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Apollonius (Theocritos) said:
In a real sense it's as natural as loving your family.
Thete's a difference between loving your own family and hating somebody else's family.
The roots of the woke revolution
On the day in March that eight people were murdered in a massage parlor in Atlanta, six of them Asian-American, a Cherokee County, Georgia, police captain gave a media briefing after the alleged murderer was caught. He described the suspect’s motivation as follows: “He was pretty much fed up, and at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.”
Indignation erupted. How, people cried, could the police captain attribute the murders to someone merely having a bad day? Having determined that the crime was motivated by anti-Asian hatred, the Internet furies concluded that the captain had spoken callously because of his own anti-Asian bias.
Leave aside that anyone who had seen a police movie could recognize as tough-guy talk the captain’s seemingly casual description of an unspeakable act. And never mind that just a few weeks later, President Biden described the slaughter of eight people in a FedEx facility not as a human tragedy but as a “national embarrassment,” as if it had been a messily disputed election. Consider instead what the policeman’s critics cared about. Imagine that the captain had appeared before the media and had said that he believed that the suspect was motivated by anti-Asian hatred and that this hate was the true virus ravaging us all. Would he have been lauded? Yes. But what if he gave this briefing while the suspect remained at large, giving him time to flee? In reality, the entire Atlanta police department was on the scene almost immediately. The suspect was caught shortly after the shootings, before he could harm anyone else. Even if the police captain had been insensitive, why should this matter more than his and his officers’ actions?
Words are crumbling under the weight of moral one-upmanship. One cannot, for example, call both Hitler and Donald Trump “fascists” without the term losing its meaning. But for four years, an imminent fascist revolution sponsored by the Trump movement was a liberal obsession. (Hard to make a fascist revolution, though, without having the military on your side, and Trump spent four years insulting both the military and the state’s intelligence apparatus.) Nor does the term “systemic racism” mean anything if it describes both the structure of apartheid in South Africa and slavery in the antebellum American South and the circumstances we live in today. Apartheid South Africa was systemically racist. Georgia in 1860 was systemically racist. But the New York suburb where I live—Montclair, New Jersey—has a black mayor who succeeded another black mayor; a black superintendent of schools; a black assistant superintendent of schools; several black school principals; a black deputy chief of police; a self-conscious enclave of wealthy black bankers and black lawyers; and accomplished black residents, from a world-famous jazz bassist to a former head of Homeland Security. Montclair is more racially, socially, and economically diverse than any neighborhood in New York City. Yet cries of Montclair’s systemic racism have now swept the town, as well as its public school curricula.
In Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, Troilus has a nightmare vision in which language dissolves into “words, words, mere words.” If that world were actually to materialize, he later thinks, then
right and wrong,
Between whose endless jar justice resides,
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
Then every thing includes itself in power. . . .
Today, right and wrong have indeed lost their names, their singular distinctness. Now the disposition of power decides the status of many conflicts or tensions. And in this new world where right and wrong are determined by whoever exerts the greater power—that is, whoever makes the loudest threats to shame and cancel—the emphatic appearance of what is right wields the most power of all.
The curious thing is that, even with tens of thousands of Internet public prosecutors working night and day, very few examples of genuinely racist language surface in this turbulent, chaotic country of 330 million people. Excepting the tiny minority of people who belong to organized right-wing hate groups, anyone even fractionally socialized has known for decades that the N-word, to take the worst racist term, is taboo, along with most other pernicious slurs. And anyone with the slightest bit of emotional intelligence understands that people who do use the word when quoting other people or texts—as clueless or maybe arrogant as that may be in our current climate—do so because they themselves are not racists and have no fear of being perceived as such.
Emotional intelligence, however, is becoming a liability in the age of algorithm-driven, outrage-obsessed social media. When Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, first learned that the paper’s crack science reporter, Donald McNeil Jr., had used the N-word in the process of paraphrasing someone else’s use of the word, Baquet concluded that McNeil’s “remarks were offensive and that he showed extremely poor judgment, but it did not appear to me that his intentions were hateful or malicious.” This, one felt, was a reasonable response.
But Baquet’s rationality and humanity had an effect similar to the Atlanta police captain’s innocuous words. They infuriated the (predominantly white) ranks of mostly younger New York Times staffers, who sent a group letter declaring that “our community is outraged and in pain.” Baquet then made an abrupt about-face—how do you respond to declarations of “pain”?—and this time, along with his managing editor, issued an e-mail declaring: “We do not tolerate racist language regardless of intent.”Regardless of intent! Others then raised their voices in protest against Baquet’s sudden new perspective on language and truth, and Baquet swiftly reversed himself again. “In our zeal to make a powerful statement about our workplace culture,” he told his staff, “we ham-handedly said something you rightly saw as an oversimplification of one of the m
The police chief's words were poorly chosen.
I don't think it was a racially motivated murder. I think it was incel related.
Jenifer (Zarknorph) said...Lawmakers introduced two bills to help minority farmers this week, aiming to address longstanding injustices in the agricultural sector.
The thought is nice. Good intentions are nice, because they set a precident. Action is even nicer.
Black and Indigenous farmers were promised debt relief. All but four are still waiting