Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Recent “Women’s March,” and How the New Left Still Just Doesn’t Get It

Just ten years ago, there was a popular bumper sticker lampooning President George W. Bush which read, “Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot.” 

In 2017, somewhere in Texas, a distinguished leftist judge wears a pink “pussyhat” in a courtroom to show her support for “women’s rights.”
 
To say that the left has descended into the realm of self-parody is an understatement.  Rather than making jokes about American public policy, they have effectively, and unknowingly, become the joke.
Take the recent “Women’s March,” which resulted from a strong marketing campaign, ample funding by leftist support groups, and which enjoyed much media coverage and fanfare. 

Prior to the event, former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau urged women to “put on [their] entire armor” to march on Washington the morning after Trump’s inauguration. 
Sure, putting on “armor” to peacefully protest a legitimate election sounds silly to most people.  But as Connie Wang at Refinery29 looks to remind all the privileged males out there (should they choose to be identified as males), “all women know how certain outfits can make us feel bigger and stronger and more warrior-like, which comes in handy in moments where we need to feel those things.  Like now.”

So, in their self-righteous fury, these mighty Valkyries donned their pink “pussyhats” and full-body vagina suits to fight the patriarchal status quo. 
 
But which women’s rights, exactly, were they so ridiculously fighting for?
Let’s examine the “Values and Principles” stated by the March’s organizers:

We believe that Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice.  We must create a society in which women, in particular women – in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women – are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.
When you create a statement for mass consumption like “Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice,” it’s clear that your agenda is not truly about women’s rights and that you seek to co-opt other leftist grievance narratives to provide ballast to your cause.  But it’s also quite clear that the terms you cite are malleable beyond their having any meaning or value at all.

What is meant by this sentence?  Is it suggested that redistribution to provide benefits to women for abortions, contraceptives, and sex-changes is what they’re fighting for?  Are we to suppose that this is the same as demanding that white people pay the penance of their presumed racial “privilege” by providing reparations for slavery?  And all that is the same battle fought by those suggesting that the government should redistribute wealth from the affluent and middle class to provide for the poor?
The “Values and Principles” of the Women’s March continue:

We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand, and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans, or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters, and siblings.
If you ever wondered how Democrats lost middle-class, workaday Americans, look no further than that sentence and the evolution which led to it.  First of all, unless you’re incredibly attuned to the grievance narrative being peddled by the radical left, you likely notice that the acronym has added a few letters to the sequence since you’ve probably last seen it referenced.  The LGBT agenda has become the LGBT+ or LGBTQ agenda, which has now apparently become the LGBTQIA agenda to include “intersex” and “asexual” (or “ally”) individuals.  Honestly, I don’t know why I even bothered to look it up, as it’s likely that another letter or two will have been added by the time these thoughts have been shared.

Are these the most pressing matters facing America today?  Be truthful.  You, like most people, would probably roll your eyes and laugh at anyone who suggests that they are.
But returning to Connie Wang, it’s not important to agree with all the reasons for the Women’s March.  “[P]ick the issues that speak most personally to you,” Wang suggested, to ensure that “aspects of your identity… are represented too: Maybe you’re afraid to wear your hijab.”

A sensible person cannot help pausing for a moment to reflect upon the irony in this social justice warrior’s invocation of the hijab, an extremely clear symbol of the historic and religious subjugation of women, as a symbol of women’s empowerment and liberation in the neo-leftist’s incredibly disjointed formulation of thought.
It’s so easy to see that some lifelong feminists cannot help noticing.  Emma-Kate Symons notes in an op-ed at the New York Times, “And why is a woman seen wearing a heavy veil pulled tight to cover her neck – not even a headscarf – emerging as the symbol of the rally?  Yes, Trump is singling out Muslims, but must we play his reductionist game?” 

Incidentally, Symons’s beef with the march seems sensible enough: “It saddens me to see the inclusive feminism that I grew up with reduced to a grab-bag of competing victimhood narratives and rival community-based but essentially individualist identities jostling for the most-oppressed status.”              
It saddens her because the march was not about feminism, but about perpetuating the victim status of certain identity groups that have little, if anything, to do with women.  One has to wonder how she’s missed what most of America has not – the New Left, and the Democrats who have embraced them, have no other platform beyond the creation and perpetuation of victimhood narratives.  

The “Women’s March” was not about all women, of course.  After all, 42% of women voted for Donald Trump -- not exactly a fringe group, and certainly not represented in the political motivation for the march.  The marchers represented you only if you want, and are willing to demand, taxpayers to continue financing abortions via Planned Parenthood’s federal subsidies, whether one agrees with the practice or not.  They represented you only if you think that men can be women if they feel like it, in spite of all scientific facts which refute that position.  They represented you only if you believe that America is an evil, racist place where your having a job or wealth is due to white privilege, and justice means giving such a job to a poorer person of color simply because they happen to be poorer and/or a racial minority.  They represented you if you believe that the Keystone XL pipeline is an anathema to Mother Nature, rather than a conduit linking products to manufacturers and thereby creating jobs and more affordable energy resources. (Yes, among the “Values and Principles” of the March, “environmental justice” is cited.  How that pertains to women is an enigma to everyone but the organizers.)
In short, the “Women’s March” did not represent you unless you are a social and economic radical in the vein of leftist radicals.  And unless you espouse those same principles, you are alienated altogether.

It’s as if Democrats have learned precisely nothing from the thorough electoral flogging they’ve endured these last eight years, having lost over 900 seats in state legislatures nationwide, twelve state governorships, both chambers of Congress, and now the presidency within that timeframe.
Let’s be perfectly clear.  Democrats did not lose November’s election in spectacular fashion because Americans have shifted rightward to some insane degree, as they would have you believe.  They lost this election because Democrats have shifted radically leftward over the years, both economically and socially, and have thus abandoned the center-left constituency and the ideals that once bulwarked their seats of power.

This radical shift to the left is so pronounced that the left’s representation now appears as little more than caricatures, and their demonstrations are only taken seriously amongst themselves.  Americans, for the most part, have turned their thoughts to more practical things such as jobs, national security, our diminishing stature on the world stage, and our seemingly perpetual surrender of wealth and sovereignty to the political elite.
I, for one, hope that the New Left continues to be utterly oblivious to the realities which are making them politically obsolete.

So by all means, little snowflakes – keep marching.
William Sullivan

Saturday, November 26, 2016

LeBron James Needs to Stop Being Such a Posse

It seems that another innocuous word has now found its way into the left's rolodex of racist code language in the past weeks.  This time, it's due to LeBron James's having taken issue with Phil Jackson's use of the word "posse" to describe LeBron and his business associates. 

Seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing about how the left was insisting that "socialist" was a racist term to identify Obama in 2008 and beyond, even though "socialist" identifies adherents to a specific economic theory of redistribution, not anyone of a specific race.  It was silly of me, I suppose, to do anything other accept the fact that when someone else happens to take a word in the wrong context because it is politically expedient for them to do so, that the word must then become verboten in the PC lexicon.

Take the word "thug," for example.  I'd wager that those who claim it's a racist term never once used their finger muscles to google the etymology.  (Hey, I grew up having to read about it in a book, Dewey Decimal, card catalog, the whole nine yards.  I don't think I'm expecting too much here.)  But the term, in fact, dates back to identification with the "Thugee" cult, a group Indian brigands and thieves.  (That's the Indian subcontinent, not Native American.)  Devotees of the cult were branded "thugs," and hence were eradicated by the British in the 1830s.  The word became part of the lexicon to describe what they were -- brigands and thieves.

But then the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman encounter occurred in 2012.  When accusations occurred about his having been a thief (for his having stolen things from other students' lockers) and a violent fellow who engages in the act of theft (i.e., a brigand), all of a sudden the fact that he was a young black man must have been the impetus for the use of the word to describe him, not those other things.

But let's just assume I go with all of that nonsense, and all the nonsense that came before.  "You're right, PC police -- thug, socialist, personal responsibility, pickup trucks... all of the stupid shit you've offered over the years as racist code words are actually racist code words.  You've got the cipher, and you're right!  You cracked the code, congratulations!"

Even if I did buy all of that, I'd still refuse to buy the nonsense that Phil Jackson's use of the word "posse" in describing LeBron James's professional clique is racist.  When I hear the word "posse," I think of western movies, or those eclectic clown rappers that my suitemate in my first year in college loved.  When anyone, anywhere hears the word posse, they don't think of it with racial undertones.

But LeBron James did.  "It just sucks now at this point," he said,  "having one of the biggest businesses your can have both on and off the floor, having a certified agent in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter's that's done so many great business [deals], [sic] that the title for a young African-American is the word "posse."'

Oh, dear God, LeBron.  Let me say this in a manner you might understand, and note, I'm being very careful in how I say this.

#SMFH

First of all, Jackson didn't suggest that the "title for a young African-American is the word "posse."" The word refers to a group of people, not a single person.

Second, the word "posse" has its roots (again, this is just a Siri question away, fellas) in the Latin term "posse comitatus" which loosely translates to "force of the county."  It has historically been used as a term to describe a group of law enforcement officials.  It's common, modern use in language is in describing "a group of friends or associates."  There is little, if anything, negative associated with it.  You are inventing these racist undertones.

To think that the legendary Phil Jackson, all of a sudden, after a long career of having worked with the greatest basketball players ever to play the game (most of whom were black), meant to throw a snide racist snub LeBron's way?  To believe that requires a level of stupidity that registers way beyond any scale of any acceptable scale of stupid comments I've heard in recent months.  And I've been watching this past election closely, so that's saying something.

So I'll just close with something simple: LeBron, grow up.

William Sullivan

Friday, November 18, 2016

Bill Clinton Goes Full Trump in 1995

Just stumbled upon this.  Amazing stuff.

Amazing in the sense that I'm amazed at how slippery politicians can be, with Bill Clinton later stumping alongside his wife while advocating Barack Obama's complete disregard for federal immigration laws, and demanding that border agents break them by not capturing and deporting the lawbreakers.

Count this among the myriad reasons Donald Trump won in 2016.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Fishy Thing About Stephen A. Smith’s Kaepernick Tirade



Like me, perhaps you woke up this week with friends on social media applauding ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith for excoriating Colin Kaepernick for not supporting a candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

“He comes across as a flaming hypocrite,” said a very angry Smith.  “And as far as I’m concerned, I’m not interested in a damn word that he has to say, and quite frankly, I hope he goes away.”

Welcome to the club, Stephen.  But I have a hard time joining my friends in giving you kudos for now, and only now, voicing your discontent with him, because there is something incredibly suspicious about your outrage.

Here’s why.

Smith, headlong into his angry tirade, said this: “[Kaepernick] of all people, because of the position he took, because of the attention he brought to the issues.  The fact that you don’t even have the decency to go to the poll and activate yourself in this election, as our president said, is a damn shame.”

Most people hear that and think, “Well, he’s right. Everyone should vote, because that’s what I’ve been told since I was a kid. It’s your duty.  Right on, Stephen A. Smith!” 

Then, if you look a bit closer at the words he chose, it should become clear that the broad “everyone should vote” message isn’t really what he’s getting at.  He cites that he should have “activated” himself, “as our president said.”

The president did say that the black community should “activate itself,” but the context of that statement that he cited is important.  “I will consider it a personal insult,” Obama told the Congressional Black Caucus gala, “if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this this election.  You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote.”

The president wasn’t saying everyone should go vote for whomever they please because it’s our civic duty to vote.  He was saying he would consider it a “personal insult” if black voters didn’t turn out to elect Hillary Clinton and thus preserve his legacy, specifically.  So it’s extremely unlikely that Smith’s anger is predicated on the fact that Colin didn’t participate in the election process, as his supposed civic duty might require of him, though I admit, that appears to be the impetus for the rant on the surface.  After all, I don’t think Smith would be applauding Kaepernick if he came out saying that he voted for Trump.  Smith is most likely angry, based on this curious reference, because he didn’t get roused enough to “get his butt to the polls” to vote for Hillary, whom I’d wager dollars to donuts that Stephen A. Smith believes black Americans should have “activated” themselves to vote for in response to the perceived institutional racism that Smith thought Kaepernick meant to highlight.  This is a tantrum, and little more. 

But here’s the real kicker, for me.  Let’s climb out on the limb and assume that Smith really is outraged on principle, and that he really thinks Kaepernick not voting at all, not even having “the decency” to write in a candidate of his choosing (which would have been ultimately futile and a waste of his time, let’s be honest) makes him a “flaming hypocrite” and that he “betrayed his cause.”  That’s still not entirely accurate.  Kaepernick’s refusal to vote is actually pretty consistent with the purpose of his stupid “protest.”

First of all, Kaepernick has been extremely critical of both candidates, calling Trump “obviously racist” while suggesting that Hillary Clinton is also a racist, and should probably be in jail to boot.   

Fact is, he’s actually painted Hillary Clinton in a less favorable light than Trump, which as I’ve noted, really upset those among the left that were paying attention.  Furthermore, the underlying statement Kaepernick has hoped to make was that there are systemic problems in America that go beyond who may or may not be the president.  Just as he refuses to stand for the time-honored celebration of the national anthem, his refusal to take part in the time-honored American election process could be considered part and parcel of the same ideological position of protest.

“To me,” Kaepernick said of Clinton and Trump, “it didn’t really matter who went in there.  The system still remains intact that oppresses people of color.”

Now, I will say that he is completely wrong in that position, and that he remains the uninformed idiot that he has always been.  And personally, I believe when uninformed idiots do not vote, the country is the better for it.  But to call him a hypocrite for it isn’t really fair, either.

Point is, there’s really not a lot to be impressed about in Smith’s angry rant about Kaepernick.  It’s a tantrum disguised as middle-of-the-road criticism, and at the very best, an expression of his disappointment that Kaepernick didn’t fall in line to do the one thing that Stephen A. Smith thinks all black people should have done in response to the perceived institutional racism Kaepernick highlighted with his protest -- i.e., he didn’t vote for Hillary.

William Sullivan can be followed on Twitter

Time off... But what a time it is now!

To all readers:

We've taken far too long a hiatus in loading content to the blog, thank you for the continued readership we've experienced.

I've continued to write sporadically for American Thinker since our last post, and for those interested, recent columns can be found at the link below:

http://www.americanthinker.com/author/william_sullivan/

We will look to begin adding content regularly, as the times ahead are sure to be interesting.  As always, thank you for your support and participation.

William


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rich Lowry's Brilliant Excoriation of "Hashtag Heroism"

In his recent article at the New York Post, Rich Lowry gave Westerners a much-needed reminder that, while hashtag campaigns and the tri-colored filter on your Facebook profile pic may make you feel better, it's really not very useful beyond that.

From the article, referencing the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag fad from earlier this year:

After the slaughter at the offices of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hedbo earlier this year, it was “Je suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie.”

It was a well-intentioned expression of solidarity, so long as you overlooked the absurd presumption of it.

You are Charlie? Oh, OK. Then draw a sketch of Muhammad and post it online. Better yet, do it over and over again, until you get constant threats and your office is firebombed, just as a warm-up.

No, you aren’t Charlie. (For that matter, Charlie isn’t even Charlie anymore — it’s given up on mocking Islam for understandable safety reasons.)

Last year, when the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped 200 schoolgirls, Twitter exploded with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. First lady Michelle Obama held up a sign with the phrase on it. If Boko Haram was shamed by its Twitter feed, it showed no signs of it. The only girls who were brought back escaped on their own. The Nigerian military has rescued other girls, armed with weapons considerably more powerful than a hashtag.

[...]

Spare me the #PrayforParis hashtag. Forgive me if I’m unmoved by lighting world landmarks up in red, white and blue, or your putting a tricolor filter on your Facebook profile picture. And please don’t tell me, in the words of the designer Jean Jullien, that “in all this horror there’s something positive that people are coming together in a sense of unity and peace.”

Nothing positive comes from innocents getting shot down in cold blood for the offense of going to a concert on a Friday night. It [sic] there aren’t going to be more — and worse — attacks in our cities, the path ahead won’t be one of unity and peace. It will be the hard, thankless work of protecting civilization from its enemies.

Lowry's piece couldn't be more necessary or timely, and I definitely suggest you give the whole thing a read here.

-- W. Sullivan

Saturday, August 15, 2015

White Mom Blogger Doing Her Part to Fabricate Fear of Racism and a Fear of Cops (They're Gonna Getcha!)

I happened upon an article on Yahoo! Parenting which struck a chord with me as a father.  "A Mom Called the Police on My 3-year-Old Son After a Playground Accident," the title read.

Sounds ridiculous, I thought.  Cops called on a three-year old, what nonsense!  So like a dope, I read beyond the Yahoo! tease, which includes this provided picture:


I'll spare the bulk of the details, because as I discovered, they really don't matter.  Long and short, the mother of the little girl whom the author's young boy accidentally knocked over while riding bikes decided to call the cops over the incident.

The other mom requested an ambulance for her daughter, and sought to press charges, presumably because the young ruffian was allowed to roam so indiscriminately.

The cops were as forceful as you might expect human beings to be in response to a three year-old boy accidentally knocking down a two year-old girl:
"Look," the other police officer tried to explain to the other mother,  "I can see him crying from here. It was an accident.  It's not like he did it on purpose.""
The little girl got a ride to the hospital in an ambulance. And to calm any concern you might have up to now, the young boy is fine, too, despite having been a bit shaken up by the incident.  He's "back on his scooter and hasn't mentioned the incident again," the author says.

And while that cop likely had a "You wouldn't believe these silly suburban moms today" story to tell his wife when he got home, the author, on the other hand, is traumatized.

She's still furious.  She's scared.  Her "black son just had his first police interaction at age 3."

And just like that, it became clear that this story wasn't about her son or that other mom at all.  They were just avenues to write a hip new #BlackLivesMatter article.

She goes on:
I'm glad the police were reasonable and straightened things out. Perhaps in this instance, it was best they were there to handle what was obviously a touchy situation.  In this instance.  This time.
Geez, she's not even trying to hide her contempt for cops.

"To be the mother of a black son," she continues, "is to be scared for them, constantly."

Being a parent is to be scared for your child, constantly.  Not a day goes by where I don't fear for my own children's lives, many times over.  It's part of the human condition, and mothers with black sons certainly don't have a monopoly on it.

I guess we can thank her for at least presenting these cops in a somewhat positive light, "in this instance."  But she's definitely worthy of derision for perpetuating the dangerous, and completely untrue, myth about bloodthirsty, racist cops being out to get poor, defenseless, and innocent black kids.

I don't expect that any facts will change author Emily McCombs' mind.  I wouldn't expect that any more than the facts of the Michael Brown case, having thoroughly destroyed the bullshit "Hands up, don't shoot!" narrative, could change the minds of other people so devoted the myth that they took the opportunity of the incident's anniversary to protest the epidemic of white, racist, murderous cops.

But I will say this, Emily.  If your young son is ever arrested by a cop, it will most likely be because he did something wrong.  So if you're really worried to death about him getting arrested, you should probably devote all your energies to teaching him to not do things that are wrong.

And if he grows up fearing the phantom specter of a cop that's out to get him at every turn because he's black, it will be your fault.  Not society's.  Not the cops'.  Yours, and yours alone.  Because you have the opportunity to teach him something different to help him become a better person.  And you will have squandered it in order to keep your fabricated worldview alive.

-- William Sullivan