President Arthur Brooks discusses the importance of productive conversations across ideological lines and the right to hold different opinions through examining NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem.
An intimate girls’ night out with the celebrated champion of Islamic women’s rights. (She’s also our BFF.) Ayaan Hirsi Ali joins Danielle and Christina for the latest episode of The Femsplainers.
Coleman Hughes, a black student at Columbia, goes there. His essay begins like this:
In the fall of 2016, I was hired to play in Rihanna’s back-up band at the MTV Video Music Awards. To my pleasant surprise, several of my friends had also gotten the call. We felt that this would be the gig of a lifetime: beautiful music, primetime TV, plus, if we were lucky, a chance to schmooze with celebrities backstage.
But as the date approached, I learned that one of my friends had been fired and replaced. The reason? He was a white Hispanic, and Rihanna’s artistic team had decided to go for an all-black aesthetic—aside from Rihanna’s steady guitarist, there would be no non-blacks on stage. Though I was disappointed on my friend’s behalf, I didn’t consider his firing as unjust at the time—and maybe it wasn’t. Is it unethical for an artist to curate the racial composition of a racially-themed performance? Perhaps; perhaps not. My personal bias leads me to favor artistic freedom, but as a society, we have yet to answer this question definitively.
One thing, however, is clear. If the races were reversed—if a black musician had been fired in order to achieve an all-white aesthetic—it would have made front page headlines. It would have been seen as an unambiguous moral infraction. The usual suspects would be outraged, calling for this event to be viewed in the context of the long history of slavery and Jim Crow in this country, and their reaction would widely be seen as justified. Public-shaming would be in order and heartfelt apologies would be made. MTV might even enact anti-bias trainings as a corrective.
Though the question seems naïve to some, it is in fact perfectly valid to ask why black people can get away with behavior that white people can’t. The progressive response to this question invariably contains some reference to history: blacks were taken from their homeland in chains, forced to work as chattel for 250 years, and then subjected to redlining, segregation, and lynchings for another century. In the face of such a brutal past, many would argue, it is simply ignorant to complain about what modern-day blacks can get away with.
Yet there we were—young black men born decades after anything that could rightly be called ‘oppression’ had ended—benefitting from a social license bequeathed to us by a history that we have only experienced through textbooks and folklore. And my white Hispanic friend (who could have had a tougher life than all of us, for all I know) paid the price. The underlying logic of using the past to justify racial double-standards in the present is rarely interrogated. What do slavery and Jim Crow have to do with modern-day blacks, who experienced neither? Do all black people have P.T.S.D from racism, as the Grammy and Emmy award-winning artist Donald Glover recently claimed? Is ancestral suffering actually transmitted to descendants? If so, how? What exactly are historical ‘ties’ made of?
Hughes goes on to lament the double standard the public applies to famous black writers. For example:
The celebrated journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates provides another example of the lower ethical standard to which black writers are held. In his #1 New York Times bestseller, Between the World and Me, Coates explained that the policemen and firemen who died on 9/11 “were not human to me,” but “menaces of nature.”1 This, it turned out, was because a friend of Coates had been killed by a black cop a few months earlier. In his recent essay collection, he doubled down on this pitiless sentiment: “When 9/11 happened, I wanted nothing to do with any kind of patriotism, with the broad national ceremony of mourning. I had no sympathy for the firefighters, and something bordering on hatred for the police officers who had died.”2 Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Bari Weiss—a young Jewish woman—was recently raked over the coals for tweeting, “Immigrants: They get the job done,” in praise of the Olympic ice-skater Mirai Nagasu, a second-generation Japanese-American. Accused of ‘othering’ an American citizen, Weiss came under so much fire that The Atlantic ran twoseparate pieces defending her. That The Atlantic saw it necessary to vigorously defend Weiss, but hasn’t had to lift a finger to defend Coates, whom they employ, evidences the racial double-standard at play. From a white writer, an innocuous tweet provokes histrionic invective. From a black writer, repeated expressions of unapologetic contempt for public servants who died trying to save the lives of others on September 11 are met with fawningpraise from leftwing periodicals, plus a National Book Award and a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant.
Hughes says this double standard is common in society:
But we make an exception for blacks. Indeed, what George Orwell wrote in 1945seems more apt today: “Almost any English intellectual would be scandalised by the claim that the white races are superior to the coloured, whereas the opposite claim would seem to him unexceptionable even if he disagreed with it.” Only a black intellectual, for instance, could write an op-ed arguing that black children should not befriend white children because “[h]istory has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people,” and get it published in the New York Times in 2017. An identical piece with the races reversed would rightly be relegated to fringe white supremacist forums. In defense of such racist drivel, it won’t suffice to repeat the platitude that ‘black people can’t be racist,’ as if redefining a word changes the ethical status of the thing that the word signifies. Progressives ought not dodge the question: Why are blacks the only ethnic group routinely and openly encouraged to nurse stale grievances back to life?
Read the whole thing. It’s very, very brave. Hughes is a black undergraduate at an Ivy League university, yet he has no been afraid to say what has been unsayable. That man has guts.
By the way, his essay is not merely an exercise in whataboutism. He addresses real philosophical and moral concerns in it. He focuses on blacks, but as a general matter, if you read the mainstream press, you’ll find there’s a tendency to treat gays and other minority groups favored by liberals with kid gloves — as if they were symbols, not real people, with the same virtues and vices that everybody else has. For example, in a previous job, I observed that some liberals in the newsroom viewed local Muslims through the lens of the culture war between liberals and conservatives, and did not want to hold them to the same standard with regard to extremist rhetoric, apparently because doing so might encourage conservatives in their own biases.
Another personal example: last year, I wrote several posts about Tommy Curry, a radical black nationalist who teaches philosophy at Texas A&M (see here and here). In his written work and spoken advocacy, Curry advocates what can only be described as anti-white hatred. Don’t take my word for it; go read the blogs I wrote, which quote generously from, and link to, Curry’s own work. A white man who spoke the same way about any racial minority would never have been hired by a university — A&M hired him knowing exactly what they were getting, because he had published — and would never be retained by one after his racism became known. I linked in one of the blogs to a podcast (subtitled, “White People Are The Problem”) on which Curry was a regular guest; on that particular episode, this philosophy professor argued that white people cannot be reasonable, because they are white.
Imagine being a white student in that man’s class.
But there is a different standard for bigots from the left. The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote a long piece about the fallout from my blogs, and positioned it as Curry having suffered because he wanted to “force a conversation about race and violence” — a conversation that people didn’t want to hear. The writer — no doubt reflecting the biases of his own professional class — could not seem to grasp why people would be really offended by the unapologetic racism of Tommy Curry’s writing and speaking. This is precisely the double standard that Coleman Hughes decries. It is lucrative for radicals like Curry, Coates, and others, but a just society should hold us all to the same standard of discourse and morality. This is one aspect of the Enlightenment that I am eager to defend. It’s not only morally right, but practically, observing it it is the only way we will be able to keep the peace in a pluralistic country.
I found Hughes’s essay via Prufrock, a free daily digest that comes to you in e-mail, to which you can and should subscribe by clicking here.
Right and left clashed in a violent manner on Sunday in Portland. The conflict began when the right-wing organization Patriot Prayer held a “freedom march” in downtown Portland to say goodbye to group member Tusitala John “Tiny” Toese, who is …
A watchdog group that defends religious freedom is welcoming the recently released State Department Annual Report on international religious freedom.
Edward Conard is a former Managing Director of Bain Capital and bestselling author. In this Conversation, Conard shares his perspective on why innovation is the key to America’s long-term economic vitality and how we can go about fostering it. To address what he describes as a shortage of properly-trained talent and risk-bearing capital, Conard calls for increasing high-skilled immigration and other public policies that match talent with opportunities. Conard and Kristol also reflect on the inequalities that are inherent in a technology-driven economy and consider what can be done now to benefit lower-skilled workers in the years to come.
The narrowness of this Supreme Court ruling leaves many questions hanging. Its stress on motive raises other questions.
Navy service members have a reputation for being tough as rocks. And they need to be resilient people because they are out on the open ocean for long stretches of time. Although Navy service members are often seen as tough and stern, they’re not like that every moment of every day. And every once in a while, they find a few moments to enjoy themselves and have some fun.
But the U.S. Navy Band seems always to be having some fun.
They are the Navy’s dedicated band after all and what could be more fun than playing music to honor the United States military and the people who join and risk their lives to protect American freedom and democracy? So when you see the Navy’s band, the “Sea Chanters” performing before the crowd, a smile will grace your lips. But when you see how talented they are, your jaw will drop. Especially when you recognize the song, they’re about to sing.
The video starts with five uniformed Navy men standing at the front of the stage all bowed forward at the waist.
And as soon as they pop up, the crowd goes wild because they’re singing a favorite song from the hit musical “Jersey Boys.”
According to the Sea Chanters’ website, “The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music. Under the leadership of Senior Chief Musician Adam Tyler, the Sea Chanters perform for the public throughout the United States. At home in Washington, they perform for the president, vice president and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries.”
Lt. Harold Fultz was the visionary and music lover who formed the group back in 1956. He recruited the singers for the group from the Navy School of Music. He wanted a group dedicated to singing patriotic songs and chanteys to inspire the members of the government at the State of the Nation dinner.
Later, when the group became a hit, they expanded and began singing more songs than just patriotic verses. And as you’ll see in the performance below, show tunes are some of the most popular songs they perform while out touring the country.
“Throughout their history, the Sea Chanters have remained true to the Navy’s watchwords of pride and professionalism, and they continue to flourish as a vibrant ensemble,” their website added.
The Sea Chanters are not the only Navy music group. They also have other ensembles including Chamber Ensembles, Cruisers, Country Current, Commodores, Ceremonial Band, and the Concert Band. Talk about a division of the military that respects and celebrates with music!
The performance below comes from 2014. It has proved to have lasting popularity. And it occurred during the Concerts on the Avenue series that was hosted at the United States Navy Memorial.
If you’re a patriotic American and a fan of Jersey Boys, this Sea Chanters performance will know your socks off. Press play below to check it out today! to watch the talented service members.
Now, the Eyes of Freedom memorial’s life-sized paintings of 23 U.S. Marines are ready to move on after watching over the Army National Guard Armory on Houk Road for five days. The paintings — which remain on view through 3 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at the armory, 1121 S. Houk Road — depict members of the Columbus-based Lima Company of the Marine Corps Reserves killed in Iraq in 2005.
It looks like we are in for a long hot summer in America. I am one who does not like extremely hot humid weather. It is even more painful when the prospects of ignorant, indoctrinated Soros paid gumps may seek to riot in American streets this summer. The reason for such plans are always the same tired excuses given by bitter useful idiots who don’t know anything and got that mixed up when it comes to justice, freedom, liberty and reparations. To this day, many black Americans who stupidly call themselves African Americans do not even understand how reparations are designed to be carried out.
Just recently in Seattle, white patrons at a certain bar were required to pay for the drinks of black female patrons. The reason given “it was a form of reparations for slavery.” That makes about as much sense as white shoppers being forced to buy groceries for black grocery store patrons as a form of reparations. It is stupid and victimizes people who had nothing to do with slavery and gives a false sense of gotcha to those receiving reparation drinks or whatever.
Black Americans would be better served by the example of other people groups who have dealt with cruel and unfair treatment. After the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor during World War Two, it was not long before Japanese residents in the United States suffered a major ordeal. They were rounded up and systematically tossed into concentration camps. The reason given is were at war and the Japanese might carry out war activities within the continental United States. After all, it was the Japanese who fooled America into thinking they wanted to be our friend by signing a peace agreement with our republic. They had even given beautiful Flowering trees to cities like Washington D.C. and Cleveland which annually bloom every spring.
The Japanese residents in America suffered in concentration camps and had faced racist treatment prior to the Peal Harbor attacks. But they took it in stride and like the Chinese who also immigrated to the United States received shabby treatment. But rather steep themselves of a caldron of bitterness, the Japanese and Chinese immigrants patiently learned how to succeed economically. They supported businesses in their respective communities and gradually became highly successful, despite whatever white Americans thought of them at the time.
In addition, although the Japanese could have been very bitter, but to the immeasurable embarrassment and chagrin of those who tossed Japanese into concentration camps, they enthusiastically mobilized their sons and sent them into the American armed forces to volunteer their services. The Japanese regiments were among the more highly decorated in World War II. Although they went into the military ranks under suspicion and resentment, they came out as heralded heroes.
But of all the ethnic groups in America it seems that Black Americans have had the most difficulty securing their place as assimilated. Many early political leaders including Abraham Lincoln expressed concerned over the ability of Blacks to adjust because of the slavery culture in which the first few generations were raised. Despite apprehensions, freedom and education brought tremendous hope and optimism to Black Americans within three generations. After three generations, many blacks were overcoming the culture gap. In time Blacks in every other nation on earth saw their ethnic counterparts in America experiencing a higher standard of living than Blacks in any other part of the world. In fact, by 1970 a black high school student in Alabama or Mississippi had a higher chance at obtaining a collegiate education than a white student in Great Britain.
Great Americans like Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver all believed that hard work, an education and faith in God would ensure a pathway to success and blaze a trail for following generations to follow. Still others like W. E.B. Dubois and white democrats fought to instill a level of bitterness and hatred for America in Blacks and conned them into expecting government gratuities as a main source of revenue. Experience has proven that such a mindset has corrupted and debilitated Black Americans socially, economically and most horribly in family life where females now run over 70 percent of all Black American households.
Many tend to uphold the Black female as morally superior to the Black man. Yet they fail to answer the question that if Black females are morally superior, why is it they continue to raise the most damaged generations of Black boys in the history of the republic? After all it is they who have complete access to their boys without any input from men, because of their aversion to Black male authority. Remember, they preferred government handouts over a working Black father in the home. Until the 1970s, the majority of Black American households were headed by Black American men who either had one or two jobs.
In the mid-sixties there were groups of Marxist agitators who promoted violence an attitude of entitlement among Black Americans. One of the most famous was Eldridge Cleaver, who had been trained in Marxist philosophy and evil tactics while serving a fifteen year sentence in a California prison. In 1967 he became Minister of Information for the Black Panthers. Their goal was to use violence to wipe out the economic and social structure of the United States and roll out communism so that everyone would be equal, but equally poor. Just like today’s Black Lives Matter movement, it wasn’t about working to improve the quality of life for anyone. But to destroy the prospects of a good life for everyone, except the elites at the top of course.
After leading a wave of violence in 1968, Eldridge Cleaver and his wife fled the United State and hid out in Cuba for eight years. A funny thing happened. While in Cuba he witnessed the horrendous failure of communism as a means to improve life for the common man. Mr. Cleaver concluded that it would be better to come back to America and pay for his crimes in prison than to remain free and morbidly disappointed in Cuba. Black Americans today would be much better off if they researched the Eldridge Cleaver story for themselves and came to the logical conclusion that while it may not be perfect in America, it is the best hope for mankind after God almighty. Here’s hoping and praying, that they awaken from their democrat party influenced nightmare and seek to live rather than just exist as Soros, Alynski inspired cretins. I know it might seem impossible, but miracles do happen.
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