The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel

I just heard from a contact in Europe that one of her colleagues in the Counterjihad was upset by being called a racist during a public panel discussion.

All of us are by now are very familiar with this commonly-used illiberal tactic meant to silence anyone who dares to oppose the politically correct multicultural party line.

It made me think of Samuel Johnson’s famous dictum, and that we need a modern variant:

The accusation of racism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

I googled this epigram to see whether it was already in use, but I found only one instance of it — in a John Birch Society news feed, interestingly enough. There were a few other examples discussing Johnson’s formulation in connection with being accused of racism, but no other verbatim versions.

FrothingSo I suggest that we all practice saying it. Above all, we should internalize it. Only by making it part of our mental operating system will we be able to avoid the near instinctive sense of shame, humiliation, and ostracism that results from being called a racist.

We need to stop playing defense and go on the offense. The people who use these sorts of tactics are scoundrels.

[That’s all for this post. More later today.]

17 thoughts on “The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel

  1. Good idea, but be a little careful here. The good doctor was referring to Patriotism, as in membership in the Patriot Party, rather than generiic patriotism. It is fun to walk Libs through that one, as yet more proof they are spouting talking rather than thinking points.

  2. Tregonsee —

    Yes, I’m familiar with the context of the quote. It helped explain why Johnson could say something that proved so useful to America-hating liberals 200 years later…

  3. It’s time to get rid of this “racism” nonsense. It is supremely ironic that people such as Charles Johnson of LGF complain about “racists” and “creationists” at the same time. As a matter of fact, the only people that have the right to use the term “racism” at all are creationists. If you believe that God, or some divine being or force, created all human beings exactly as equals, then you can talk about racism. If, on the other hand, you believe that human beings are the result of evolution, then the entire concept of “racism” is completely meaningless.

    The West today is dominated by Darwinists who don’t believe in the theory of evolution. If you think that sounds like a contradiction in terms, look at Jared Diamond in his bestselling book Guns, Germs, and Steel. The essence of his beliefs is that evolution has been going on for billions of years, creating elephants and whales out of single-cell organisms, but then it miraculously stopped about 50,000 years ago and you are very, very evil if you suggest that human beings were subject to evolutionary pressures after this. This is, logically speaking, completely absurd, yet this is the unquestioned ruling ideology in Western media and academia today.

    The irony is that Jared Diamond’s theory fails to explain the existence of Jared Diamond. Mr. Diamond is an Ashkenazi Jew, which means that he comes from the one ethnic group on the planet with the highest average IQ. This also happens to be the one ethnic group with the highest number of Nobel Prizes per capita in the hard sciences, which strongly indicates that IQ does indeed measure something that is relevant to the discussion of intelligence.

    What is interesting about this is that in the ancient world, say, during the time of Socrates or Aristotle, we have no convincing indications that Jews as a group had such a high intelligence. Those claiming so would point to the disproportionate historical influence of Jewish religious texts, which date back to this era. However, the absence of prominent Jewish scientists and mathematicians of that time and the fact that Middle Eastern Jews do not have very high IQs indicate that the high IQ among Jews in the European diaspora was a product of post-Roman times.

    Jews were a discriminated minority who had to take up financial positions as money-lenders and other occupations that required a high intelligence. Only those with a very high IQ managed to flourish in this cultural climate and produce offspring. This situation continued from the Early Middle Ages until the Enlightenment, about a thousand years, with little intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles. This had the unintended effect of creating a social environment which substantially raised the average IQ of an entire people, and it happened within historical times, which proves that human evolution continues to this day. Ergo, the existence of Jared Diamond is the best proof that Jared Diamond’s theory is fundamentally flawed.

  4. Fjordman makes a good point, “Darwinism” is another hijacked term, happily adopted by folks who want to sieze the (scientific) moral high ground by newspeak and not science. Sadly “darwinism” has become sort of a secular pseudo-religious cachet for people who *believe* in “evolution” … whatever that may mean to folks who believe stuff they don’t bother to understand well. Actually from the leftist perspective evolution can be deconstructed to mean whatever you want it to mean. Like people who are simultaneously “darwinist”, feminist, anti-rascist, and pro-gay. I guess it helps not to believe that contradictions fundamentally matter :D.

    Actually isn’t that another marxist science phenomenon like global warming and radical environmentalism? Along with economic (classic) marxism we now have cultural marxism (political correctness), racial marxism (multiculturalism), gender marxism (feminism), sexual marxism (the glbt studies crew) …

    The New Left and Team Obama. Every flavor of marxism imaginable except economic.

  5. A reminder that on the ground this is a very serious problem the accusation of “racism” in Scotland can and does result in a prison sentence – the “racism” does not have to be real as a perception of “racism” by the accuser will have the weight of evidence.

    The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill

    The bill addresses the problem of hate crime – crime that is motivated by malice and ill-will towards people simply because of who they are: their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity. Scots law currently includes ‘statutory aggravations’ for race and religion hate crime. These are in effect labels that can be attached to the charge for a criminal offence, alleging that the offence was motivated by malice or ill-will on grounds of race or religion. The bill would extend that labelling system to cover offences motivated by malice and ill-will on grounds of disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity. In other words, to cover disability-related, homophobic and transphobic hate crime.

  6. “The accusation of racism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

    I must disagree, dramatically so. The accusation of racism is the first refuge of a Leftist / multiculturalist. We wouldn’t want to deal a terrible insult to all the decent, self-respecting scoundrels out there, would we?

  7. While waiting for a flight at the Denver airport, I began a conversation with an independent-minded young lady about how dim her prospects would be in a world ruled by Islam.

    A few seats away, a young man rose to the defense of Muslims, the Palestinians in particular (whom he had spent some time living with), and proceeded to label my anti-Islamic stance as “racist”.

    I promptly and very gently tore him a bright and shiny new one by pointing out that Islam was not a “race” and that Muslims were of numerous different races including my own.

    None of this dissuaded him from arguing in favor of the Palestinians but he sure STFU about calling me a racist. Oh well, I’ll take my victories where I can find them.

  8. Unfortunately, Samuel Johnson does not carry much traction outside the Anglo-saxon world.

    My tactic is harsher : I return the accusation. It’s even better if you manage to be the first to call your opponent a racist. Let me explain the method.

    It works especially well during an argument with a Leftist. All the more so if the discussion is unconnected with race.

    All Leftists have a deep feeling of moral superiority. In fact, it’s the basis of their dogma : if you’re on the Left, it means you’re a better man, and vice-versa. Inevitably, this will show at some point in their argument, whatever the subject.

    It’s the moment you choose to tell him : “In fact, what you’re saying is that you belong to a superior race”.

    Watch his jaw drop, and add : “Actually, you’re the one who’s racist”. He’s so unaccustomed to being on the receiving end of this accusation that you’ll be able to fix yourself a drink before he comes up with an answer — if at all.

    You can also use this method during an argument about race with an Enricher — only be sure to check the tactical environment before (character and attitude of opponent, number of Enrichers around, nature of neighbourhood, escape routes), lest you be punched, kicked, stabbed or generally killed.

  9. Robert Marchenoir,

    yes, many non-Westerners are quite unconscious of their own racism and are totally bewildered when their prejudices are pointed out by Westerners.As long as the useful idiots on the Left(including politicians) accept the “only White people are racist” line, we are at a disadvantage.

  10. WaPo denouncing a black Democrat rep who’s a crook. Will wonders never cease.

    And on the heels of orgiastic praise for Ted Kennedy whose Senatorship would never have been if he had received the stint in jail he deserved for negligent homicide.

    Maybe WaPo’s editorial policy is to denounce every fifth Democrat crook.

    Non-payment of taxes with excuses of amnesia or inability to understand the tax form given only when caught was pretty well a requirement to be appointed to Obama’s cabinet.

    The biggest taxers shirking payment of their own taxes. And in the case of someone like Rangel, getting rewarded by constituents voting the crooks back in.

    And playing the race card after breaking the law? Do blacks not understand that being held responsible for one’s actions is not racism and it’s this kind of implied support for law breaking that makes them look bad?

    Just once it would be good to see blacks turf an incompetent or crooked black mayor, state or federal representative. Instead, they seem to vote and continue to support skin color, not character e.g. voting back the incompetent New Orleans mayor.

    Why pretend Martin Luther King is your idol when you demonstrably behave as though any black, even proven crooks will do as your representatives?

  11. Re: previous comments on Marxism and Darwinism. In fact, Marxism itself it inconsistent. On the one hand, it insists on a strictly materialist base. It is a reductive, deterministic view of the world whereby the higher historical forces are as deterministic as the behavior of atoms. And if we don’t fully understand them it is because they are complex. But as our knowledge increases, we will understand them and the totality of human history will become fully intelligible.

    Secondly, we are bound to understand them, because the advent of progress is inexorable. here Marx irrationally takes a Hegelian, idealist position about the inevitable progress of history. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to indicate the existence, let alone inevitability, of progress in a material universe. Physicists are today toying with the idea of a continual increase of complexity in the inhabited universe. As far as I know, this is a fascinating hypothesis that cannot be proven so far. If it is proven, the proof will be certain to come from a more subtle new theory that sees the world in non-reductionist, emergenist, and non local terms and thus yields a non-materialist view of the Universe.

    In addition, Marx sees everything in “social-constructionist” terms. If only workers take power, they will stop being low and debased. This is predicated on an assumption that everybody is the same, and seeming inequalities are the result of unequal social positions. This view, of course, is inconsistent with physical materialism and the belief in evolution.

  12. Frank of Queens from The Right Perspective often uses the phrase “the cry of racism is the last refuge of a black scoundrel”.

    The phrases “liberalism is a mental disorder” and “I want my country back”, often heard in Townhall meetings today, are also attributed to him.

    I agree with the sentiment of this post – a modern phrase is very appropriate.

  13. I would point out clearly that Islam is a religious/political ideology with people of many races submitted to it, I would then say that the gentleman defining me as a racist is in fact the racist as he has linked Islam only to the Arab race.

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