Monday, May 28, 2012

How MSNBC and Chris Hayes Choose to Remember Our Fallen

This Memorial Day weekend, we witnessed MSNBC pundit Chris Hayes saying that he's "uncomfortable" calling our fallen soldiers "heroes," and suggests that we call them "something more neutral." That the title of "hero" is "rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war."
His contention is that our society's choice to remember our fallen soldiers as "heroic" is tantamount to warmongering.  The first thought that comes to mind is probably how utterly ridiculous that contention is. But when you wade through his elitist condescension toward the sacrifices made by our soldiers- an obvious and lamentable remnant of 60's counterculturalism- you see that these are really nothing more than the words of a depraved creature.

This quote by John Stuart Mill, found below, is a profound observation about war- and as relevant now as it has ever been.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
It is safe to say- Chris Hayes and his ilk embody the "ugliest of things" that Mill spoke of, disguised as intellectualism and compassion. This Memorial Day, may God keep our fallen heroes, and may God continue to bless America.

William Sullivan

Friday, May 18, 2012

Quanell X Should Be Prosecuted

We must recognize, once and for all, that Quanell X’s grandiose street confrontation acts that stoke fear and racial tension are nothing more than a malignant contribution to the public discourse. Because now, he has become more than just the boisterous farce that Houstonians have come to know- his latest comments and actions are cause for prosecution.

To be honest, vast numbers of people are already well-aware that Quanell’s rhetoric is not to be taken seriously. There is perhaps no better example of why than his demand that Nike and Michael Jordan lower the prices of Air Jordan sneakers last Christmas. This one incident explains quite a lot. First and foremost, it shows that he lacks even a grade-schooler’s comprehension of pricing, or the supply and demand that dictates it. Secondly, his making demands to a legendary sports figure and a globally successful business shows the insane level of egotism he harbors. But most importantly, it shows that he is so blinded by the belief that the black community is the perpetual victim of society that he cannot even come close to a proper assessment of blame. It’s not the black community’s fault that its members are committing violence to attain these sneakers, as a sensible person might clearly understand it to be. No, it’s the fact that the shoes are so damn expensive. And Nike and Michael Jordan must be held accountable, despite their obvious innocence.

But for the most part, up to this point, it has just been words. Stupid, stupid words. But in the aftermath of a verdict of “not guilty” in the trial of HPD officer Andrew Blomberg, his choices and his words have a much more dangerous effect.

Mayor Annise Parker issued a stern warning to Quanell and local news outlets to not release the surveillance footage of Chad Holley being forcefully arrested by HPD officers. She, as any reasonable person might, understands that the footage is better suited to be appraised in the court of law rather than in the court of public opinion that is apt to make premature and emotional decisions. But Quanell, unequipped with reason, has chosen to release the footage, and has thereby created an environment of racial tension that is potentially explosive.

And that wasn’t enough. Quanell then sought to spark that explosion.

When asked how he would view riots or violence in the wake of this verdict, he replied, “Whatever the community response is, I believe it’s appropriate.” He is an influential public figure, and he has advocated violence as civil disobedience that he would condone. Effectively, he is calling for riots. This is a crime that compromises the safety of Houston’s citizens and businesses.

To put the nature of this comment in context, imagine that its equivalent left the mouth of local radio personality Michael Berry, who is routinely lambasted for virulent and vitriolic rhetoric. Imagine that he advocated violence against the Occupy Houston protestors that have defiled our public grounds and cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Would the outcry against the use of his influence to incite violence be so deafeningly silent? Absolutely not- he would be the subject of scorn and campaigns to prosecute him.

What is the difference? Why is there an underlying cultural acceptance of calls to violence when it is believed that it can be attributed to black persecution and the subsequent rage? We witnessed this travesty in the public indifference to the violent rhetoric of the New Black Panthers in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, and it is one that we now witness in the public indifference to the incendiary rhetoric of our very own Quanell X.

William Sullivan