The June 9th vote — aside from the winner, Shrinkwrapped, — had an even spread among three submissions for second place. A most unusual pattern.
First, Abolish the “N” Word, Shrinkwrapped’s essay on the all-too-prevalent use of what used to be the forbidden and despised appellation: “nigger.” I grew up hearing that word from my cohort (mostly the boys, hardly ever a girl thought it, much less said it) though it was not used in my house and the nuns would put anyone caught uttering it in school in detention, doomed to write their sin a hundred times. But that was the South then; it is not so now, except for a few very ancient country people who still say “nigra” — which is, in their view, a gentrified version of the hated word. Their grown and ageing children roll their eyes when Daddy persists in using the term, but Daddy is way too old to correct so they let it slide.
Shrinkwrapped notes the changes:
Liberal policies arise from the best of intentions, which is why when they fail it is so difficult to change them. Affirmative Action is a policy that has had some successes for individual Black Americans, but overall has been a dismal experiment in reverse racism. One of the worst, unintended consequences of Affirmative Action has been the (unconscious) identification by Black men with the image of themselves as unable to compete in the modern world. I wrote about the unconscious processes involved in Race and the Unconscious, and included this:
When you hear rap groups “singing” about pimps and ho’s, and hear young black men refer to themselves with the “N” word (sorry, I am too old to feel comfortable with that word), you are hearing the glorification of their devalued status, a reaction formation. The adolescent whose parents expect him to be a failure will, most of the time, glorify his failures; this is based on the unconscious identification with the devalued aspects of the parent which have formed part of the core of the person’s self concept. These people should be shamed, not glorified.
On CNN last week, a young Black woman discussed the web site, Abolish the “N” Word, which was designed to stimulate a vitally needed conversation within the Black community about the metastasizing use of the “N” word among young people.
Race remains one of the various “third rail” topics in American politics. Anyone who dares to deviate from the accepted “Black victim narrative” risks being labeled a racist; jobs and livelihoods have been lost over such transgressions. For a non-Black American the temptation is strong to ignore the whole issue; if the Black community wants to persist in damaging themselves with their behavior, why should I intervene? Worse, many members of my parents’ generation risked bodily injury to stand and walk beside our Black brethren in the days of the Civil Rights Struggle. The brother of a close colleague of my father was murdered in the 1960s for trying to organize Black voters in Mississippi, yet many White civil rights activists felt their “thanks” was to be castigated by a younger generation of more radical Black activists in the 1970s.
However, we are now living in different times. America is no longer institutionally racist and there are few people who feel it is appropriate to mouth openly racist tropes, even if some still think them. I have worked with many Black patients and appreciate that they have to negotiate various difficulties that I have been spared but the sad truth of it is that the primary damage that racism still exerts on our Black countrymen and women is self inflicted.
The three-post spread for second place was shared by (a) Rightwing Nuthouse for his piece on courage as demonstrated on Omaha Beach —
instead of “courage” being a word with inexpressible significance and meaning beyond its simple definition, it has become a self congratulatory epithet, a hollowed out expression of empty promise and insincerity. Today, the purveyors of myth and shapers of opinion use the word to tell the rest of us who to admire and what to respect. No longer does courage imply sacrifice or a willingness to give all that one has for a cause greater than oneself.
All of this was in the future 62 years ago when the Rangers lived the word courage by taking the bluffs above the beach. And a short distance away at Omaha, Americans were dying, never knowing that their sacrifice was redefining the word courage for all time. For in their last bloody moments on earth, a titanic struggle was taking place between good and evil that 10,000 years from now, poets will still be singing songs and human beings will still be shaking their heads at in wonder and awestruck disbelief.
And then, another second place piece, (b)The Glittering Eye’s essay on immigration history and its effects on politics:
With all of the posting on immigrants and immigration over the last few months I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more thoughtful consideration of the political legacy of the historic waves of immigration into this country. Leaping into the gap in this post I plan to touch briefly on two of these waves: the famine Irish and the Scandinavians…
Well, Dave, “political legacy” is another way to say history and unfortunately, America is not big on history beyond the iconic after-images.
I urge our readers to visit this essay for a dose of real history. Dave Schuler makes a compelling case for remembering what actually happened when new immigrants arrived here. Hint: there were no marching bands on the docks to greet them.
Finally, the third council member in this three-way second place vote (c), There is Something About the Danes. Which, of course, there is. Some readers think Gates of Vienna is spending too much time on Denmark. However, if anyone else can come up with some good news in this long, horrible stretch of the war against the Islamofascists, please send it along.
In the non-Council section, The Ace of Spades HQ asks “Why Does The Unhinged Left So Hate Jeff Goldstein?” and proceeds to provide the answer:
Forgive me for repeating myself, as I so often do, in this post. I’ve expressed these ideas before, but, as I so often do, in a sloppy and slapdash form. I’ve tried to be a little more organized here. And, in case you’re worried, this post isn’t really about Jeff Goldstein; I, for one, cannot imagine a more excruciatingly tedious subject for an essay.
It’s about the left.
Goldstein bitches about his role as the go-to villain for the moonbats on occasion, to which I always say, half-seriously, that I’m envious. I wish I had the increased traffic and apparent subversive powers he does. Then again, I don’t get this crap day in day out. I think I’d probably get annoyed if I did.
I think I do know why Goldstein in particular is so reviled. He himself provides the answer here, writing about why the Left hates Israel and conservative blacks so much:
(this is a snip from Goldstein)I’d simply add that I think one of the prime reasons the Western left, for all its purported “progressivism,” is so concerned with punishing Israel is that Israel, like, say, Michael Steele or Thomas Sowell, has wandered off the progressive plantation and rejected the narrative assigned it by those who presume to speak for a larger identity agenda. Which is to say, kibbutz culture has given way, over the years, to a strong capitalist system—and so Israel is considered by many on the left to be a traitor to the cause of worldwide socialism, just as surely as Steele and Sowell (among others) are considered race traitors for rejecting the political narrative assigned them by those who have assumed the mantle of “authentic” blacks.
(now Ace responds) The left, to a man, considers itself to be educated and enlightened. It matters not how little actual schooling a particular leftist may have had, nor how unintelligent the person might be. They all consider themselves intellectuals of sorts. If they dropped out of college after one semester, they just think of themselves as autodidacts whose genius could not be stimulated by the ossified and bourgeois teaching of the academy. If they’re just plain stupid or crazy — like, say, Charlie Sheen — they indulge in farcical conspiracy-theorizing, reassuring themselves that they are intellectual because they know things others do not. They are one of the chosen few brave enough to see past the web of lies and glimpse the arcane truth behind, say, the implosion of the World Trade Center (a SEAL team planted those charges, you know?).
I must confess my ignorance here, and I am sure our readers will take me to task for living under a rock, but who is Jeff Goldstein? Charlie Sheen? Should I know these people? Is Charlie Sheen related to Cindy Sheehan? Kinda sounds alike…and I do recognize her name. I know, I know: I need to get out more. But if knowing who these people are requires a TV or reading the MSM, count me out. In that case, ignorance is bliss.
Second place in the non-Council posts is Ms. Cheesecake, aka Villainous Company. The Baron loves her blog image (I think it’s the shot of those long, long legs). This time she won for “Selected Quotes Do Not A Reasoned Argument Make.” V.C. proves her point by writing such a closely reasoned debate that I can’t find a way to shoehorn in and give you a snippet. Thus, you’ll have to see what she has to say about the arguments re what did or didn’t happen at Haditha and what should happen from here on in.
Finally, of course, there’s himself, holding the rest of the cards. This time around the votes were so evenly divided that it’s an indication of a great deal of quality blogging. Be sure to visit the Watcher and read the rest.
Ahem…while you’re there, let him know I got this post up just before the bell. Whew!