The Racial Double Standard

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. 

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Animal Rights Activists Endanger Chickens in Massive ‘Rescue’

Animal rights activists forcibly broke into a farm supplying Whole Foods with eggs and stole chickens in broad daylight last week. Local farmers worry that in their zeal to save chickens the activists actually endangered them.

The Direct Action Everywhere “rescue,” which involved hundreds of activists transported to Petaluma, California, on seven buses on May 29, comes as the latest action targeting Whole Foods or businesses connected with the supermarket giant.

“They were bused in,” Toni Brooks, a neighbor of the targeted Sunrise Farms property, told The American Spectator of the estimated 300 to 400 activists descending on the city about an hour north of San Francisco. “They marched up the street with signs saying, ‘Funeral Procession.’”

Brooks’s husband Phil, also a local farmer, found the rhetoric confusing given that the poultry on the targeted farm produce eggs and not meat.

“All of them are for eggs,” Brooks told The American Spectator. “There are no meat birds here. They were yelling at us that we were ‘baby eaters’ because we eat eggs.”

The protesters came from Animal Liberation Conference 2018, an event hosted by the Save Movement and Direct Action Everywhere at the University of California, Berkeley. Wayne Hsiung, the cofounder of Direct Action Everywhere, laid out the group’s purpose to activists immediately before the event, cryptically labeled “Action #4” on the conference schedule. He told them that they traveled to Petaluma to rescue sick birds before leading a march up a road. The action resulted in 40 arrests.

“They got down into the chickens before the police got there,” Phil Brooks, who confronted the activists, explained to The American Spectator. “They pried the door open using crowbars. This is a steel building — brand new, million-dollar building. The employees inside tried to hold the doors closed.

“They barged their way in and there were women who were employees — they were grabbing the women and throwing them down, out of the way. The women tried to hold them back but they just kept pushing the women out of the way and they went right on in.”

In another building, the activists absconded with a dozen to several dozen chickens. They draped white cloths around the chickens they labeled sick or injured and black cloths around dead ones.

The farm houses several hundred thousand chickens. By entering the farm without a foot bath or other standard precautions, the activists, critics say, threatened with sickness the very birds they claimed to save from sickness.

“All farms in today’s world are very high biosecurity,” fifth-generation farmer Trent Loos explains to The American Spectator. “You cannot afford to let anybody to come on your farm. People can put the entire population of chickens in jeopardy.”

As they ignored farm-specific customs to protect animals, the activists dismissed civilizational ones to protect people, as well.

“The women and the guys were going in between these vans and using it as a bathroom,” Phil Brooks explains of the makeshift, open-air bathroom on the farmer’s property. “Oh, yeah. One guy, I yelled at him. I said, ‘Hey, what are you wiping yourself with?’ It was totally unsanitary and uncalled for. There was garbage all over, plastic bottles from water, and whatever they were eating.”

Brooks concedes that, after prodding from him and other locals, the protesters thoroughly policed their trash. But they drew a line, and flashed a “peace” sign, when asked to remove their excrement.

Apart from livestreaming the event, the protesters invited the local media and dispatched drones to document from the skies. But farmers say that, despite the extensive preparations to chronicle the action, the demonstrators never bothered to educate themselves on the proper hygienic protocols for close encounters with farm animals.

“In the United States and in California, cows, hogs, and chickens have received viruses from immigrants, where the people passed a virus to the animals,” Loos points out. “H1N1, for instance, was passed from the people to the animals.”

Local farmers find out in the coming weeks that if an action taken to save animals results instead in widespread animal deaths.

The post Animal Rights Activists Endanger Chickens in Massive ‘Rescue’ appeared first on The American Spectator.

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New Generation of Hyatt Place Hotels Elevates Guest Experience and Increases Value for Owners

True to its heritage as a consumer-driven brand created by guests, for guests, Hyatt Place hotels set to deliver best-in-class guest experience True to the brand’s commitment to research and constant innovation, the new Hyatt Place guestroom will evolve in a new, thoughtful way. )– Hyatt Place , Hyatt’s upscale select service brand designed for business travelers, today unveiled a new generation of hotels focused on three key areas: thoughtful design, driving value for World of Hyatt members and enhanced well-being experiences.

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Hepatitis C screening recommended for people born between 1945-1975

Canadians born between 1945 and 1975 – essentially the baby-boom generation – should be tested for the potentially liver-destroying virus hepatitis C, a new set of guidelines recommends. More than 250,000 Canadians are believed to be infected with hepatitis C, but 40 to 70 per cent are unaware they harbour the blood-borne virus because it can take decades before symptoms become evident.

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Washington Dingbats Want Your Guns

Awake before it’s too late.

If you are a believer of what our forefathers wrote in the constitution and then amended it because the founders realized the dangers of government control, you are the minority.

They and we believe the Second Amendment was considered essential for its citizens to be armed to protect the rights for which they fought and died to  free themselves from the yoke of King George III who was really (Mad King George) during  part of his reign.

Today, in the United States, the central faction within the Democrat Party stems from Vladimir Ulyanov, better known as Vladimir Lenin who founded Communism and led the Bolshevik Party until the advent of Stalin or Stalinism an even more ruthless, murderous regime.

The Tsar abdicated his position in 1917 and within days, he and his family were prisoners of Lenin who authorized their murder to eliminate any possibility of Tsarism’s return.  The ruthlessness of Lenin was openly revealed and instrumental in   creating Russia into a totally controlled authoriarian state.

The methodology of Lenin was first to promise the Russian populace their needs such as basic food and sustenance.    The Russian people were destitute and totally sick of war and the terrible military losses,  so Lenin’s promises were openly accepted.

THE THREAT IS NOW IN OUR COUNTRY

The United States is in a state of rapid revisionism, a significant part of a plan to institute sophisticated Communism that Vladimir Lenin formulated, but lacked the foresight to train generations through our public schools.

The plan installs utopian ideas imbedded from the time a child enters the first grade.  What is interesting is that the parents are the radical dope smoking, fornicating misanthropes, who swayed to the rock music of Jimmy Hendricks strumming and pounding his guitar.  These were the core generation whose morals stemmed from the Biblical days of Sodom and Gomorrah. The misfits of the sixties were parents of the 2018 politically indoctrinated leaders of today’s communist revolution.

THE SECOND AMENDMENT MUST NOT BE A MYTH OF THE PAST WHERE AMERICANS ARE NOTHING BUT SLAVES TO THE WASHINGTON’S SWAMP LEADERS.

WE MUST STAND UP AND SUPPORT GUNOWNERS OF AMERICA AND THE NATIONAL RIFILE ASSOCIATION SO THEY CAN HELP US SAVE OUR NATION. 

© 2018 JW Kress – All Rights Reserved

E-Mail JW Kress: [email protected]

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Arizona Senate Puts Coal Tax Relief Bill on Hold

A bill to provide tax relief for Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station (NGS) by exempting income derived from coal mining from the state’s transaction privilege tax (TPT) was held up in the Arizona Senate’s Finance Committee with the legislation falling one vote short of passage.

The bill’s sponsors are working to gain additional support before bringing it up for reconsideration in the wake of the March 14 setback.

Native-American Workforce

NGS, a 2,250-megawatt coal-fired power plant located on the Navajo Nation reservation near Page, Arizona, is the largest electricity power generator in the state. NGS operates under a lease agreement with the Navajo Nation, supplying electricity to customers in Arizona, California, and Nevada. It also provides the power needed to pump water for agriculture and municipal uses from the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson through the Central Arizona Project.

The plant is jointly owned by the Salt River Project and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, who own the largest percentages of the installation, and the Arizona Public Service Co., NV Energy, and Tucson Electric Power, who have smaller shares. NGS employs more than 400 full-time staff, 90 percent of whom are Navajo.

NGS uses coal from the Kayenta Mine, operated by Peabody Western Coal Company under lease agreements with the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. The coal is delivered to NGS by a 75-mile electric railroad owned and operated by the plant. Ninety-nine percent of the mine’s 340 employees are Native American.

‘A Tax Elimination’

Arizona’s TPT taxes companies’ gross receipts in 16 separate business classifications, including mining, retail, telecommunications, and utilities. Arizona also allows municipalities to levy local TPTs.

HB 2003 would exempt coal from the retail and mining classifications under the state TPT and any municipal TPT and sales taxes. A Fiscal Note prepared for HB 2003 estimated although the proposed exemptions would reduce Arizona’s General Fund by $9.1 million in Fiscal Year 2019, the ongoing revenue loss from a closed NGS would be $12.2 million.

State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Tucson), HB 2003’s sponsor, says TPT never should have been imposed on coal mining.

“This is … a tax elimination,” said Finchem. “The state does not collect a [TPT] on the wind, the sun, or the water, nor does it collect the tax on natural gas and nuclear fuels, … [so the TPT on coal] never should have been laid.”

Fails Tax Tests

John Nothdurft, director of government relations at The Heartland Institute, which publishes Environment & Climate News, testified HB 2003 would improve energy markets in the state, during a hearing before Arizona House Ways and Means Committee on February 14.

“Arizona’s transaction privilege tax … [is] dissimilar to how other states tax raw materials used to produce energy, such as coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels,” Nothdurft testified. “Sound tax policy generally abides by four basic principles: It is applied to a broad base; kept at a competitive, low rate; it is non-distorting; and rate-setting and the regulatory process are completely transparent to the state’s citizens.

“Arizona’s transaction privilege tax fails on at least three, if not all four, of these principles,” Nothdurft said.

High Closing Costs

Nothdurft also testified failure to implement the proposed tax reform might cause NGS to close, which would increase energy prices in Arizona.

“Thirty-one percent of Arizona’s electricity generation comes from coal, but this would significantly decrease if NGS is closed,” said Nothdurft. “This is a significant problem, since the cost of coal electricity is much cheaper than other forms of electricity—especially wind and solar, which are heavily subsidized and yet remain more expensive.”

Severe Power Disruptions Forecast

Fred Palmer, a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute, says ending TPT for coal mining would benefit all of Arizona.

“HB 2003 is designed to help extend the commercial life of NGS, a crucial resource for the economic future of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe, as well as water users, electric consumers, and agricultural interests in Arizona,” Palmer said. “Since a closed NGS will produce no mining tax revenues, opposition to the bill can only be construed as anti-Native, anti-fossil fuels, and anti-growth.”

A recent study by utility consulting firm Quanta Technology confirms NGS is critical to the power supply in the Southwest.

The report states closing NGS in 2019 would result in “power deficiencies which could evolve into potential voltage collapse and outages, load shedding triggers, potential rotating brownouts, failing transformers or transmission lines and equipment damage” affecting Phoenix, Flagstaff, other large Arizona cities, and California cities such as Lugo and Shandon.

Confident in Bill’s Prospects

Although HB 2003 stalled in the Senate Finance Committee, Carlyle Begay, a Navajo and former Arizona state senator for the district where NGS is located, says he is confident HB 2003 will eventually pass.

Finance Committee member Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert), who initially withheld support for the bill, which kept it from moving out of the committee, now supports the proposal, Begay says.

In addition, “we will have enough Democrat votes to pass the bill through the Senate,” Begay said. “The commitment will be in place in case we need it.”

Editor’s Note: This article was published in cooperation with The Heartland Institute’s Environment & Climate News.

PHOTO: The Arizona Capitol Museum building in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

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What Do You Get When You Google ‘Homeschoolers’?

My wife and I have four children and we homeschool them. People often ask us if that is difficult, with the kids there all the time. We usually respond by pointing out the benefits of home schooling.

And there are many, many benefits to home schooling our children. There might be more expenses involved than just sending them to public school, since the government has already captured our tax dollars. But homeschooling is cheaper than sending them to private school and we know exactly what we are getting.

We don’t have to get the kids up early and get them ready to go. They can learn at their own natural pace, rather than struggling to keep up with or being slowed down by the class. We don’t have to pack lunches for them in advance or pay for lousy cafeteria food. Much of the school day at public schools is filler; we can cut that out.

Any school violence is handled by saying “Son, stop hitting your sister!” And there are no disruptions or penalties if we decide to take the whole family from New Hampshire to Florida for a few months in the winter, which is awesome.

The bottom line is that home schooling allows us to fit education around our family’s life rather than the other way around.

But having said all that, yes, there are difficulties that are common to home schooling parents everywhere. Often, we know exactly what they need to learn, and proceed to teach them. But we don’t always have the subject competency that we would like to teach our children.

The way that most homeschooling families handle this is by banding together. We form co-ops to help our children learn and socialize together. This allows us to use the expertise of other parents to fill in what we lack and it allows us to seek out resources — from online classes to specialized tutoring and teaching — together.

Homeschooling co-ops have become such a big deal that Google is even taking notice. It will soon be making a resource called G Suite for Education available to co-ops like mine, helping to further close the resource gap between public schools and folks who have to create school from scratch.

G Suite for education is a suite, or bundle, of tools — a little bit like Microsoft Office, but it’s free and much more internet-based. These tools include Google Drive and Docs, Calendar, Gmail and Google Classroom. As someone who uses Google tools extensively in his business, I am very happy that my children will soon be able to use the same tools and more to further their educations.

This new tool should make it easier for them to get individual instruction from teachers over the internet, organize, collaborate with other co-op classmates when they aren’t in the same place, and do all kinds of things I couldn’t even dream of doing at their age. It’s wonderful to see the opportunities available to this generation of homeschoolers.

Google takes a lot of flak for its policies in other areas, but good on the company for making this happen.

The post What Do You Get When You Google ‘Homeschoolers’? appeared first on The American Spectator.

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Blaser USA to Partner with Scholastic Clay Target Program Again in 2018

Arizona Scholastic Clay Target Program
Scholastic Clay Target Program

BURLINGTON, WI – -(Ammoland.com)- Blaser USA makers of fine shotguns like the F3 and now the F16 have agreed to support the Scholastic Clay Target Program yet again in 2018 as a Platinum member!

Passionate about perfection – The next generation of game and competition shotguns has arrived with the introduction of the new Blaser F16. Only through the restless pursuit of perfection is it possible to create a perfectly balanced over and under shotgun with the lowest profile action on the market!

Blaser USAThe renowned jury of the British Shooting Industry Awards – consisting of journalists and industry experts – voted the F16 best shotgun 2017! With this official acknowledgement, the F16 has lived up to its claim, to be the best…

“Blaser USA is very proud to support the SCTP,” commented John “Mo” Parsons, Blaser USA’s Shotgun Product Manager. “Blaser USA believes in the SCTP’s mission, values and structure. They continue to be a positive and strong growing youth organization, a quality we like to see and support in a youth program!”

“It’s a little overwhelming and exciting to have great Industry sponsors like Blaser USA supporting us at a very high level. They truly understand how important good youth programs are to the future of shooting sports,” said Tom Wondrash, SCTP National Director. “We see Blaser USA’s presence continue to grow in the firearms industry and hope that our program has helped them with that. We appreciate their decision to continue supporting the SCTP and look forward to a long lasting relationship with them!”

Are you or your company interested in being part of or supporting the largest competitive youth shooting program in the world? Then contact Tom Wondrash, SCTP National Director at [email protected] or check out our 2018 Media Guide at: https://sssfonline.org/about-sssf/advertise-us/.

Scholastic Clay Target ProgramAbout Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is 501(c)(3) public charity responsible for all aspects of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) across the United States. SCTP and SASP are youth development programs in which adult coaches and other volunteers use shooting sports to teach and to demonstrate sportsmanship, responsibility, honesty, ethics, integrity, teamwork, and other positive life skills. SCTP was developed as a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) until the SSSF was created in 2007 to operate the SCTP. In 2012, SSSF created the SASP and became the managing foundation of both programs.

For more information about SSSF, visit www.sssfonline.org.

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Normandy Visit: Saluting The Greatest Generation

The week of May 8 to 15 closed a chapter in my life whose first pages were written in France before I made my 1947 debut, in New York City. My father’s first cousin, William Friedman, authored those pages by deed. Bill enlisted in the Army in 1938 and made the first of his three first-day World War II landings Nov. 8, 1942, in Oran, Algeria, with the First Division, whose storied nickname was the Big Red One. The North African campaign cost Bill the top joint on the middle finger of his right hand. On July 1, 1943 Bill and his comrades landed in Sicily. Bill was transferred to the Tenth Mountain Division for the winter of 1944, and then returned to the Big Red One, to prepare for the invasion of Normandy.

Like most veterans Bill rarely spoke of his war days. He opened up to me a few times, once showing me letters he had written from France in 1944; then 27, he wrote that he did not expect to see 28. Bill first told his D-Day story to me around the time he attended the 40thanniversary commemoration at which President Reagan gave his legendary speech (14:25) about the men of Pointe du Hoc, the 225 Army Rangers who scaled the 300-foot high sheer cliff overlooking Omaha Beach in search of German artillery pieces. Starting with 250 in the boats, the Rangers ended the ferocious battle with 90 able to fight. But they did get the guns — not on the cliff summit, where none but dummy guns stood, but half a mile inland; the Rangers used thermite grenades to melt the barrel interiors and then smashed the gun-sights with the butt of their rifles. Mission accomplished.

But it was ten years later, when Bill co-represented the Big Red One at the 50thanniversary celebration, and greeted President Clinton, that he told more of his story. Bill recalled the interminable voyage across the stormy English Channel; he stood in the third row of his landing craft. As they approached the drop-off point in heavy seas the soldiers could hear the clatter of machine-gun bullets slamming into the prow of the ship. His regiment (the 16th) landed at Easy Red sector, the most heavily defended area, along with the neighboring Dog Green sector, of the beach that was to become known as “Bloody Omaha.” The First was chosen for this location because it was America’s most battle-hardened division.

Bill was interviewed for several TV specials. And then he sat down for interviews with soldier-author Tim Kilvert-Jones, writing the foreword for TK-J’s 1999 book, Omaha Beach: V Corps’ Battle for the Normandy Beachhead.

I am standing on Omaha Beach, May 14, 2018, holding open the Kilvert-Jones book, showing Bill’s Foreword to my fellow tourists. The photo at left is of Captain Friedman, 1943. The photo at right shows Colonel Friedman (USA, ret.) greeting President Clinton at 1994’s 50thanniversary D-Day celebration. Bill is second from right.

Bill described his first 24 hours at Normandy. Nearing the beach, 0810 hours, he saw chaos:

Landing craft on their sides, turned the wrong way.… I had gone off the ramp into deep water. It was up to my chest. As we moved forward I must have been on a ridge of sand because the men around me began to go under and I had to help them stay above the waves. After going about 6 to 8 feet, I felt firm ground beneath me… I then moved quickly to the shingle and just lay down and joined that great big pile of men on the shale. We were totally immobilized. I did not know what to do, or where to go. I remember looking at the sea and the water was red, there were bodies and equipment just rolling in the surf….

Along the line of men on the shingle I saw men jerking as they were hit with the impact of bullets and shrapnel. Somehow it didn’t count. I was reassured because I was shoulder to shoulder with other men. There was something reassuring about having warm, familiar human bodies next to you… even if they were dead…you were not alone… they provided comfort and sometimes even cover from the bullets… At one point I was still lying down and shouting in the ear of the Regimental S4. He was a major. My mouth was next to his ear; it was so noisy that he could not hear me otherwise. While I was trying to make myself heard above the din, a bullet struck him dead. It had hit him in the centre [sic] of his helmet… our faces were inches away when it happened… it could have been me.

Shortly after Bill landed, the commander of his group, Colonel George Taylor landed. Taylor took one look at the carnage and said, “Two kinds of people are staying on this beach, the dead and those who are going to die… now let’s get the Hell out of here!

Taylor’s men had found a hidden defile, somehow not known to the Germans, who poured withering fire down exits E1 and E3, the visible paths up from the beach, on either side of the defile.

Bill picked up his story after his unit reached the top of the bluffs:

Colonel Taylor sent me to find General Huebner.… I found the General and I said “Colonel Taylor sends his respects, and presented my report.” The general [sic] had tears in his eyes and all he could say was “you did it… you did it!” He was deeply moved by the all too-evident sacrifice. Later that night I fell asleep in a farmyard around Colleville. I recall a sense of being purged.

I had been frightened in battle before D-Day and again many times afterwards. But that day I was not frightened. I was simply convinced that we had absolutely no influence or control over our fate. No action we could take would have stopped a bullet. It was surreal.

When I was awakened next morning it was by French women who gave me some Camembert cheese to eat and Calvados to drink. I had survived D-Day.

Bill fought with the Big Red One until the fall of Aachen, inside the Siegfried Line, on October 21. He was recalled because his mother, widowed in 1943, was seriously ill. (Rose Friedman, a concert pianist, recovered and lived another 23 years.) Bill stayed in the Army, and was sent to Korea in the fall of 1950. He was at the Yalu River when the Chinese counterattack was launched. In all, Bill saw four years of combat. In addition to the Purple Heart, Bill was awarded two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, the Combat Infantryman’s Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the highest decorations given by the governments of France and the Republic of Korea. A captain on D-Day, he left the Army in 1961 a full colonel. Bill passed away in 2002, age 85; on his last trip he took me and his wife to what then was the D-Day Museum in New Orleans; it later became the National World War II Museum. Bill was laid to rest at Arlington, with full military honors.

Our group visits all five of the D-Day beach landings, which line up, west to east, on the Normandy peninsula: Utah and Omaha (Americans), Gold (British), Juno (Canadian), and Sword (British). Pointe du Hoc, offering a panoramic view of the peninsula, sits between Utah and Omaha beaches.

My Normandy visit, needless to say, was considerably less suspenseful. I wanted to make the trip so that I could stand at the waterline of Easy Red sector and see the landscape (minus the hell of war) my cousin saw. At low tide it is several hundred yards to the bluffs; at high tide, perhaps one hundred. Looking down from the top, where the Normandy American Cemetery (2:54) holds the graves of 9,387 Americans, one can see how high up the German defenders were. The bluffs at their highest are about 50 meters — 165 feet high; this is more than half the height of the Ponte du Hoccliff, and the slope is steeper than it appears to the naked eye, covered as it is with foliage. We see the American Cemetery Memorial (4:30) with its glorious chapel.

Our ace French guide, Pierre-Samuel Natanson, dispensed fascinating details of the many critical battles during the two-month Normandy campaign. I learned more in five days than I could in five months of reading about the battle. Seeing the battlefields leaves one with visuals that are worth the proverbial one thousand words.

Our visit to Utah Beach includes Saint-Mère-église (2:11), the church immortalized for filmgoers in The Longest Day (1962). The parachute from which an unlucky parachutist famously dangled was actually on the back side of the church; and there were two stranded paratroopers. Alas, Hollywood history favors cool pictures. The Battle of Frière Bridge (2:28) saw airborne troops knock out five enemy tanks, thus taking control of the bridge and providing an exit for troops on Utah Beach. We visit the Airborne Museum (2:04) honoring the 82ndand 101stairborne divisions. Finally we see Chateau Bernaville, where Gen. Erwin Rommel was once hosted. Rommel, in charge of defending Normandy, overseer of the Atlantic Wall fortifications the Germans built that ran from Norway to the France-Spain border, had predicted that the primary landing would be there. He wanted his fabled Panzer armored divisions stationed just behind the shore guns. He said that if the Allies escaped the beaches they would win. Fortunately, Hitler rejected his counsel. For the Big Red One, Normandy was revenge for the defeat Rommel’s Afrika Corps inflicted in Feb. 1943 on the Americans at Kasserine Pass.

We do a driving tour of Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches. We begin at Pegasus Bridge (depicted: the modern, restored bridge), site of a spectacular three-glider landing, with pinpoint accuracy by superb pilots, landing without benefit of powered flight. The Battle of Pegasus Bridge seized for the Allies a key crossing point. We visit the Pegasus Bridge Museum, and see a Horsa glider, workhorse for the British during the War. We visit the Grand Bunker Museum (1:08) at Ouisterham. The Cinéma Circulaire at the Normandy World War II Museum shows a film of the battle on nine huge panels at once. The day ends with a stop at Longues-Sur-Merto see a fortified German artillery piece. Our final touring day covers the many sites of the Falaise Pocket (Falaise is French for cliff), where in late August 1944 the Allies ended the Battle of Normandy in a furious multi-day battle, one of the most sanguinary of the two month campaign. Atop Hill 262 (named for its actual height in meters — about 859 feet) we get a panoramic view of the sites involved in the complex serial engagements, virtually impossible to visualize without seeing the big picture. We see the Falaise Castle, located in the town that was birthplace for William The Conqueror, whose triumph at the Battle of Hastings (1066) brought Norman culture to Saxon England.

But for me the highlight of our group’s visit comes at a farm named Brécourt Manor, near the town of Sainte Marie du Mont. It was the setting for a key American battle after breaking out from Utah Beach, the other American landing site on June 6. The battle, depicted in Episode 2 of the popular Band of Brothers TV series, saw Americans destroy four German howitzers.

The rest of the story, told to us by the current owner, who was a boy back then, turned ugly when a soldier made a grievous error upon entering the farmhouse. He accidentally shot and seriously wounded the father. Fortunately, prompt medical attention, and nearly a year’s stay in a London hospital, enabled the man to recover. He returned home, and in 1949 was elected town mayor. In 1962 he presided over a ceremony honoring the liberation of the town. I told the farmer that I had two reasons for visiting Normandy. First was to honor my cousin, whose extraordinary service enabled me to live a freer, better life than would otherwise have been the case. Second, I wanted to thank the locals for the care their ancestors gave my cousin and his comrades.

Next year will mark the 75thanniversary of D-Day. It will be the last major celebration of the largest naval invasion force in history, one that succeeded against overwhelming odds.

Normandy has many charms that complement the war sites and memorials. The lovely countryside has recovered from the ghastly destruction of 1944. The magnificent cathedral of Mont-San-Michel (1:42) towers over the countryside. Blending medieval, Gothic, and Baroque architectures accumulated over a millennium, it towers over its tidal basin — to see the view you must ascend 350 stone steps. At various times a fort and prison as well as a cathedral, it has survived the second highest tides on the planet. Caen’s abbeys were less fortunate; they survive as fragments — the Normandy battle saw 70 percent of the town destroyed. Bayeux Cathedral has its charms, but the highlight of our visit to Bayeux is the famous Bayeux Tapestry (22:40). My favorite panel is 38, depicting what looks to my gimlet eye like four medieval go-go dancers.

Churches, chateaux and country houses glow in the afternoon sun. Perhaps best of all, we lucked out on the weather, mostly sunny, rare for the region in May (or anytime). The people were charming and hospitable to Americans, not the case in myriad places around the planet. And then there is la cuisine Normande.

Bill was quite the gustatory gourmet. I too, enjoyed Camembert — Normandy’s signature cheese — and Calvados. Thanks to Bill.

John C. Wohlstetter is author of Sleepwalking With the Bomb (2d Ed. 2014).

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