‘Defund The Police’ Has Increased Gun Sales And Support For Trump

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to take federal funds away from any police department that has violated the civil rights of the citizens they serve. The Minneapolis City Council agreed with calls from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to disband the city’s police department and unanimously passed a resolution to replace the police with a “community-led public safety system.” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti seeks to cut $150 million from the police budget. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he would slash the city’s police department budget too.

Despite all these actions, some leftists are engaging in word gymnastics by stating that “defund” really means reform. Yet, in a New York Times op-ed titled “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police,” Mariame Kaba — an activist and an anti-crime organizer — clarified for Americans what “Defund the Police” means.

Kaba writes, “We don’t want to just close police departments. We want to make them obsolete.” She criticized a police reform bill put forth by Democrats as something that was tried and failed in the past. She concluded the police couldn’t be reformed because they are always racist, violent, and “don’t catch the bad guys.”

She states, “The surest way of reducing police violence is to reduce the power of the police, by cutting budgets and the number of officers in half” as an immediate step. But don’t confuse that with her ultimate goal: “We don’t want to just close police departments. We want to make them obsolete.”

Without the police, what should the community do to protect themselves against criminals? Kaba suggested using “community care workers” to address mental health issues and “restorative-justice models” instead of “throwing people in prison.”

Thanks to Kaba’s clarification, it seems even many of the leftist readers of The New York Times reject the call to “defund the police” once they grasp its true meaning. One comment at NYTimes.com that accrued more than 2,600 “likes” said: “This is a fantasy. You can fund all the social programs you want, you won’t eliminate crime or disorder. I appreciate law and order.”

Another one with more than 1,300 “likes” wrote: “This is a non-starter for me. Serious reform is needed. But you might as well call for abolishing hospitals or grocery stores.” A man who says he lived in the Bronx during the 1970s exclaimed he knew from firsthand experience that abolishing police is “a terrible idea.”

These readers who disagree with Kaba are not in the minority. An ABC News/Ipsos poll finds 64 percent of Americans oppose the “defund the police” movement and reject many of its goals, such as reallocating police department funding to mental health, housing, and education programs. Even 43 percent of Democrats oppose both defunding the police and reallocating funding to other causes. The poll reveals that the majority of Americans do believe that police keep them safe and a society without police is unthinkable and dangerous.

Americans Realize How Much We Need Good Police

The recent weeks of unrest across America have only served to reinforce the idea that policing is needed to maintain law and order. Americans saw that when police pull back, a movement that started with a legitimate grievance was quickly hijacked by criminals who are bent on destroying the communities and livelihoods of black and Caucasian Americans alike.

Burning down black-owned businesses, looting Louis Vuitton stores, and killing black police officers had nothing to do with finding justice for George Floyd. The combination of the pandemic, the riots, and now the calls for defunding the police have convinced many Americans that they need to become gun owners so they can protect themselves, their families, and their communities.

USA Today reports that Americans are loading up on guns and ammo in the wake of the riots. Firearm sales went up 78 percent in the last week of May, compared to the same time in 2019. The online ammunition website Ammo.com saw a 602 percent increase in revenue since the pandemic.

The International Firearm Specialist Academy website saw a 50 percent rise in first-time gun owners taking online training classes. The FBI reported more than 3 million background checks in May, the highest for on record for that month. Gun and ammo manufacturers and retail shops expect sales to remain strong in June too.

Gun restriction has long been a top issue in the Democratic Party’s platform. During the Democrat presidential primary race, all candidates advocated for strict gun laws including universal background checks and the banning of assault weapons. The recent surge of firearm sales presents Democrats a dilemma: they can’t call for defunding the police and gun control at the same time. Democrats have to choose one.

If they keep supporting the “defund the police” movement, Democrats will lose on the gun control issue because when Americans hear “defunding the police,” they hear government giving up enforcing laws and protecting law-abiding citizens. They envision a lawless world where no one will help them when criminals rob their houses or attempt to rape women.

Americans don’t need any data (although there is plenty) to tell them that when police retreat, crime spikes. As long as there is a persistent call for defunding the police, Americans will take matters into their own hands by becoming gun owners and Democrats will fail to win hearts and minds on the gun control issue.

Voters Will Turn to Trump For Law and Order

The “Defund the Police” movement has not only turned more Americans into gun owners and supporters for the Second Amendment, but may prove to be a boon for President Trump’s reelection campaign. Since downtown Oakland saw some of the worst riots and looting in the nation, I recently checked in with a friend who lives there to make sure she and her family are safe.

Like me, she’s an immigrant from China and experienced Chairman Mao Zedong’s “Cultural Revolution” when growing up. Unlike me, she has supported Democrats for years. She loathes everything Trump stands for, from his immigration rhetoric to positions on foreign policy. For the sake of our friendship, we typically avoid discussing domestic politics as well.

This time, however, she went straight to domestic politics. She told me she and her family were safe but the riots and looting in downtown Oakland were terrifying. She was heartbroken to see so many immigrant-owned “mom and pop” stores ransacked or even burned to the ground.

She conveyed that while she wanted to see justice for Floyd, night after night of destruction and lawlessness were just “too much.” They reminded her of China’s “Cultural Revolution” from 1966-1976. She told me: “I didn’t come all this way to America to re-live a ‘Cultural Revolution’ in 2020.” Then she said something I would never have thought she’d say before: “Trump is right. We need law and order.”

She’s not the only longtime Democrat who is deeply troubled by the call to get rid of the police. Bill Maher, the host of “Real Time,” also blasted Democrats for their call to “defend the police.” “That’s so ‘Democrats’ for you,” said Maher, “You know, they must have meetings to be this f—ing stupid about politics. ‘Hey guys, we’re making some headway here, how could we turn this into something that makes people have to vote for Trump?’”

There is probably a silent majority of level-headed Americans, who, like my friend, are sick to their stomach to see the injustice and brutality that Floyd suffered. They demand justice for Floyd and serious reform for our nation’s police force.

What’s equally important to this silent majority, however, is that they don’t want to continue to experience constant chaos, lawlessness, and destruction. Many probably are troubled by some of the president’s tweets and disagree with him on a number of issues. But if the choice this November is between “Defund the Police” and “Law and Order,” many will hold their nose and vote for Trump.

The Gov’t’s Actions Have Gone Beyond Anything I Imagined!

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What To Read Instead Of ‘White Fragility’

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“Do the work!” The phrase has become a kind of ritual malediction among activists who seek to weaponize racism.

First, an accusation of racism is made. It goes without saying that it is accurate – how could it not be, when virtually every institution and norm in modern America is an instrument of white supremacy?

At this point, a lot of people merely yield or acquiesce to the will of their accuser out of misplaced guilt or fear of the reputational harm that comes with being branded a racist. If you are foolhardy enough to raise questions of the accuser about the veracity of the complaint, or are merely confused about what’s being alleged, a discussion will not ensue. There will be variations of the same theme: “I AM TIRED. AND EXHAUSTED trying to explain your white privilege to you. DO THE WORK.” 

What does “do the work” even mean? Well, if you want to go down the academic rabbit-hole from which this emerged, in neo-Marxian critical theory argot the term of art is “praxis.”

In his late-phase Marxism, Jean Paul Sartre defined “praxis” as the transformation of the world in accordance with a specific ideological end. So when you’re told “do the work,” leftists don’t mean any kind of personal development that would allow for unique circumstances, individual understanding, and personal agency. They have a very specific program in mind for you to follow.

So we get passages like this from a priceless open letter in Portland Monthly where “white people” are addressed en masse and told to “Consider your performative solidarity officially on notice”:

I advise you to check your white guilt and the impulse you may now feel to reach out to the Black folks in your life. DO NOT CALL YOUR BLACK FRIEND RIGHT NOW! This might be a novel concept, but consume content about the Black experience produced by Black creatives and thought leaders—not white non-experts on Blackness you feel safe with. We all have the same internet, and from it you have equal access to books, culturally-specific contemporary publications, podcasts, and other seemingly endless resources that can be the impetus for your own self-examination.

It’s telling that engagement is one-sided – you’re not to be engaged until you’re immersed in a “culturally-specific” and political understanding of their choosing.

To that end, the author above provides a link to a Google doc with a slew of resources to get woke. The suggestions range from relatively benign or helpful (read Toni Morrison novels!) to eye-rolling (follow The New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie on Twitter) to pernicious works influenced by critical race theory that damage race relations and interpersonal relationships (the work of Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi, authors of White Fragility and How to Be an Anti-Racist).

By now it should be obvious what’s going on. If you’re aggressively confronted about alleged personal weaknesses, shut out from dealing directly with the supposedly aggrieved party, told you can only begin these failings by engaging with and agreeing to a specific doctrine, and at that point you relent… congratulations! You’ve just joined a cult.

The purging of wrongthink will be total. Last month, The New York Times published an op-ed encouraging people to send texts “to your relatives and loved ones telling them you will not be visiting them or answering phone calls until they take significant action in supporting black lives either through protest or financial contributions.”

The Kafka Trap

While critical race theory is seeping into the culture from a lot of different directions, it’s worth looking at the two most influential books, White Fragility and How to Be an Anti-Racist, which are currently dominating the bestseller lists.

The reach of DiAngelo’s White Fragility is such that she was recently a guest on the Tonight Show, and the book has become almost totemic in its significance. Recently, Robin Broshi, a member of a New York City Community Education Council, got outraged at her fellow councilmember during the group’s public Zoom meeting for bouncing a friend’s nephew on his lap.

His crime? “It hurts people when they see a white man bouncing a brown baby on their lap and they don’t know the context. That is harmful,” she said, in obvious distress. “I would like to know how having my friend’s nephew on my lap was racist,” he asked. “Read a book. Read White Fragility,” she retorted.

Fortunately, the notoriety has been such that at least a few notable people have read White Fragility and finally begun to condemn the insanity it provokes. Matt Taibbi, an avowed liberal who has recently become alarmed by the growing belief that “individual rights, humanism, and the democratic process are all just stalking-horses for white supremacy,” tore the book to pieces in a widely read review, noting, “DiAngelo isn’t the first person to make a buck pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horses–t as corporate wisdom, but she might be the first to do it selling Hitlerian race theory.”

The Hitlerian race theory bit isn’t really hyperbole. The entire book is a peaen to white identity politics, albeit a backhanded one. DiAngelo, who is white, insists that for white people to address racism they have to accept their identity as a white person and constantly be aware of how the mere fact of their skin color defines interactions with others. Once they’ve done that, only then can they begin to shed their racist behaviors but LOL JK you can’t really stop being racist because you’re still white and “anti-blackness is foundational to our very identities.”

Now obviously there are lots of historical examples of why encouraging white people to find solidarity in their skin color could backfire. In that respect, the colorblind attitudes preached by Martin Luther King Jr. and his acolytes were successful in advancing civil rights,  and not just because they encouraged white people to see black people as their brothers and sisters made in the image of the same God and therefore deserving of the same personal respect and political rights. Emphasizing the “content of their character” over the color of their skin made it clear just how superficial race-based solidarity of white culture is and why it was worth rejecting. In fact, DiAngelo makes a point of explicitly rejecting the “content of their character” argument, arrogantly oblivious to the hubris involved in a white lady dismissing MLK’s civil rights legacy.

While frustration over perceived lack of racial progress since the MLK era is understandable, it beggars belief that anyone, let alone someone who professes to oppose racism, would look at the last 70 or so years of American history and say, “I think we need to get white people to start thinking about how their skin color unites them.” But here we are.

Taibbi righteously identifies problems with DiAngelo, but skirts around the fact that DiAngelo’s desire to harden racial identities is just a set-up for something even more troubling. Should you resist accepting your white identity or otherwise deny how an accident of your birth makes you complicit in systemic evils regardless of your intent and behavior, well, DiAngelo’s pat response is kind of astonishing: The fact you are insecure and “fragile” when confronted with what your white identity means is just further proof that you are, in fact, racist.

This is a rhetorical device known as a “Kafka trap,” where the more you deny something, the more it’s proof of your guilt. Suffice to say, this is both illogical and manipulative by design. It’s not just that DiAngelo’s book is premised on a fallacy; that fallacy is so prominent it’s explained in the title of the book.

This brings us to Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist, which kicks Kafka-trapping up to a whole new level. Like DiAngelo, Kendi’s vision of being “anti-racist” means coding every interaction with people in terms of some sort of complex hierarchy of identity that you’re supposed to innately understand. (Note that the epistemology of various identarian ideologies are at odds with each other. Skin color may be an observable fact to some extent, but “race” is largely a cultural construct, hence why so many people agree to pretend Shaun King is black.)

Again, Kendi is creating a closed loop. Agree to situate yourself in the hierarchy, or you’re racist. And once you’ve situated yourself in the hierarchy, that’s when “doing the work” begins.

Even if you as an individual have done nothing wrong, you’re still benefitting from a racist system just by virtue of your skin color. Merely not being racist and confronting racist behavior when you see it isn’t enough to dismantle racism. Instead, you have to be “anti-racist.”

That means you are constantly combatting systemic racism by, in effect, attacking and remaking the system itself. What does this look like? Well, I’ll let Kendi explain:

To fix the original sin of racism, Americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principals: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals. The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with ‘racist ideas’ and ‘public official’ clearly defined). It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.

All we have to do is “clearly define” racism and make it illegal? Why didn’t we think of that earlier! And a federal cabinet agency that goes around investigating “private” accusations of racism and disciplining public officials for expressions of racist ideas? Just ignore the amusing suggestion that this agency be referred to as “DOA,” let’s just call it the federal Department of What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

These ideas are especially insidious because they exploit the goodwill of people and institutions earnestly seeking to not be racist, and who come into these discussions with their guards down and willing to change their behavior if they think it will help make the world a less racist place.

Ironically, the supposed solutions coming from DiAngelo and Kendi in any other context would be called racist. They perpetuate a worldview that asks people to accept that they are forever defined by skin color, and refute attempts to question this understanding with nonfalsifiable logic that requires permanent subjugation. But you are not racist for disagreeing with this stuff — it’s anti-American, and designed to create more unhappiness and racial strife.

The Use and Abuse of History

So how do you fight this? Well, to start you should, in fact, “do the work.” But acquainting yourself with the more current and pernicious stains of thinking on racial politics isn’t enough.

You may have noticed that DiAngelo, Kendi, and most of their fellow travelers are obsessed with history as of late. They justify their urgency and radicalism by citing historical narratives divorced from reality, one where racism and slavery aren’t a betrayal of American ideals, but the fulfillment of them.

This mythmaking bulldozes over historical and present reality. There are plenty of criticisms of this country’s political and cultural handling of race that can and should be made, but it’s frankly embarrassing how ignorant and misleading about history so many of the people leading our national conversation on race really are. The people yelling “do the work!” haven’t actually done the work.

For instance, this past Fourth of July, Kendi tweeted an abbreviated version of  Frederick Douglass’s famous speech, “What is a Slave to the Fourth of July.” Written in 1852, it is a scathing indictment of the hypocrisies of American founding ideals at time slavery was still legal.

Douglass, a former slave, abolitionist, and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, is truly great and underappreciated American. But for all his righteous anger over slavery, he still believed in his country. In the speech, Douglass praises the Constitution as “saving principles,” and he’s quite explicit in his belief that it’s “slander on [the founders’] memory” to believe the foundational document was part of a plan to perpetuate slavery rather than end it.

At a time people are toppling statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, anyone quoting Douglass’s speech should probably not omit where Douglass says, “the fathers of this republic, did, most deliberately, under the inspiration of a glorious patriotism, and with a sublime faith in the great principles of justice and freedom, lay deep the corner-stone of the national superstructure” and that he will “unite with you to honor their memory.”

However, if you just read Kendi’s abbreviated version of the speech, you’d get a very different idea of what Douglass actually said. The use and abuse of Douglass is a recurring theme. Last year, Colin Kaepernick quoted the Douglass speech for his own ends; this year he rejected the holiday outright, and simply referred to the Fourth of July as “your celebration of white supremacy.” Surely it says something that a millionaire athlete’s hatred of his country far eclipses that of Douglass, a former slave writing while slavery was still being practiced.

It’s simply becoming impossible to deny that the goal here is to rewrite history. The New York Times’ much-discussed 1619 Project explicitly aims to make America’s true founding date the arrival of the first slave ship in 1619, not 1776. Nikole Hannah-Jones, the leader of the 1619 Project, is a little more than an embarrassing and conspiracy-minded provocateur who has endorsed violence.

Her historical ignorance is such that she recently defended the toppling of a statue of noted racist Ulysses S. Grant and compared him to Hitler and Osama bin Laden because Grant “owned another human being.” For the record, Grant, who abhorred slavery and defeated the Confederate Army, inherited a single slave from his father-in-law and then manumitted him within a year or so because that’s about how long the legal process took.

Despite the fact that Hannah-Jones is a charlatan, The New York Times has had to issue a correction on the 1619 Project, and there have been howls of protests from America’s most eminent historians about the project’s “displacement of historical understanding by ideology,” the 1619 Project won a Pulitzer Prize, is coming to a school curriculum near you, and Oprah Winfrey has a series of film projects planned.

This false narrative that places slavery at the center of American history, rather than our imperfect struggle to realize our founding ideals, will be cemented unless people speak out. In addition to brushing up on the insidious logic behind critical race theory, it’s going to be necessary to improve our historical understanding to fight these attempts to tear the country down.

Doing the Real Work

With that in mind, here’s a list of books and other resources that will help put race and American history in their proper perspective. This list of books will not be comforting to contemporary conservative or Christian worldviews. Even if historical truths generally vindicate American ideals, that doesn’t excuse the blood-soaked betrayal of those ideas that have occurred in the nearly 250 years since. Part of the reason these ahistorical narratives about race are taking hold so swiftly is that most of the country has only confronted the horrors of slavery and racism in the abstract.

As James Baldwin has observed, “the reason for this ignorance is that a knowledge of the role these people [African-Americans] played—and play—in American life would reveal more about America to Americans than Americans wish to know.” Prepare to be uncomfortable and remember that you can handle challenging facts, ideas, and opinions. Remember you’re not the one asking people to join a cult — the goal is to be more empathetic and informed, and you should be prepared to change your mind about some things.

Slavery: Historically, America’s educational system has given the black experience short shrift, and it’s important to understand just how horrifying the practice of chattel slavery was in terms of the torture, abuse, and tearing apart of families. The low-impact book here is Alex Haley’s Roots: The Saga of an American Family, which was a mega-bestseller when it came out in the 1970s, won a Pulitzer, and prompted a hugely successful TV miniseries.

It follows the story of Kunta Kinte, an African kidnapped and sold into slavery and transported to America, and the generations of his family on down to Alex Haley himself. Roots is imperfect, or at the very least the fact a large chunk of it was apparently plagiarized from another novel about the slave experience written by a white guy should provide some interesting fodder for those who think “cultural appropriation” is a legitimate complaint. Still, the historical sweep of Roots puts slavery into perspective, it’s a cultural landmark, and it’s very readable.

It’s more imperative to read the first-hand 19th-century slave narratives. They are amazing documents. The most famous is, of course, the eponymous Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, which should be required reading for all Americans. Just the mere facts recounted about what the slaves were given to eat and wear should shock the conscience, never mind what Douglass has to say about the deliberate denial of slaves’ humanity.

“I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; He must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceases to be a man,” Douglass writes. The Library of America also has an excellent single volume of slave narratives that includes Douglass, as well as writings from Nat Turner, Sojourner Truth, and others.

Finally, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World The Slaves Made by Eugene D. Genovese is considered a classic history of slavery — the book won the Bancroft Prize when it came out in 1972 — and is fairly unique in that it uses Marxist critiques to show how slaves worked within the oppressive system to find ways to maintain their dignity.

Genovese was a sincere Marxist at the time he wrote it, but by the 1990s identified himself as a social conservative who founded the Historical Society to combat the “totalitarian assault” of political correctness and ideological history coming from the academy. The book’s use of Marxist theories is confounding, and even infuriating, to contemporary left-wing academics.

The Civil War: Since Confederate monuments and the legacy of the Civil War are at the heart of many of the current debates, it’s worth getting familiar with this pivotal event and its causes. A leading contender for best single-volume history of the conflict is James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom, which has been endorsed by Ta-Nehisi Coates for offering “a catalogue of evidence, making it clear not just that the white South went to war for the right to own people, but that it warred for the right to expand the right to own people.”

Relating to the Civil War, it’s important to also get familiar with the rhetoric of the leader who won it. The Portable Lincoln and Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America, the latter by the terrific historian Allen C. Guelzo, make it clear that Lincoln’s political success and his justifications for waging war rested on convincing the country slavery was incompatible with our cherished founding documents. Anyone who’s read The Gettysburg Address knows Lincoln was a brilliant writer, but he’s the rare figure, let alone politician, who only seems to grow in your estimation as you read more of his work.

Frederick Douglass: While Douglass’s autobiography is essential, that doesn’t begin to explain his political and cultural influence — and he was an influential political figure until his death 30 years after the end of the Civil War. The Portable Frederick Douglass, edited by John Stauffer and Henry Louis Gates Jr., provides not just selections from his autobiographical works, but a good selection of his speeches and journalism that show how America was continuing to wrestle with race in the decades following the end of slavery.

Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois: Born in 1856, Booker T. Washington’s 1901 autobiography Up From Slavery tells the story of the famous educator’s life and how he attributes his success to education, self-reliance, and industriousness. He urges this path for his fellow African-Americans.

It’s impossible to overstate the positive impact this book had on the country and race relations. For decades after it came out, Washington’s book was the only touchstone for race relations many white Americans had, and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. (My grandmother, who was raised in rural Idaho and died pushing 100, used to approvingly quote the book’s nuggets of wisdom for my benefit.)

On the other hand, Washington’s popularity and the simplicity of his message were also resented by other 20th-century black writers who were both in his shadow and still dealing with pronounced racism. In W.E.B. DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folk, published just two years after Up From Slavery, DuBois tackles Washington head-on.

He praises Washington for lifting up the image of black people and engendering sympathy to the plight of black people from whites, but counters that there were plenty of educated and industrious black Americans in Jim Crow America finding that Washington’s prescriptions weren’t enough to overcome racism. DuBois’ thinking eventually lead to the creation of the NAACP and more African-American political engagement.

It’s worth weighing DuBois and Washington’s arguments against each other in light of the ways political engagement has clearly benefited black Americans, versus creating dependencies that have eroded self-reliance and weakened black families and communities. There are points in favor of both arguments, and finding the right balance between the two is key to improving the lives of black Americans.

James Baldwin: Baldwin is just a stunning writer almost in the literal sense of the word, and he’s almost worth reading just to appreciate his mastery of the written word. The two essays contained in The Fire Next Time manage to say as much or more about the problems of race in just 120 pages than almost anyone before or since.

The Fire Next Time contains multitudes; Baldwin speaks of sincerely wanting vengeance for the treatment of black Americans and his thoughts on the potential for improving race relations drip with cynicism. A former preacher in his youth, he excoriates American Christianity for its inadequacies and hypocrisies on race.

But he always manages to leave the door open just enough so hope can creep in, writing of the need for a “love [that] takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” And he worryingly observes that “glorification of one race and the consequent debasement of another—or others—always has been and always will be a recipe for murder.”

It’s all the more interesting that the book was written in 1963. Baldwin’s asides on communism and imperialism, along with his dismissal of Bobby Kennedy’s surprisingly accurate prediction there would be a black president in 40 years, haven’t aged well.

But it’s also a real indictment so many of his universal observations about racial injustice, including his repeated complaints about the police treatment of black people, remain shockingly relevant. As a bonus, Baldwin astutely dissects the appeal of the Nation of Islam to black Americans — a topic that’s suddenly become relevant again.

Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele: Sowell might be one of the smartest Americans who has ever lived, and his contributions to economics are undeniably momentous. Any other black intellectual of his stature would be much more famous, but Sowell’s conservatism means his extensive writings on race are ignored because they don’t advance the political causes of the left.

But that doesn’t make them any less worthy. Books such as Intellectuals and Race, Discrimination and Disparities, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, and Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? are all impeccably argued and buttressed with research. (Sowell has also done important work on education, the big civil rights issue that doesn’t get discussed because it indicts the left.)

Similarly, Shelby Steele is another unjustly ignored conservative black intellectual whose writing on race is essential. White Guilt, Shame, The Content of Our Character, and A Dream Deferred all challenge accepted liberal racial and political narratives adroitly.

DiAngelo and Kendi: Yes, it will be painful, but you should absolutely try and read DiAngelo and Kendi’s books, because a lot of the people waving them around as anti-racist talisman might have picked up on a few ideas from an NPR interview, but odds are good they haven’t really read them.

Both books are full of academic jargon are somewhat inscrutable by design. But if you read them, that affords you a powerful opportunity when someone is, oh say, inexplicably offended by you bouncing a child of a different skin color on your lap and yells at you to read White Fragility.

At that point you can say, “Actually, I have read that book. And I think that anyone who actually cares about racism should be very wary of it. Do you really think ‘White people’s moral objection to racism increases their resistance to acknowledging their complicity with it’? Why does DiAngelo encourage white people to be obsessively aware of their racial identity when she also says ‘a positive white identity is an impossible goal’?” If nothing else, the results will be amusing.

James Lindsay and New Discourses: Lindsay and his cohorts at the New Discourses website have emerged as leading and fearless critics of the hordes of critical theorists trying to shove social justice down our throats, particularly as it intersects with real-world occupations and concerns. (See, for instance, this article on how woke politics are making it harder for mental health professionals to do their job.)

If you need a plain English explanation for the latest social justice fad and why it’s corrosive to free speech and other American values, there’s a good chance you’ll find something useful on their comprehensive website. Lindsay is also excellent at exposing just how far gone adherents of “critical social justice” are – see this video where someone tries to explain that determining whether the number of candies in a box is even or odd isn’t just a matter of counting them; it depends on your cultural understanding of “math.”

What’s interesting is that Lindsay is an atheist and a rationalist. Not that long ago, people with Lindsay’s sympathies were predominantly focused on critiquing the religious right. But Lindsay and the New Discourses crew seem to have the seriousness of threat coming from the zealous enforcement of the far-left’s woke doctrines, which have all the problems of religion but offer none of the forgiveness and redemption. To that end, Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose have a book coming out in late August, Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody, which promises to be insightful.

Putting Your Knowledge to Work

If you become acquainted with even a small fraction of the work above, you should be well-equipped to hold your own in a conversation about race. Unfortunately, these days entering into any public fray about race is fraught with the danger for reputational harm, no matter how well-intentioned you are.

Discussing race, particularly as a white person, should always be done cautiously, and emphasize empathy and humility. In that respect, I hardly pretend to know everything about race in America; everything I’ve written here should just be viewed as one concerned man offering his opinions and making an effort. I’m keeping an open mind about police reform and many other topics these days.

However, not that long ago, running around fretting over “cultural Marxism” was a sure way to announce you were a right-wing nut job. Now one glance at the bestsellers list suggests that such concerns are perfectly valid. There’s still plenty of room for the right and earnest liberals to discuss solutions to racial injustice, but ceding the discussion to the new clerisy of “anti-racists” is not really an option when they don’t offer participatory solutions so much as issue demands.

Again, it’s worth repeating Kendi and DiAngelo are not fringe figures — people pay thousands of dollars to attend seminars with them, their bestselling books are being assigned in schools, and corporate H.R. departments are writing diversity policies based on their work. It’s important you be aware of what they’re doing and refuse to let you, your children, or your organization be baited into one of their logical cul-de-sacs.

Sooner or later you’re going to encounter these anti-American ideas about addressing racism in your workplace, on kids’ homework, or in the faculty lounge – and you can’t be fragile when confronting it. You need to have a base of knowledge about race in America that demonstrates an understanding of the enormity of the country’s sins, as well as demonstrating you’ve made an effort to inform yourself about overcoming them. You need to understand that your opponents might be employing manipulative logic to make their arguments – arguments that are fast becoming so pervasive that many people making them might readily revise their opinions once you confront them with your concerns.

Already there are stories circulating that people have successfully challenged the woke racial thought police in the office and at professional organizations by arming themselves with some basic knowledge. But we can’t stop there.

If we inform ourselves about the real history of race in America and engage with the good-faith arguments on both sides, we might be able coalesce around solutions and come together as Americans. It won’t be easy, but if this is what it means to “do the work” rather than simply let ourselves be told what to think, the effort will be worth it.

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Netflix Slips Transgender Propaganda Into ‘Baby-Sitters Club’ Targeted At Tweens

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Betrayal, internet shaming, eating disorders, menstruation sculptures, feminism, gay dads, divorced families, transgender issues, and Tinder. Nope, this isn’t the second season of Netflix’s “The Politician,” it’s season one of the “kid-friendly” show “The Baby-Sitters Club.”

The show is based on the 30-year-old fictional girls from books by Ann M. Martin spanning from 1986 to 2000. But while the names may be the same, the characters have changed quite a bit. Within Stonybrook, a small fictional suburban town in Connecticut, the girls created a babysitting club ’80s gals like me envied as kids.

The 2020 rendition of the show, however, is a version replete with leftist talking points most young girls won’t even understand. At least, I sure hope they don’t.

As I scrolled through the new releases feature on my Netflix app and saw the show was out, I got excited. I was even happier when the TV-G rating popped up. Sure enough, when I went to my “kids” profile, it was there too! Front, center, and ready to play. I didn’t even watch the trailer. I eagerly told our girls — four under the age of 11 — that I had read the books as a kid and it was a show about hard-working babysitters who are friends in a cute small town.

Within five minutes, I was awed at how expertly the writers weaved in feminist lingo and preteen angst while also being slightly scared that this wasn’t an anomaly, but what my girls are growing up with all around them: leftist propaganda under the guise of cute and entertaining television.

Thinking to myself that “maybe movies and television ratings are different from what I remember,” I quickly Googled what exactly the TV-G rating means. According to Fandom, the rating means it’s supposed to be for everyone:

Programming rated TV-G in the United States TV Parental Guidelines signifies content that is suitable for all audiences. Some children’s programs that have content that teens or adults will relate to use a TV-G rating, as opposed to a TV-Y rating. This rating is also used for shows with inoffensive content (such as cooking shows, religious programming, nature documentaries, shows about pets and animals, classic television shows, and many shows on Disney Channel carry this rating (particularly sitcoms.)

I don’t ever remember “Even Stevens” or even “High School Musical” having the mature content addressed in this series. But maybe the entertainment world’s definition of what passes for “everyone” really has changed in just those few years.

In addition to the “men are evil and women are systemically oppressed” undertones during the opening scenes, I was aghast when Kristy speculated that Stacey probably has an eating disorder, the club founder displayed horrible, bratty behavior toward her mom, and Claudia showed off her “art” of a “menstruation sculpture.” All that was on display in the first episode.

Later in the season, there’s a broken and confused mom on Tinder, a gathering of witches, a 12-year-old talking about painting nudes, and a reference to “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

What really sold me on how this was not the “Baby-sitters Club” I grew up with was in episode four as Mary Anne is trying to “find her voice” — at least that’s how the innocent description and the tone of the episode go for a while. Netflix’s preview for episode four reads: “Mary Anne makes a new friend after dealing with a dad dilemma; a medical emergency puts her care-taking skills to the test.”

The club members are quite mean to Mary Anne when she takes a babysitting job without going through the proper rule protocols of making sure the other sitters aren’t available (no client can request a specific sitter). Mary Anne is playing tea with a little princess when they decide to change her outfit because she spilled.

That’s when the seventh-grade babysitter discovers that the little girl she is sitting for has a closet full of “old clothes” that are obviously for a little boy. The child then shows the sitter the dresser full of new clothes.

Soon after the mom leaves, the tween calls 911 for help when the child runs a severely high temperature. When they get to the hospital, the nurse and doctor refer to Bailey as a boy and ask how “he” is doing. This is where Mary Anne asserts herself. Her father rolls in just in time to watch proudly as his 12-year-old daughter scolds the medical duo for misgendering Bailey and making “her” uncomfortable. She then demands a pink hospital gown because Bailey doesn’t want to put on the blue one.

Now, don’t misread me here. I’m not a religious fundamentalist fanatic. Our girls watched “The Goonies” with my husband the other day! They listen to Kids Bop Top 40 music. I don’t make them wear skirts down to their ankles or ban them from hanging out with people we don’t agree with. What I want, however, is for parents to be aware of how skillfully this stuff is being presented to our children in the form of entertainment.

It’s also not just the message but often the messengers. My girls don’t care if Phil Rosenthal from “Somebody Feed Phil” is gay or trans or a feminist, they just enjoy watching him make funny faces as he tries delicious and weird foods from around the world. Yet my girls pay attention when they see “big girls” and “cool kids” spewing leftist talking points that will inevitably influence their core beliefs.

And that’s the point. The creators and writers are adeptly weaving these messages into our entertainment as if they are not just normal and socially acceptable, but the very essence of what’s just. The takeaway message is that if you don’t believe Mary Anne’s defense of the trans kid then you are a bad person. The word “bigot” is never mentioned, but tone matters. The pride shown by her father, the accolades he showers her with, and how excited she is for her moment to shine say more than enough.

I hope to raise my girls in a home where they’re free to inquire about things and even question our own beliefs. But as a mom, I also know that they have to be protected from certain messages until they are at an age where they can properly grapple with them and understand.

They’re far too young to be watching 12-year-olds kissing at camp, expertly wearing blue glitter liner, or back-talking their parents on TV. I wouldn’t let these babysitters watch our girls in real life, so why would I let my girls watch them?

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Media Attacks Trump For A Factual Statement About Law Enforcement And Race

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The media is famous for its attempts to completely assassinate and misconstrue Trump’s words to benefit its agenda and this week was no exception.  

In an interview with CBS, reporter Catherine Herridge asked Trump why black people are still dying at the hands of law enforcement. Trump responded by saying that more white people are actually killed by police every year. He also noted that he thought the question was “terrible.” 

According to Statista, Trump’s statement is true: more white people are killed by police every year in total. In just 2020, 204 white people and 105 black people were fatally shot to death by police in the U.S. 

In addition, the FBI data published in the Uniform Crime Report shows that white people are far more likely to be arrested than black people.

“In 2018, 69.0 percent of all individuals arrested were White, 27.4 percent were Black or African American, and 3.6 percent were of other races,” the report reads. 

A mathematical breakdown of data collected by multiple sources and published in The Boston Globe shows that the percentage of white people likely to be killed by the police is higher in situations where “white people tend to encounter the police in more grave situations.”

Almost immediately after Trump’s comments aired, reporters and others punched on his statement and began misconstruing it. Many of them mistook the statement and cited the fact that black people are more likely to be killed by police instead of acknowledging that Trump’s statement was referring to totals instead of rates.

“‘What a terrible question to ask,’ Trump says, when asked by ⁦@CBS_Herridge⁩ why Black people are still dying at the hands of law enforcement,” tweeted a CBS reporter. 

“The president asserts that ‘more’ White people are killed by police than Black people,” wrote New York Times reporter Maggie Habberman, whose description of the president’s line conveys his statement was not a fact.

One CNN headline even called Trump’s comments “racist rhetoric.”

“President Trump leans into racist rhetoric and downplays police violence against Black Americans,” it read. 

Twitter also dedicated a news alert page dedicated to the statements and reaction from journalists to “share data” about the statement. 

While one MSNBC reporter even acknowledged that Trump’s statement was true, he still proceeded to criticize him. 

“It is true that police in the US also kill a lot of white people which is…not really necessarily a super awesome debating point in the police’s favor?” wrote MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

Others, however, saw the hypocritical treatment Trump received for the statement from the media right away.

“It’s not merely an assertion; it’s a fact. We’re only surprised by the facts—when someone dares to utter them—because we’ve been brainwashed by the media to believe lies,” one user quipped. 

“I’m confused, what’s the problem? That’s factually accurate,” wrote another.

“This is factual. Now—% wise? No. Black people are more likely to be killed than whites based on their population size. But in order to know whether this is disproportionate, you don’t look at population. You look at crime rates and police interactions of whites vs blacks,” another tweeted.

“’Trump says sun rises in East, sets in West, without giving any evidence of the claim’,” wrote another.

“‘…without giving any evidence for the claim’ All the same, it is a fact, so… there’s that,” one user said.

Just this month, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and others criticized and misconstrued President Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore celebrating Independence Day calling it “dark and divisive” and “inflammatory” despite his words celebrating the Founding Fathers.

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Former ‘America’s Got Talent’ Host Nick Cannon Demands Apology After ViacomCBS Fired Him Over Anti-Semitic Remarks

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ViacomCBS announced Tuesday they’re cutting ties with their now-former host, Nick Cannon due to anti-Semitic comments he made on a podcast episode he re-released in recent weeks. After tweeting positive comments arguing his comments were well-meaning the day of his separation from the company, Cannon reversed course Wednesday morning with demands from ViacomCBS.

The episode, in which he hosted a rapper who is infamous for his anti-Semitic slurs, garnered increased attention earlier as media outlets caught wind of the controversial remarks.

The media conglomerate — owner of both the show Cannon was hosting, “Masked Singer,” and the show he hosted for nearly a decade, “America’s Got Talent” — released a statement confirming they spoke to Cannon about his hateful speech and anti-Semitic remarks.

“While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism and we are terminating our relationship with him,” the statement read.

ViacomCBS also said they plan to do better to respond to future incidents of “anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry.” They will release more announcement as they update their efforts to combat hate, according to the statement.

Cannon made anti-Semitic comments during an episode of his podcast, “Cannon’s Class,” which he recorded last year but re-released on June 30 in light of the current public focus on racism. He hosted former Public Enemy member Richard Griffin, better known as his rapper name, Professor Griff. The two discussed racial disparities and posed peculiar theological and historical theories, including the idea that Black people are true Hebrews and Jewish people have stolen their land and identity.

Cannon initially defended his actions following the company’s announcement in a series of tweets, saying “Anyone who knows me knows that I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric. We are living in a time when it is more important than ever to promote unity and understanding… I encourage more healthy dialogue and welcome any experts, clergy, or spokespersons to any of my platforms to hold me accountable and correct me in any statement that I’ve made that has been projected as negative.”

Among his controversial remarks from the 90-minute podcast episode, Cannon said he thinks Jews exploited the world for years, most notably through the Rothschild family’s legacy, a common anti-Semitic slur. Cannon also said he is free of anti-Semitic accusations because he himself is Semitic as a Black person.

Cannon chalked these words up to embracing racial differences and promoting unity in one of his tweets.

“My intentions are only to show that as a beautiful human species we have way more commonalities than differences, So let’s embrace those as well as each other. We All Family!”

Wednesday morning, however, Cannon’s sentiments changed. According to a nearly 1,500-word post that he titled “Truth and Reconciliation” on his Facebook page, he now demands a public apology from ViacomCBS as well as the complete ownership of his MTV and VH1 series “Wild ‘N Out.” Cannon crafted the brand “Wild ‘N Out,” he said, and it has been ruined without his leadership.

“I am the one making demands. I demand full ownership of my billion dollar ‘Wild ‘N Out’ brand that I created, and they will continue to misuse and destroy without my leadership! I demand that the hate and back door bullying cease and while we are at it, now that the truth is out, I demand the Apology!”

Cannon asserts that the actions of ViacomCBS in firing him is their attempt to bully, silence, and oppress him and the black community.

“Systemic racism is what this world was built on and was the subject in which I was attempting to highlight in the recent clips that have been circulating from my podcast,” Cannon said in his post.

Although his career with ViacomCBS is terminated, Cannon is still launching a syndicated daytime talk show with Debmar-Mercury.

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Department Of Education Debunks Fake Quote From Betsy DeVos Saying Children Die

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A viral and factually false Facebook post claimed U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, stated reopening schools in the fall would likely result in the deaths of children. 

The post read, “So Betsy Devos today said ‘only’ .02% of kids are likely to die when they go back to school. That’s 14,740 children.”

The post caused hysteria among FB users who also took to Twitter to shame DeVos for her alleged disregard for the lives of American children. One user denounced the Secretary’s callousness saying, “That’s about 40 times the number of school shooting victims from the last 10 years.”

DeVos’s press secretary, Angela Morabito debunked the viral quote as false. “The secretary has never and would never say such a thing,” in an email to the Daily Caller. “This is a total lie. She would not be working to get kids back to school if it were unsafe.”

In a FOX News Sunday appearance, DeVos affirmed her commitment to sending children back to school in the fall saying, “There’s nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous.”

A Check Your Fact article also discredited the Twitter post.

Since her appointment by president Trump in 2017 DeVos has been a favorite target of the Left

DeVos is a passionate supporter of school choice, which works to give all children, especially minorities, the opportunity for a better education. Democrats have been almost unanimous and unwavering in opposition to school choice, in part because they receive millions of dollars in campaign contributions from teachers unions who are firmly opposed to parental choice in education.   

Secretary DeVos joins the American Pediatric Association in her concerns for children not returning to school in the fall, something both say is harmful to kids.

Studies have shown that online learning has been detrimental to students’ education. In the second largest school district in America, the Los Angeles Unified School District, 40 percent of elementary school students did not even log into class once as of the first week of April, three weeks after the system closed. For students who did log on, superintendent Austin Beutner, stated that “merely logging in does not tell us anything more than the student turned on their computer.” 

Despite these dismal statistics and countless anecdotal reports from students and parents who homeschooled during lockdown with little success, America’s teachers’ unions continue to advocate for keeping students and teachers home in the fall.  

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Florida Labs Incorrectly Reported A 100% Positivity Rate For Coronavirus Tests

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Hundreds of labs in Florida reported to the state that 100 percent of people they tested for Covid-19 had the virus, according to a new investigation by FOX 35 News. Other testing centers reported positivity rates upwards of 80 and 90 percent. In actuality, the positivity rates for most testing centers were often under 10 percent and usually under 20 percent.

When FOX 35 contacted the labs with high positivity rates, several labs confirmed that the numbers were wildly inaccurate. Orlando Health, for example, had reported a 98 percent positivity rate, but confirmed to reporters that their positivity rate is actually 9.4 percent.

Over 200 testing centers in Florida reported 100 percent positivity rates. In most cases, the testing centers completely failed to include the number of negative test results. The Florida Department of Health told FOX 35 that labs are required to send this information, but that not all have. While some of the labs that failed to report negative cases were small centers testing only a handful of patients, others were reporting hundreds of positive cases with no inclusion of negative tests.

The labs that simply neglected to report negative cases also weren’t the only ones with unrealistically high rates of positive cases. Hendry Regional Medical Center reported 164 positive tests and only two negative ones, for a positivity rate of 99 percent. FOX 35 reporters contacted the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which had reported that 76 percent of cases were positive, and were told that the actual positivity rate was only six percent.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been criticized for allowing the state to begin reopening as the number of new daily cases rose from about 2,000 in mid-June to a peak of 15,300 on July 12. While Florida’s case count is rising quickly, the state’s total number of cases, total deaths, and number of cases and deaths per 100,000 people are still far less than that of states like New York.

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Too Much Faith in Models

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Between 2 million and 3 million Americans will die!

That was the prediction from “experts” at London’s Imperial College when COVID-19 began. They did also say if there was “social distancing of the whole population,” the death toll could be cut in half, but 1.1 million to 1.46 million Americans would still die by this summer.

Our actual death toll has been about one-tenth of that.

Nevertheless, Imperial College’s model was extremely influential.

Politicians issued stay-at-home orders. They said we must trust the “experts.”

“Follow the science. Listen to the experts. Do what they tell you,” said Joe Biden, laughing at what he considered an obvious truth.
But “there is no such thing as “the science!” replies science reporter Matt Ridley in my new video about “expert” predictions. “Science consists of people disagreeing with each other!”

The lockdowns, he adds, were “quite dangerously wrong.”

Because Imperial’s model predicted that COVID-19 would overwhelm hospitals, patients were moved to nursing homes. The coronavirus then spread in nursing homes.

Ordering almost every worker to stay home led to an economic collapse that may have killed people, too.

“The main interventions that helped prevent people dying were stopping large gatherings, people washing their hands and wearing face masks, general social distancing — not forcing people to stay home,” says Ridley.

Even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo now admits: “We all failed at that business. All the early national experts: ‘Here’s my projection model.’ They were all wrong.”

If he and other politicians had just done just a little research, then they would have known that Imperial College researchers repeatedly predict great disasters that don’t happen. Their model predicted 65,000 deaths from swine flu, 136,000 from mad cow disease and 200 million from bird flu.

The real numbers were in the hundreds.

After such predictions were repeatedly wrong, why did politicians boss us around based on those same “experts” models?

“If you say something really pessimistic about how many people are going to die,” explains Ridley, “the media want to believe you. The politicians daren’t not believe you.”

This bias towards pessimism applies to fear of climate change, too.

Thirty-two years ago, climate “experts” said rising seas would “completely cover” the islands of the Maldives “in the next 30 years.” But now, 32 years later, the islands are not only still there, they’re doing better than ever. They’re even building new airports.

“Climate change is real,” says Ridley, “but it’s not happening nearly as fast as models predicted.”

Models repeatedly overpredict disaster because that’s “a very good way of attracting attention to your science and getting rewarded for it,” says Ridley.

One more example: For years, “experts” predicted an oil shortage. President Jimmy Carter warned, “The oil and natural gas we rely on for 75% of our energy are simply running out.” All the “experts” agreed.

But as the demand for oil grew, oil prices rose. That inspired entrepreneurs to invent new ways of getting more oil and gas out of the same rocks. They succeeded so well that America now has so much oil and gas that we sell some to other countries.

Ridley’s new book, “How Innovation Works,” shows how innovators prove “experts” wrong all the time.

He points out that the founder of Digital Equipment Corporation once said: “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

Microsoft’s CEO confidently said: “There’s no chance the iPhone is going to get significant market share.”

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that because “most people have nothing to say to each other… the Internet’s impact on the economy (will be) no greater than the fax machine’s.”

Of course, not all experts are wrong. Useful experts do exist. I want a trained civil engineer to design any bridge I cross.

But Ridley points out: “There is no such thing as expertise on the future. It’s dangerous to rely too much on models (which lead politicians to) lock down society and destroy people’s livelihood. Danger lies both ways.”

John Stossel is author of “Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media.” For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

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The Morning Briefing: Give Up Hope, All Ye Who Entered 2020–The Year Is Dead

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The Little Year That Couldn’t

Happy Hump Day, dear Morning Briefing readers. This isn’t about any specific news item today. It’s more about creeping ennui I’ve been feeling about the rest of the year during the second round of shutdowns. Sure, it’s summertime and it has been blazing hot here in Arizona for what seems like months, but this listlessness I’m feeling is from the realization that I’m not going to be looking forward to anything for a while. The year is toast. We might be shut down until 2025 now.

Don’t blame me, I really to want to be more optimistic about the year. In fact, I even crowdsourced this on Twitter before I began writing. For the record, the Twitter faithful were in favor of me being either optimistic or agnostic. No one voted for pessimism.

Still, this year has been enough to suck the fun out of even me at times. And I am super pro-fun, even during plague years.

It’s not that there weren’t plenty of upsetting news stories to pick from yesterday. If I had to choose one, it would be the story about Bari Weiss leaving The New York Times. While it’s true that I always expect the worst from the Times, what’s been going on there in the past month is truly journalism’s death rattle in the U.S. There are a lot of things that are being canceled this year, and the Times has been purging any voice that isn’t far, far left.

This to me is more disturbing than the protesting brats in the streets. Their end game, of course, is the breakdown of our institutions, but most of those kids are impotent. What’s happening at the Times is a venerable institution breaking down before our eyes. But hey, 2020, right?

year
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

What’s got me going this time was yet another mask edict, this time in Oregon. This came a day after Gavin Newsom shut down things in California again. That came two weeks after we shut down a lot of things here in Arizona.

My gut feeling now tells me one of two things: if we do open back up we will be shut down again or we’re all done for the rest of the year.

When I discuss this with conservative friends they’re convinced that we won’t be shut down for the rest of the year, but just until after the election. Even if that is the case, most of the year is shot anyway.

One big reason that I think we’re done for the year is that the officials making decisions are still mostly winging it. We know more than we did about coronavirus now than we did in March, but it’s still largely a mystery. At this point it’s easier for elected officials to just keep things closed for the year than risk the bad publicity of opening up again and having to shut down a third time.

I watched my first baseball game of the year yesterday so you’d think I’d be more upbeat. Sure, it was just an intrasquad Dodgers game, but it was baseball. What I think will probably happen is that they’ll start playing, a few guys will test positive, and then MLB pulls the plug on the season. Same with the other sports.

So I’m done looking forward to things this year. I suppose I could look forward to next year, but there is no guarantee that this madness will be constrained by a calendar.

Let’s all meet back here next year at this time and pretend none of this ever happened, shall we?

Granny Maojackets Crawled Out of Her Box of Franzia and Said Stupid Stuff

True. She transcends pathetic.

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SHAQUILLE O’NEALGOOD SAMARITAN ACT CAUGHT ON VIDEO… Helped Stranded Driver

Bee Me
The Kruiser Kabana

I don’t remember if I’ve used this before (going to have to start cataloging these things) but I love it. The video is shaky but it’s worth it. The interview with Carson after is good too.

How’s everyone else’s COVID time loop going?

___

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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.

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Museum Curator Resigns After Saying He Would Still Collect Art From White Men

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Gary Garrels has been senior curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) for 20 years. But Garrels became a victim of mob action leading to his resigning because of his “white supremacist” views.

No, Garrels does not hold white supremacist views. He’s a curator of modern art at a museum in San Francisco and has been doing it for 20 years. Could he really hide his white supremacist views that long? Wouldn’t he have let the mask (or hood) slip once or twice over the years?

The answer is only a brain dead moron would believe Garrels was a white supremacist.

Reason:

“Gary’s removal from SFMOMA is non-negotiable,” read the petition. “Considering his lengthy tenure at this institution, we ask just how long have his toxic white supremacist beliefs regarding race and equity directed his position curating the content of the museum?”

This accusation–that Garrels’ choices as an art curator are guided by white supremacist beliefs–is a very serious one. Unsurprisingly, it does not stand up to even minimal scrutiny.

What in the wide, wide world of sports did Garrels say that sent the mob after his scalp?

The petitioners cite few examples of anything even approaching bad behavior from Garrels. Their sole complaint is that he allegedly concluded a presentation on how to diversify the museum’s holdings by saying, “don’t worry, we will definitely still continue to collect white artists.”

He also allegedly used the fighting words “reverse discrimination” to describe the effect of shunning white artists.

As a personal aside, I don’t care for any art less than 100 years old, be it created by a white man, black woman, or a tri-racial, transgender human who changes their gender every day. The entire point of “modern art” appears to be tearing down what people with far more talent and insight spent the last 600 years building up.

But some people like it a lot and it is they who should be worried that the mob has invaded the inner sanctum of the creative arts. These are people who are looking for something to be outraged about and offended by. It has nothing to do with race, justice, or creating a better world. It has everything to do with the raw exercise of power.

And it doesn’t help that victims perform a ritualistic mea culpa so that the mob spares their lives.

You might think that one of the most prominent art curators in the country–with 20 years of experience at SFMOMA–would be able to weather such a pathetically weak accusation of racism. But in the current cultural moment, it appears not. Garrels promptly resigned.

In a statement announcing his decision to step down, Garrels apologized for the harm his words caused, only slightly disputing the absurd charge against him. ” I do not believe I have ever said that it is important to collect the art of white men,” he said, according to artnet.com. “I have said that it is important that we do not exclude consideration of the art of white men.”

It doesn’t matter what Garrels said. It’s irrelevant. It’s what he didn’t do that matters. He didn’t get on his soapbox and proclaim his allegiance to the mob by swearing never to buy or feature any art from any white male who ever lived.

It’s silly, but at least Garrels would still be employed.

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