sins—became the moral imperative of a new political and cultural liberalism. President Lyndon Johnson turned redemption into a kind of activism: the Great Society, the War on Poverty, school busing, liberalized welfare policies, affirmative action, and so on.

This liberalism always projects moral idealisms (integration, social justice, diversity, inclusion, etc.) that have the ring of redemption. What is political correctness, if not essentially redemptive speech? Soon liberalism had become a cultural identity that offered Americans a way to think of themselves as decent people. To be liberal was to be good.

Here we see redemptive liberalism’s great ingenuity: It seized proprietorship over innocence itself. It took on the power to grant or deny moral legitimacy across society. Liberals were free of the past while conservatives longed to resurrect it, bigotry and all. What else could “Make America Great Again” mean? In this way redemptive liberalism reshaped the moral culture of the entire Western world with sweeping idealisms like “diversity,” which are as common today in Europe as in America.

So today there is sweetness at the news of racism because it sets off the hunt for innocence and power. Racism and bigotry generally are the great driving engines of modern American liberalism. Even a remote hint of racism can trigger a kind of moral entrepreneurism.

The “safe spaces” for minority students on university campuses are actually redemptive spaces for white students and administrators looking for innocence and empowerment. As minorities in these spaces languish in precious self-absorption, their white classmates, high on the idea of their own wonderful “tolerance,” whistle past the very segregated areas they are barred from.

America’s moral fall in the ’60s made innocence of the past an obsession. Thus liberalism invited people to internalize innocence, to become synonymous with it—even to fight for it as they would for an ideology. But to be innocent there must be an evil from which to be free. The liberal identity must have racism, lest it lose innocence and the power it conveys.

The great problem for conservatives is that they lack the moral glibness to compete with liberalism’s “innocence.” But today there are signs of what I have called race fatigue. People are becoming openly cynical toward the left’s moral muscling with racism. Add to this liberalism’s monumental failure to come even close to realizing any of its beautiful idealisms, and the makings of a new conservative mandate become clearer. As idealism was the left’s political edge, shouldn’t realism now be the right’s? Reality as the informing vision—and no more wrestling with innocence.

Mr. Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is author of “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country” (Basic Books, 2015).

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From Vanity Fair
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Image may contain: 2 people, indoor
Stephen Bannon, left, and Reince Priebus, right, at a meeting with Donald Trump at the White House on February 1, 2017.  From Bloomberg/Getty Images.

On the morning he was being ousted as Donald Trump’s chief strategist last Friday, Steve Bannon had already turned the page. “Why do you sound unfazed?” a friend asked Bannon as news of his demise ricocheted across the web. “Because,” Bannon replied, “we’re going to war.” Hours later, Bannon was calling into the editorial meeting at Breitbart News, rallying his troops to continue the battles he waged inside the White House. “We have a duty to the country to be the vanguard of ‘The Movement,’” he told his staff, according to one person on the call. Bannon’s main targets are the West Wing’s coterie of New York Democrat “globalists”—Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn—as well as the “hawks,” comprised of National Security Adviser H.R McMaster and his deputy, Dina Powell. “He wants to beat their ideas into submission,” Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow told me. “Steve has a lot of things up his sleeve.”

The chaotic, war-torn West Wing of the past six months will be prologue, but the coming struggles will be as personal as they are ideological, waged not with leaks but with slashing Breitbart banners. On Sunday, Breitbart took renewed aim at McMaster, with a headline claiming he advocated “Quran Kissing.” But most of all, there’s a deep animosity between Bannon and Kushner, amplified by a lack of respect. Bannon finds Kushner’s political instincts highly questionable. “He said Jared is a dope,” one Bannon ally recalled. The two clashed fiercely on personnel decisions and policy debates, both domestic and international, many of which Bannon lost. But Bannon, who was the only West Wing advisor to publicly support the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, is especially galled at being scapegoated as an anti-Semite in its wake. “It’s one of the attacks he takes most personally because it’s not true,” a Breitbart staffer told me. Bannon’s allies lay out a more complicated backstory. Bannon, they say, lobbied Trump aggressively to move America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but was blocked by Kushner. And, according to three Bannon allies, Bannon pushed a tougher line against the Palestinians than Kushner did. In May, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House, Bannon stayed home. “I’m not going to breathe the same air as that terrorist,” Bannon texted a friend.

In the final weeks, Bannon was relentlessly tarred as a prime West Wing leaker, but Bannon’s allies make a similar case about Kushner. Specifically, they believe that Kushner cultivated a relationship with Matt Drudge, who frequently pushed anti-Bannon headlines—“The Total Eclipse of Steve Bannon”; “Bannon ‘Is the Real President”—in the weeks leading up to Trump’s decision to defenestrate him. Bannon also told friends that he believed Kushner encouraged Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch to lobby Trump to fire him. Last week, The New York Times reported that Murdoch told Trump over a private dinner with Kushner that Trump needed to jettison his chief strategist. The Bannon camp believes that Murdoch was especially receptive to Kushner’s lobbying because Murdoch is worried about the rise of Sinclair Broadcasting as a competitor to Fox, and blames Bannon for Trump’s decision so far not to block the Sinclair’s $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media in May.

Bannon has media ambitions to compete with Fox News from the right. Last week in New York, he huddled with his billionaire benefactor, Robert Mercer, and discussed ways to expand Breitbart into TV, sources said. “Television is definitely on the table,” a Bannon adviser told me. A partnership with Sinclair remains a possibility. In recent days, Sinclair’s chief political analyst Boris Epshteyn has spoken with Breitbart editors about ways to form an alliance, one Breitbart staffer said. “All the Sinclair guys are super tight with Breitbart. Imagine if we got together Hannity and O’Reilly and started something?”

Meanwhile, the next phase has already begun. On Sunday, the website’s lead story was based on a Daily Mail report that said Ivanka was behind Bannon’s removal. “Trump’s daughter Ivanka pushed out Bannon because of his ‘far-right views’ clashing with her Jewish faith,” the article noted. Another piece was headlined: “6 TIMES JAVANKA’S DISPLEASURE WITH POTUS LEAKED TO PRESS.” In his feud with Kushner, Bannon may have a powerful ally: Reince Priebus, also recently departed from the White House with a quiver of grudges. Recently, according to several sources, Bannon has told friends he wants Priebus to give his account of the James Comey firing to special prosecutor Robert Mueller.According to a source close to Priebus, the former chief of staff believes that the decision was made during an early May weekend in Bedminster, where Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Stephen Miller were with the president. Trump returned to the Oval Office on Monday, May 8 and told other aides he intended to fire Comey.

At Breitbart, Bannon has a brigade of similarly happy warriors. “We’re in a loud bar celebrating the return of our captain!” Breitbart’s Washington editor Matt Boyle told me on Friday night. Breitbart’s defense of Trump has so far helped keep the Russia scandal from gaining traction on the right. But that could swiftly change if Trump, under the influence of Kushner and Cohn, deviates too far from the positions he ran on. If that happens, said one high-level Breitbart staffer, “We’re prepared to help Paul Ryan rally votes for impeachment.”

 https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/08/steve-bannon-readies-his-revenge

Jesse Jackson slams US president over white supremacist rally

August 18, 2017

AFP

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File | US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson slammed President Donald Trump for insisting anti-racism protester shared equal blame with white supremacists for weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia

CHICAGO (AFP) – American civil rights pioneer Jesse Jackson on Friday slammed President Donald Trump for insisting anti-racism protesters were equally to blame for the violence at a white supremacist rally last weekend.Jackson also endorsed removals of Confederate statues and flags, as efforts to shed such symbols accelerated around the country. A Civil War-era monument was at the center of the Virginia rally.

“There is a sense of humiliation, insult by the president equating violent white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK with civil rights demonstrators,” Jackson said at a Chicago news conference.

“One marching to tear the country up. One marching to heal.”

Trump has come under fire from Republicans and Democrats alike for his much-criticized response to the rally in the city of Charlottesville.

In the aftermath, the president lost the support of numerous CEOs and cities across the country decided to remove Confederate symbols from public spaces.

America’s most populous city, New York, announced Thursday that it would remove two busts of Confederate army commanders from the “Hall of Fame for Great Americans” landmark.

Jackson — who marched with Martin Luther King Jr in the 1960s — called such steps “long overdue.”

“The statues must go. The (Confederate) flag must go. One American flag is enough,” Jackson said.

“There are no swastikas flying in Germany today. There are no statues of Hitler in Germany today.”

Murdoch son donates $1 million to anti-hate crime group in Trump rebuke

August 18, 2017

AFP

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File | James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, criticized Donald Trump’s response to recent violence in Virginia and pledged $1 million to countering hate

NEW YORK (AFP) – James Murdoch, the chief executive of 21st Century Fox whose father Rupert has been a Donald Trump ally, criticized the US president’s response to recent violence in Virginia and pledged to donate $1 million to countering hate.The unusual political intervention from an executive who has cultivated a more low-key persona than his father, was notable, coming from the top echelons of a media empire that includes Fox News.

Trump is said to assiduously watch the news network, whose viewers include many of his staunchest supporters.

The US president has come under blistering attack across the political spectrum for saying anti-racism protestors deserved equal blame for violence at a neo-Nazi and white supremacist rally that left one woman dead last Saturday.

Nineteen other people were injured when a suspected white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters at the rally in Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

In an email addressed to “friends,” a copy of which has been seen by AFP, Murdoch said he had been moved to act “as a concerned citizen and a father.”

“What we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the president of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people,” wrote Murdoch.

“The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob,” he said.

“I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.”

Murdoch said he and his wife Kathryn were donating $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League, which calls itself the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism, and which also counters hate crimes and threats to democracy.

The ADL is an “extraordinary force for vigilance and strength in the face of bigotry,” Murdoch wrote, calling on recipients of the email to donate as well.

Rupert Murdoch, the media tycoon and Fox News founder, has repeatedly urged Trump to sack his far-right chief strategist Steve Bannon, The New York Times reported this week.