Monday, April 9, 2012

What You Are Not Allowed to Say

Humans are social animals.  We are usually careful to say the right things and do the right things.  We do that because we don't want to risk censure from the cultural invigilators.

John Derbyshire, late of National Review, always admitted that he didn't really care what people thought about him.  Last week he penned an article about race that got him canned.  The article was a satire on "The Talk" that black people give their teenaged children.  White parents should do the same, according to Derb.  Along the way, he wrote things that you are not allowed to write about race.  A liberal writer called for his firing, and National Review editor Rick Lowry fired him.  Reading Lowry's announcement, and a concurring piece from Commentary's John Podhoretz, you can see why.  National Review and Commentary are "respectable" publications that have to survive in liberal-occupied America, and cannot survive any ambush from the mainstream media.

Liberals are always calling for a dialog about race.  But when anyone shows up for a chat, he always gets sucker-punched.  The sucker punch is great fun for liberals but it sends a baleful message to whites.  Never mind about the notorious third rail of politics, Social Security.  Race is radio-active.

Over a century ago, America had a minority group that were considered just as backward, as criminal, as corrupt, as stupid as blacks are today.  This group was the Catholic Irish.  The Irish had to fight their way up in America from nothing, and they did it with leaders like Archbishop "Dagger John" Hughes of New York, who started out as a gardener in a seminary.  The Irish got no help on their way up, and the reform movement of the Progressive Era was, in part, an effort to clean up the wretchedly corrupt machine politics of Irish Boston and New York.  Eventually the Irish climbed their way into the middle class, elected an Irish Catholic president and started to vote Republican.

The African American story is remarkably similar to the Irish story except for one significant difference.  In the 19th century the goo-goo elite was disgusted by the Irish, and criticized their "shanty Irish" squalor and their tribal approach to politics.  But in America today the goo-goo liberal elite uses African Americans as a key part of its over-under political coalition.  Without African Americans as its rock-solid base and political patronage client the liberals would be journeying in the political wilderness.  An African American community that no longer feared a return of Jim Crow, that no longer had 70 percent of its children out of wedlock, that no longer headed the crime statistics, that was getting a decent education would be a placid middle class group that would only vote 60-40 for Democrats rather than 90-10.

One day that will happen, provided that liberal race politics doesn't embroil the US in a race war in the mean time.  It will happen because African Americans, like every immigrant group before them, ache to arrive in the Promised Land of middle-class respectability.

Meanwhile, as the immolation of John Derbyshire proves, you had better not say the wrong thing about race.  It could get you in a lot of trouble.  There is too much liberal power riding on the maintenance of the racial status quo.

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