The lynching of Steve King

King is a Republican congressman from Iowa long known for his conservative views on immigration and strenuous opposition to any form of amnesty for illegal aliens. The last few days he has been pilloried by the media, by Democrat politicians, and by his own fellow Republican members of Congress.

What is the charge? “Racist remarks.”

Here is what he said in an interview with the New York Times:

White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

May we postulate that there is zero evidence in his background that he is a white supremacist or a white nationalist? And if he were, would he spill the beans to a gotcha, bloody-minded reporter? Please note that the media only quote the first sentence, leaving out the second. His defense, which the media have ignored, was that the phrase “that language” referred only to Western civilization, not to white nationalists and supremacists or those ideologies. The words ‘our history and our civilization’ in the missing second sentence make perfectly clear that he is puzzled that Western civilization should be offensive to left-wing ears.

Analyzing his remarks

Clearly they are not remotely racist, nor do they imply support for racism. Liberals and radicals themselves hurl with abandon the terms ‘white nationalist’ and ‘white supremacist’ at people like Steve King whose views they disagree with. These insulting terms obviously do not offend them. The people they accuse of white nationalism and white supremacy do. During the interview King was talking about our language-constricting PC environment, mentioning white nationalists and supremacists and then in midsentence pivoted to another thought: the condemnation of Western civilization by the PC crowd.

Lefty guilt by association

Ignoring his explanation and suppressing the full quotation, his critics jumped at the opportunity to claim ‘without evidence’ that he was really defending white supremacy and so is proven to be the racist they have claimed all along on the basis of his views on illegal migration. In today’s upside-down PC world, if a white man says anything remotely about white privilege except to confess his guilt and seek absolution, despite logic, grammar, and commonsense, the mob will come after him. And mobs do not much care about real guilt.

Republicans quake with fear at unfounded accusations of racism

That Democrats and the media set upon King is not surprising. But that no one on the other side stood up to ask the mob to cool down and consider the evidence carefully is shameful. No one had the courage to suggest giving him the benefit of the doubt. Even if what he said could be contorted to imply approval of some aspect of white nationalism, is there no one brave enough to believe his explanation and confront the mob? Or even to report it fully and accurately? The take-no-prisoners PC mob is implacably intolerant and will accept nothing less than capital punishment for malefactors, their Stalinist total elimination from public life and expunction from history. All this is beyond shameful.

The whisper campaign against Republicans

Democrats keep winning elections they should lose through reliance on the whispers that Republicans all suffer from racial bias, concealed to win elections. Democrats, this narrative goes, are exempt from this racist leprosy. Logic and verisimilitude are routinely ignored without challenge. We desperately need forceful pushback and leadership from prominent conservatives against this racial juggernaut. Without it  our culture will be more and more ensnared in loss of freedom of expression, enforced with Red-Guardlike intensity built on delusions like diversity.

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)      Troglo

Commentary from Canada, where PC speech suppression is more engrained than here:

In the US there is very little protest against the PC mob. One example is here:



Our seemingly intractable divisions and what to do about them

Just click on the link below for an intelligent assessment of the divisions in our country and the best  strategy for moving forward.

One reason I like the incisive wisdom animating this essay so much is that it exudes American common sense and, well written and argued, is completely free of any academic taint.

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)       Troglo

Political correctness: the view of Juan Williams

Williams is a moderate Democrat who lost his job at NPR to PC intolerance over comments he made about Muslims on the O’Reilly Factor (Fox TV network.) Although his comments were clearly in favor of tolerance of Muslims, he was canned by the “liberal orthodoxy” at NPR. In his 2011 book, Muzzled: the Assault on Honest Debate, he offers an extensive discussion of PC. (See pp.32-58.) He is a very decent man, a good reporter and writer, and worth reading. He writes without bitterness over his dismissal. I’m using Williams to be able to approach the issue from something like the center.
IMO he makes some very good points, but is better on the ‘political’ than the ‘correctness’ side. In emphasizing muzzling, important to a reporter, he misses some essential aspects of contemporary PC. The 2011 publication date may have something to do with this.
PC as terminology goes back to the 18th century, but was confined to statements about electoral politics. Starting with the 1960s it raises its ugly head in the context of the culture wars. “…there is a real connection among language, thought, and action. It was a first glimpse of future culture wars as leaders in liberal movements began insisting on new language in the name of fairness but with the real goal of changing politics and society by establishing a vocabulary of acceptable terms and language for people who cared about equality and justice.” (p38) I would put it this way: the Left knew that “terminology is ideology in disguise” and adapted its tactics accordingly. The term ‘Negro’ was banned in favor of ‘Black’ then ‘African-American,’ chairs became anthropomorphized, and grammatical barbarism became acceptable with ‘singular they’ (note 1.)
Surveying the landscape up to the present, he avers that both sides used the PC weapon. Since the 1960s there has been a back-and-forth as one side then the other gained political ascendency. The Right used “divisive wedge issues” like gun rights or abortion to “to mock the Left as self-righteous and given to censorship.” (p43) Note that the goal was to win elections. PC tactics “win at the ballot box.” (p53) But now hard liners on both sides have migrated to the political fringes. PC is at its core an Us-vs-Them tribalism. “We are all adopting the vocabulary of the aggrieved, and it comes at the expense of some notion that we all share a common cause. The rising tide has been replaced by zero-sum. The conversation is now a hostile negotiation.” (p55)
I find his equivalence between Right and Left rather unconvincing, notably with respect to recent issues on campuses nationwide. The Right is not trying to change America to fit its “preferred vision”. The Left is. Wedge issues are genuine issues; debate is welcomed. Eric Holder’s wished-for conversation on race is not a conversation wherein all points of view are welcome. Whence the ferocity one sees on the Left? Whence the new emphasis on speech codes to prevent giving offense? (Only those on the Left seem to have the right to be offended.) Or the rancor directed at ‘hate speech’ and the vitriol directed at the speakers, who as moral lepers must be punished, reeducated, or somehow prevented from speaking? How does ‘hate speech’ automatically convict one of immoral ‘bigotry’ and gain instant expulsion from the club of the bien-pensants?
Williams perceptively points out the importance of “critical theory” on campus – as in critical race theory or critical legal theory. “Critical theorists did not view institutions in the traditional sense as just business, government, education, and the like. They viewed these institutions as representations of social inequality when it came to race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and politics.” (p39) But he does not pursue this insight. Let me try. These ‘white’ institutions, which hold ‘power’ in the sense of wealth and cultural hegemony, must be destroyed or “fundamentally transformed” if there is to be true equality and social justice. Thus ‘racism’ is not simply the result of people harboring racial animus, but rather of an unequal power relationship. Thus it is possible to have institutional racism without any racists. Thus people without power cannot be racists. Of course if you commit a ‘microaggression’ to a black person, your conscience may be clean but it is still racism. Thus Rachel Dolezal passing as black is a true victim of racism, although 100% Caucasian. The problem is ‘whiteness.’ This “critical” point of view is what ConcernedStudent1950 wanted the Mizzou administration to confess to, accept, and apologize for. In this way conversation and ‘honest debate’ are stymied, as terminology has been so radically warped by left-wing ideology that people are simply talking past each other. PC has now evolved into something rather different from what it used to be; – clearly a symptom, part of something greater, coming from a new place. A fuller explanation will have to account for this.    Troglo
Troglo (L. H. Kevil)
Note 1. The term ‘singular they’ designates the non-standard use of ‘they’ for the singular indefinite antecedent ‘he.’ For while old-fashioned feminism requires the use of ‘he or she,’ ‘s/he,’ or just plain ‘she’ to avoid the traditional use of the ‘sexist’ ‘he,’ it is just easier to sacrifice grammatical agreement in number to a sloppy ‘they.’ Demolishing a grammar rule is a bonus. But now even that is not sufficient. Freshmen entering university are asked for their PGP, their preferred gender pronouns to replace the offensive he, his, she, hers. Zi and hir are popular choices. Professors must make an effort to utilize these barbarisms in class.

The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech, by Kirsten Powers (book review)

The title reveals what this book is about. Miss Powers is a lifelong Democrat who has evolved and recognizes many of the dangers presented by today’s liberals and radicals. From a pink-diaper upbringing by leftie academics and atheism, to sometime girlfriend of Carlos Danger (aka Anthony Weiner,) then to a convert to Christianity aided by charismatic Presbyterian minister Tim Keller, and last year to Roman Catholicism, she is a rare example of what a liberal should be: courageous enough to be open-minded and willing to see the faults of one’s own side. The author modestly does not talk about herself, but concentrates on the misdeeds of the Left. Recommended.

The liberal Left – Miss Powers calls it the illiberal Left – has arrogated to itself the role of “authoritarian speech police.” Long past tolerating different opinions, it brands those who contradict its tenets as bigots, racists, sexists, misogynists, homophobes, &c. As such their speech is inherently harmful like a virus and should be suppressed.

“The illiberal left yearns for a world sanitized of information that offends them. So why not just tune out the views they don’t like? They can’t. They are authoritarians at heart; they know what Americans should think and what information they should consume….In 2014, the outside world got a peek at the illiberal left’s staging area – academia – with a spate of high-profile 2014 commencement speech cancellations and forced withdrawals. These were spurred by the protests of lefty students and professors outraged that someone who held views with which they disagreed…would be allowed to deliver a commencement address.” (pp6-7)

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