Sunday, November 30, 2014

posted elsewhere
renren links to Reason, so I think it's only fair.  Riley is on the editorial board of the WSJ, and the book is published by Encounter. Caveat emptor. 
If you want to make these sort of arguments seriously then you have to go to the left not the right. See Derrick Bell's arguments against the Brown decision. Right wing Burkeanism is colored more by greed than honest pessimism.

As for the post itself, the mannerisms of American suburban or middle-class "emo"-ism for lack of a better term, of pained liberalism, are hard to take.

"I spent a day and a half trying to find an effective way to communicate the pain, frustration, anger, sadness I was feeling to my friends, peers, and colleagues online, particularly those that seem to live in an alternate reality."

Americans excluding immigrants regardless of race or class live in an alternate reality. The US has been openly at war for almost all of this century, and less openly since at least 1945. Racism is real and current. The existence of the US base at Guantanamo is proof of that, ignoring what's happening there at the moment. And if I had to choose between [life as] a black American man or a Palestinian man in the West Bank or Gaza which would be safer?

Most whites are racist, at least "just-a-little-bit". Most men are at least, "just-a-little-bit" sexist. Both are a given. Years ago when I forgot -literally- that the woman I was seeing at the time was black it was a happy surprise; I'd never assumed. But liberals assume, and lie to themselves, and they're always shocked by the racism of others. In 2008 they were shocked by this. The friend who showed me the story was smiling ear to ear because he knew it meant Obama was going to win.
"We're voting for the nigger". The battle-hardened recognize progress when they see it.

It's also that having grown up as a white kid in a mostly black neighborhood the soft lectures of black people now ensconced in the world of comfortable and sincere white liberalism directed at their equally earnest white peers, also is hard to take. Academics who make claims to righteous anger often want it both ways: indulging the bourgeois pleasures of the groves of academe while writing about storming the walls of some fortress elsewhere, if only in their imagination. And more and more the academy is treated like a church, not only a place apart but openly and clearly above. And what's the politics of that?

A paragraph from a piece I found through the Savage Minds twitter feed.

"My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK" From a list of things the author did not expect.
I didn't expect to have to wrap my arms around Leo, a Chicano student who stood shivering and sobbing in front of Poughkeepsie police after getting jumped on Raymond Ave by kids he called "my own people." Didn't expect to take him to the police station and have the questioning officer ask Leo, "Why do you use the term 'Latino'? Can you tell me what country the boys who jumped you were from?" The officer told Leo that his partner was Colombian and could tell where a person was from just by looking at them. Leo told me that he felt "most Chicano, most Latino, and most like a Vassar student" that night.
What kind of life would a Chicano kid in the US most likely have had to be shocked to be jumped by "my own people."? And what bubble would he have to have lived in to say that he felt "most Chicano, most Latino, and most like a Vassar student" after being shocked again by the cop's question? Vassar is part of a very specific bubble, an east coast prep-school college.

The politics of all of this is not only conflicted but confused, by a very American unwillingness to face the conflicts in one's own life.

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