Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Political correctness reaches a new milestone

Posted by sanityinjection on August 22, 2017

Until today, I felt pretty certain that over the past couple of decades, I had witnessed every variation of political correctness, to the point that I could no longer be surprised by whatever lunatic nonsense is foisted upon us by those who believe in the right to never be offended.

Until today.

That’s when I read this story over at Outkick the Coverage. I encourage you to read the story, and the comments, yourself. I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t believe this actually happened at first. But let me summarize: In the wake of the unfortunate events that recently took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, ESPN was apparently very concerned about mentioning anything to do with the Confederacy during their broadcast of the college football game between William and Mary and the University of Virginia. How concerned, you ask? Enough that they re-assigned one of the broadcasters scheduled to call the game to a different game because of his name: Robert Lee.

That’s right, because the sportscaster happens to share his very common first and last name with the Confederacy’s legendary general, Robert E. Lee, whose statue was the focus of the protests in Charlottesville, ESPN thought someone might be offended by HIS NAME.

Incidentally, Mr. Lee does not appear to be any sort of white supremacist, seeing as how he’s an Asian-American fellow. But apparently, ESPN thinks just the sound of his name might be too triggering for some.

The phenomenal idiocy of this is almost too much to comprehend. How many people named Robert Lee do you think there are in this country? Should they all have stayed home for a week so as not to offend anyone by their existence? Should Robert G. Lee, professor of American Studies at Brown, have taken an immediate sabbatical so as to preserve the campus as a “safe space”? Should Robert Lee, the English golfer, have stayed off the links for a week out of extreme politeness? Should Florida Episcopal preacher Robert V. Lee have let someone else spread the word of God for a little while? If anybody at ESPN happens to be reading, here’s a whole list of folks you probably don’t want to mention on air for a while.

Hyperbole, yes. But I am merely illustrating the logical extension of the ridiculous notion that someone should be hidden from public view because they happen to share the same name as an unpopular historical figure. It is neither rational nor reasonable to order a society on the basis that you ought to be able to go through life never hearing the name of someone you don’t like! Germany has some of the strictest anti-racism laws around, but even they didn’t try to ban people from naming their kids “Adolf”.

It would be easy to write this off as a “cover-your-ass” overreaction by a TV network already struggling as a result of their own over-politicization. What is disturbing is not so much the stupidity or craven cowardice of ESPN brass, but rather the larger prevailing climate of political correctness that leads to this kind of idea not being laughed right out of the meeting room.

I respect those who feel that leaders of the Confederacy should not be honored on public property. I understand why people might find their statues offensive. But if a person is going to be thrown off the rails simply by hearing the name Robert Lee, or even the odious Nathan Bedford Forrest, then it is that person who has a problem, and it is not society’s job to cater to them. When we have created a climate where a major media outlet like ESPN genuinely fears they will be the target of protests if they let an Asian-American reporter named Robert Lee call a game in Virginia, then it is time for some man-made climate change.

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Posted in Current Events, Domestic News, Politics, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Charleston church shooting is a hate crime. Should that matter?

Posted by sanityinjection on June 19, 2015

The recent shooting of innocent people at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina is a tragedy and an abomination. There can never be any rationale or justification for such an act. The shooter – presumably one Dylan Roof – deserves the death penalty in my opinion. Roof may be tried on federal charges if the Justice Department determines that the shooting constitutes a “hate crime”.

In fact, this incident is pretty much the textbook example of a hate crime – a crime in which the primary motive for the act is hatred toward a particular ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or other protected class. Roof apparently chose his target specifically in order to attack black people in hopes of starting a race war.

Now, just for a moment, let’s imagine that was not the case. Let’s imagine that Roof shot those people for some other reason – he was angry with one of them, or just angry at the world in general and taking it out on innocent people. Absent his racial animosity, this would not be a hate crime. But I ask you, would that make it somehow less heinous? Would that make it less awful for the people who have to figure out how to go on living without their loved ones?

The only difference between a hate crime and any other crime is the ideological motivation of the criminal. But think about what that means: Hate crime legislation criminalizes not the criminal act itself, but the opinions held by the criminal. That is a direct violation of one of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by our Constitituion: the freedom of conscience, or the freedom to think and hold whatever opinions we choose – no matter how offensive they are to the majority. In fact, it has been argued that you cannot have freedom of speech without first having freedom of conscience.

Should Dylan Roof – assuming he is found guilty of this terrible crime – be subject to additional prosecution on the basis of his racist beliefs? Specifically, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 mandates higher penalties for hate crimes. Should it really matter what he was thinking – or speaking – when he pulled the trigger?

I find racism abhorrent, but I think Roof or any other American has the right to hold such abhorrent beliefs. What he doesn’t have the right to do is shoot people, regardless of whether he dislikes them because they’re black or because their shoelaces are tied a certain way. Trying him for a hate crime is not going to somehow convince other racists to see the error of their ways. In fact, the opposite could be true – by making Roof’s racism the crime, he might become a martyr for white supremacist groups.

I believe South Carolina already allows the death penalty for murder. Let Roof be tried under that statute. Or, if the Feds have to be involved, let them try him for domestic terrorism, which trying to start a race war by murdering innocent people arguably is. But any prosecution under a hate crimes statute – of Roof or any other bigot – is itself an attack on the liberty of all Americans to hold unpopular opinions. When the government can tell us what we are allowed to think, then we are already living in a totalitarian state worse than anything Hitler or Stalin could have imagined in their wildest dreams.

Posted in Domestic News, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

CNN rediscovers reporting, covers Tea Party rallies

Posted by sanityinjection on April 8, 2010

One of the worst-kept secrets in journalism is that the major news organizations rarely engage in any actual reporting. The majority of the news they report is lifted from the wire services or from another news agency. Rather than spend the time and money to send a human reporter to check facts and interview people, it’s much easier to depend on what their colleagues have already done. The trouble with this is that any errors or bias in the original story get repeated, reflected and magnified on down the line until they attain the status of fact.

So it has been with coverage of the Tea Party movement. Most new desks have been quick to pick up on the reports of isolated racist comments and signs and reflect that as characteristic of the movement as a whole, without ever sending a reporter to a Tea Party rally.

With this in mind, I applaud CNN for bucking the trend and sending reporter and producer Shannon Travis to attend several Tea Party rallies in Utah and Colorado. Travis, as it happens, is African-American, and his reporting makes clear that he did not find anything like a racist or hate-filled atmosphere at the Tea Party events: “Almost everyone I met was welcoming…Some of them e-mailed me after my trip, thanking our crew for fairly giving them a voice.” He also noted that his was the only national news team that covered the events in person.

To CNN’s further credit, the story was not buried in some obscure corner of the site, but was linked prominently yesterday with a photo on the CNN homepage.

Here’s hoping other news networks and media outlets take a cue from CNN and start doing more reporting and less repeating.

Posted in Domestic News, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

New Jersey Democrats: The law is whatever we want

Posted by sanityinjection on April 6, 2010

One might be pardoned for thinking that in the current anti-incumbent climate, with voters uneasy about the health care reform law, elected officials and political parties would be at pains to avoid anything that seemed like arrogance or disregard for the will of the people.

Unless, of course, you live in New Jersey, where the Democratic Party has made it clear on multiple occasions that the laws and Constitution are only important to the extent that they benefit New Jersey Democrats. The most recent example relates to an effort begun by New Jersey voters to hold an election to recall Democrat Senator Robert Menendez. Like a number of states, New Jersey law allows for a process by which an elected official can be recalled before their term expires (as happened with former California Governor Gray Davis.) The process is fairly involved and requires a large number of signatures and steps to make sure that it is not something that can be easily done.

Naturally, Menendez isn’t too happy about this development. But instead of vigorously making the case to the people of New Jersey why the recall effort should be opposed, Menendez wants to make sure they never get to have an opinion at all. He is asking the New Jersey Supreme Court to rule the recall effort unconstitutional  because there is no language in the US Constitution that specifically authorizes the recall of US Senators.

This should be a slam dunk from a constitutional perspective. The Constitution reserves all powers not expressly given to the federal government to the several states, and New Jersey’s recall law has never been challenged under that state’s own constitution. So Menendez should be wasting his time, right?

Wrong. Because this is New Jersey, where the state Supreme Court sees the law as something to be casually hacked to pieces whenever it suits the Democratic party. It was just eight years ago that this same New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Democrats’ illegal last-minute substitution of Frank Lautenberg for incumbent Bob Torricelli as their Senate candidate – after Torricelli had been chosen by the voters in the Democratic primary – simply because the party wanted to dump Torricelli after he was the target of federal corruption charges. The Court held that the law had never envisioned a situation like Torricelli’s (really? a crooked politician is an unheard of concept?) and that keeping Torricelli on the ballot would constitute an unfair advantage for the Republicans (who held a gun to NJ Democrats’ heads and forced them to nominate a crook?) Lautenberg’s name went on the ballot, he won and remains the other Senator from New Jersey to this day.

So given that shameful history, why shouldn’t Menendez think the corrupt New Jersey Supreme Court might well rule in his favor? After all, he and the Democrats have a second argument: Because Menendez is Hispanic, the recall effort *must* be racially motivated and therefore shouldn’t be allowed no matter what the Constitution says.

Next time they screw up my order at the local Burger King, which is staffed almost exclusively by racial minorities, I am going to claim that the deficiency was racially motivated. How far do you think I’ll get with that one?

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Stop calling me a racist

Posted by sanityinjection on September 22, 2009

Am I the only one who is sick and tired of the incessant drumbeat from Democrats and the media that all opposition to President Obama is fueled by racism?

Of course there are racists out there, and some of them do go to town halls and tea party protests. But they are not even a sizable minority. They’re the fringe, and to seize on them as representative of legitimate protesters is typical sleazy politics for the Democrats, but it’s reprehensible journalism. Believe me, I could go to any Democrat rally or health care reform rally and pick out a few left-wing nuts who would make even Nancy Pelosi cringe.

Does it make me racist that I don’t want the government forcing me to pay for everyone else’s health care, or that I don’t want to be punished for the carbon my car emits (or that I emit every time I exhale?) Am I a racist because I think Obama has blundered badly on missile defense? Or that he has wasted a trillion dollars on political giveaways and pet projects that were supposed to stimulate the economy? Does it really enhance the body politic to create an environment in which any legitimate discussion of issues must be swamped by accusations of racism?

Let me make it crystal clear for Pelosi, Maureen Dowd and their associated lapdogs: I attribute none of these failings to the fact that President Obama is black. I see no connection between the color of his skin and the quality of his leadership (or lack thereof.) As Obama said on Letterman, “I was black before the election.” In other words, the fact that Obama’s popularity has plummeted cannot be attributed to racism, and even the President gets that. Rather, it stems from serious, widespread concerns about the President’s leadership, his trustworthiness (in terms of keeping his election promises such as not raising taxes on the middle class) and the direction in which he is taking this country. Even with all of this, I do believe the President is genuinely doing what he believes to be best for our country. I just think he’s wrong – not wrong because he’s black, but wrong because his ideas about America, the Constitution, and capitalism are the same wrong ideas shared by plenty of white people who would be equally distasteful as President.

Are we done now?

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Think racism mostly thrives in the South? Think again.

Posted by sanityinjection on July 8, 2009

This is one of the most blatant examples of racism I’ve seen in a long time:

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Pool-Boots-Kids-Who-Might-Change-the-Complexion.html

And let it be stressed that it happened not in the Deep South but in Philadelphia, a “blue” city in a “blue” state that voted for Obama. And yet, Philadelphia, like many Northern cities,  does have a history of racism as disturbing as anything in the South. (New York City, too, has had plenty of race riots over its long history.)

If the members of the Valley Swim Club are so prejudiced that they want to get out of the pool when black children enter it, that is their right to do so. But for the club to renege on its agreement with the Creative Steps Day Camp and prevent the children from using their pool is indefensible. If you don’t want outsiders in your pool, don’t take their money. Apparently the Swim Club wasn’t concerned about the color of the day camp’s money until its members complained about the color of their skin.

What’s particularly disturbing was the remarks made by a white parent as overheard by one of the black campers: “I’m scared they [the black kids]might do something to my child.” It’s hard to imagine that a kid would make up something like that, so let’s assume it’s true. First of all, what is a black kid going to do to a white kid that another white kid couldn’t just as easily do? Shoot them in the face? Second of all, whence the assumption that black people are all hooligans? Or is it rather a case of projection, in which the white parent assumes that the blacks must dislike her and her child as much as she fears and dislikes them?

I’m sure this incident is embarrassing to the many good people of Philadelphia, and I hope that the Valley Swim Club and its members will find themselves the subject of intense pressure to change their attitude.

Posted in Domestic News | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The double standard: “You can’t criticize me, I’m a Lefty!”

Posted by sanityinjection on October 2, 2008

I try not to pay too much attention to celebrities who embarrass themselves by saying idiotic things in public, but this one deserves a brief comment. The self-abuse victim in question is comedienne/actress Sandra Bernhard. Ms. Bernhard was doing a one-woman show in Washington recently and did a bit of a monologue on Governor Sarah Palin. In her expletive-filled monologue, Bernhard called Palin a “bitch” and a “whore” and suggested that if she set foot in Manhattan she would be “gang-raped by my big black brothers”. Apparently, Ms. Bernhard’s ire against Governor Palin stems from the Governor’s opposition to abortion, which in Ms. Bernhard’s view I guess is a crime which should be punished by gang-raping.

While horrific, these comments drew little comment beyond a brief blurb in the mainstream media. Until yesterday, that is. You see, Ms. Bernhard was supposed to be the headliner at a comedy luncheon to benefit a famous women’s shelter in Boston called Rosie’s Place. Well, the folks over at Rosie’s Place may not be big fans of Sarah Palin, but more importantly they do not find it at all funny when someone suggests that a woman be gang-raped. Some of the women who live at Rosie’s Place are themselves rape victims, and Rosie’s Place told Ms. Bernhard in no uncertain terms that she was no longer invited to be a part of the luncheon.

Now, just for a moment, put yourself in Ms. Bernhard’s place. How would you handle this? If it were me, I would put out a statement, apologizing profusely and pointing out that comedians make a living by being outrageous and that sometimes we accidentally cross the line. And that would probably be the end of it.

Ah, no. Ms. Bernhard insisted her remarks had been “taken out of context” and that her monologue was “to protect women” from the “extreme views of Sarah Palin”. She cited her long standing advocacy for women’s rights and organizations like Rosie’s Place. In other words, because she’s a Lefty, she can say whatever she wants and it’s OK, because she’s one of the Good Guys, er, Good Girls. This arrogance is far worse, to me, than simply saying something stupid off the cuff.

Apparently, no one has even considered that what Bernhard said was also viciously racist – i.e., black men in the inner city are violent rapists who lust after white women. But I guess that’s OK to say too when you’re a Lefty.

So far, not one of the women’s rights or civil rights organizations has condemned Bernhard’s remarks. Does anyone seriously want to argue that if it had been Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, or even Michelle Malkin who had made the same comments, that they would have been fired instantly and massively tarred and feathered by every mainstream media outlet with glee?

You can read a transcript and see a video clip of part of Bernhard’s remarks here:

http://media.newsbusters.org/stories/sandra-bernhard-palin-would-be-gang-raped-blacks-manhattan.html?q=blogs/tim-graham/2008/09/19/sandra-bernhard-palin-would-be-gang-raped-blacks-manhattan

Posted in Current Events, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s time to discuss the racism angle in this election.

Posted by sanityinjection on September 19, 2008

Have you ever noticed how political columnists tend to repeat the same themes? One person will write a column, and pretty soon 6 others are writing about the same thing. It’s a lot easier than coming up with your own ideas, and it’s absolutely critical if your goal is to pound a political message down America’s collective throat. After all, how will we know what to believe unless the media tells us?

In response to the dead heat that the 2008 election has turned out to be – a development which completely flabbergasted the “talking heads” who had started to believe their own hype about Senator Obama being the Second Coming of Christ – the media seems to have coalesced around a new orthodox doctrine, which I mentioned in my announcement of the Walter Dobius Yellow Journalism Award for September (see separate post, below.) The media’s line of thinking goes like this:

1) The Bush Administration has ruined America at home and abroad and the voters are dissatisfied.

2) This election should be a cakewalk for the Democrats.

3) Barack Obama is a superb candidate and will be the best President America has ever had.

4) John McCain is merely an extension of George W. Bush; therefore, Obama should be rolling over McCain in this election.

5) Despite all this, the race remains neck and neck.

6) Since there is no logically conceivable reason why any voter could support McCain over Obama, all McCain supporters must be racists.

What is interesting about this coordinated media blast is that it seems to have come from nowhere. Up until now, the Obama campaign, far from whining about how Obama is being oppressed by da man, has presented their guy as the “post-racial” candidate – someone who can move America beyond racial stereotypes and prejudice, someone who does not see America as black vs. white. Now that the poll numbers have shifted and his lead has evaporated, suddenly Obama is the victim of racism. All those Pennsylvanians and Ohioans who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary, turns out it’s not that they actually thought Hillary was the better candidate, they are just bigots. Of course, African-Americans who vote for Obama simply because he’s black, are not racists, they are “empowering their community” and “making history.”

In fairness, it must be acknowledged that racism does exist, and there are voters who will refuse to vote for Obama simply because he is black. We don’t know how significant that population is because it’s notoriously difficult to measure. Many people are genuinely unaware of the extent of their own prejudices, and fewer still are willing to admit them to pollsters. In the absence of reliable data, however, the media have claimed the right to make up the size of the racial vote as they see fit. They point to past elections where black candidates have led in the polls only to lose or eke out a win in the final tally, as evidence of hidden racism – as if polls in elections between white candidates never turned out to be inaccurate.

What this all comes back to is the fundamental intolerance of the modern American Left. It is not possible to disagree with the Left based on rational thought, moral principle, or strategic philosophy. The only possible explanation for an individual disagreeing with the Left is that the individual is Evil Incarnate. (If you think I am exaggerating, I invite you to read the DailyKos for one day.) Evil is not to be respected or tolerated, it is only to be stamped out by the Rainbow Armies of the Righteous. Thus, any means are justified in the Left’s pursuit of their ideal society of peace, justice, and legislated equality. And there is no ground for anyone to stand on to critique these goals or the methods used to achieve them.

So now the charge of racism is to be used as a club, to coerce the stupid, horse-brained masses into voting the way they are supposed to. After all, nobody wants their Obama-supporting neighbor telling everyone in town that they are a closet racist. But the true racists are unlikely to be swayed, so it is only the innocent who will be bullied.

I think that whether one is a supporter of Senator Obama or not, he and his campaign deserve better than this. Surely Obama’s policy proposals and vision for America should be able to stand on their own as arguments for his candidacy. Aren’t those the reasons why his supporters want him to succeed? If not….what are their reasons?

I believe that if elected, at the end of his first term President Obama would want to be known for some accomplishments beyond simply being the first black President. Let us then judge his candidacy on what he would like those accomplishments to be, and whether we think him capable of achieving them. Let us apply the epithet of “racist” only to those who would have us see Senator Obama, for good or for ill,  as a black man to the exclusion of all else, and not to those who audaciously seek to judge him by the same standards any white politician would be held to.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , | 12 Comments »

September’s Yellow Journalism Award Winner

Posted by sanityinjection on September 17, 2008

Although the month of September is only half completed, we already have a clear winner of the Sanity Injection Walter Dobius Yellow Journalism Award. (The award bears the name of the arrogant, disingenuous, totally biased but highly infuential and respected journalist in Allen Drury’s award winning political novel, “Advise and Consent”.)

This month’s winner is CNN’s Jack Cafferty. Cafferty, who fancies himself as CNN’s version of Andy Rooney, has a history of offensive commentary, having earned the ire of Arabs and Chinese in his previous blatherings.

Lately, Cafferty has been blogging about the Presidential race. In his latest opus, dated yesterday, Cafferty references a perfectly reasonable article by Time’s Michael Grunwald discussing the role of race in the campaign and why Barack Obama has been reluctant to whine about racism among the voting public (article here: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1841109,00.html). Cafferty’s contribution to this topic is to openly state that racism is the biggest factor in this election and that it is the only reason why Barack Obama isn’t way ahead in the polls. He further implies that there could be no sensible ground on which someone could prefer John McCain to Obama other than racism – which will come as news to Senator McCain’s African-American supporters.

However, the Dobius Award is never based on just one piece of writing. A perusal of Cafferty’s CNN blog (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/tag/cnns-jack-cafferty/) shows a wealth of entries with no sign of any commentary that wouldn’t feel at home in the Obama campaign’s talking points. Consider the following titles: “McCain V.P. pick younger, less experienced than Obama”; “Was Palin properly vetted to be McCain’s V.P.?”; “Should McCain consider replacing Palin?”; “Does Palin help or hurt McCain?”; “Clinton v. Palin: Who has more credibility?” And that’s just within the last two weeks. A look at Cafferty’s blog categories indicates 2,599 blogs in the “Barack Obama” category, but only 1,659 in the “John McCain”: category. That is 56% more mentions for the Democratic candidate.

Cafferty’s motivations for deliberately skewing his “commentary” seem clear: He was originally a supporter of the Iraq war, then turned against it, believing that the Bush Administration deceived the country (and more importantly, Jack Cafferty.) In other words, he had to admit he was wrong about something, and blames the Bush Administration for it. His wholehearted embrace of the “anti-war” candidate, Barack Obama, is both his way of trying to cover up his mistake and of punishing Bush and the Republicans.

None of this would be a problem if CNN presented Cafferty’s comments as what they are: Taken right from the Obama campaign’s talking points, and balanced them with a similarly partisan Republican commentator. (Cafferty is, after all, free to express his opinions.) The problem is that neither Cafferty nor CNN is willing to acknowledge Cafferty’s naked bias – rather, he is presented as a presumably objective journalistic voice with no counterpoint.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge that Cafferty has recently suffered the loss of his wife. I considered delaying the announcement of this award so as not to kick a man when he’s down, but his latest offense is against the very nature of democratic elections. Are we to be coerced into voting for a minority candidate under the threat of being labeled racist if we do not? Or, as a blogger recently stated bluntly, “From now on I’ll only disagree with Obama’s white half, OK?”

Congratulations to the recipient and the network that supports him. I hope they consider it a “dobius” distinction 🙂

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

But nobody cares, because they’re black?

Posted by sanityinjection on September 4, 2008

CBS 2 Chicago reports that over the summer of 2008, more people were shot and killed in the city of Chicago than the number of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined over the same period. 123 Chicagoans were killed, while only about 118 soldiers lost their lives.

Where are the protesters demanding a halt to this senseless violence? Where are the Code Pink wingnuts chaining themselves to the doors of the crack houses that serve as recruiting stations for Chicago’s street gangs? Why are the lives of these victims, often women and children who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, less deserving of outraged attention? Where are the convention protesters marching with homemade signs that read “GANGS OUT OF CHICAGO”?

Surely it can’t be true that the Left is content to let our cities remain deathtraps as long as it’s just blacks, Hispanics and Asians killing other blacks, Hispanics, and Asians…can it?

Posted in Domestic News, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »