Suppose that a band of self-proclaimed white supremacists, clad in paramilitary uniforms, were holding weekend rallies in, oh, let’s say Times Square, in the heart of New York City, berating passersby through loudspeakers and bull-horns, calling for racial warfare, the subordination of women and death to homosexuals — based on the group’s own idiosyncratic readings of the Bible. You’d expect Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition to be all over the situation, arranging counter-demonstrations, passing out leaflets. Or if not the Rainbow Coalition, then the National Organization for Women. Or at least the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. With them, of course, would come the media: print reporters anxious to capture the surefire confrontations, broadcast crews with video cameras poised for sidewalk skirmishes, possibly even a full-fledged melee.
So why haven’t you heard about such a group?
Perhaps the answer is that it’s actually a band of black supremacists out every weekend in Times Square. The group calls itself the Children of Israel. The members’ core belief is that the Jews of the Old Testament were black — and that their descendants are the dark-skinned peoples of the world. Their list of the Twelve Tribes of Israel consists of “Negroes,” “West Indians,” “Haitians,” “Dominicans.” “Guatemala to Panama,” “Puerto Ricans,” Cubans,” “North American Indians,” “Seminole Indians,” “Argentina to Chile,” “Colombia to Uruguay,” and “Mexicans.” Western culture, they contend, has perpetuated the lie that Jews are Caucasian in order to keep the true Chosen People from claiming their rightful destiny as rulers over the rest of mankind. Their presentation consists of two speakers, a reader and a teacher, flanked by a half dozen barrel-chested guards whose glowers are straight off a Mister T. lunchbox. The teacher asks the reader to recite a particular verse from the Bible (the King James version!) — which the teacher then interprets to demonstrate the truth of their beliefs. Typical in tenor and logic is the following exchange:
“Give me Numbers, 15:38!”
“Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments—”
“Fringes in the borders of their garments!”
“Fringes in the borders of their garments!”
“Now who do you know that wears fringes on their garments? That’s right! The so-called American Indians!”
And so on. Now and then, the pattern is interrupted to allow the teacher to dwell on the ignorance of the audience, or to speculate on the sexual-orientation of a passerby, or to cite a recent massacre, flood or fire as evidence that the “Most High” is about to strike down the white race. Structurally, the act bears unsettling resemblances to an Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy skit — with undeniable, if slightly awkward, echoes of Amos and Andy.
Now I am pretty near an absolutist on the issue of free speech, so if crews of hate-filled black men want to put on venomous minstrel shows on odd Sundays, aside from a twinge of embarrassment for them, I have no strong objection. But I do wonder why no one seems to voice the slightest outrage to their antics. Where are those famous foes of intolerance, the guardians of secular humanism who perceive imminent threats to liberty, equality and fraternity is the rantings of a half-dozen beer-bellied kooks in Casper-sheets out in Podunk, Idaho?
Remember, the Children of Israel hold forth in Times Square — it’s not as if they’re operating below the standard radar of political correctness. So where are Jesse’s legions when the C.O.I. proclaim: “That day of race war and murder and payback is coming,” or “So any so-called black man who makes peace with the so-called white man, he will be put to death!”
How can it be that the two Glorias, Steinem and Allred, turn a deaf ear when the C.O.I. proclaim: “So these so-called white women are already set up to be lesbians; they are a wicked people,” or “Now you got these women who want to be like men — but a woman who don’t know her place, she will be put to death!”
Why isn’t Larry Kramer out there acting up when the C.O.I. proclaim: “What is a homosexual? A foul spirit! What is a lesbian? A foul spirit.” or “So these people that are faggots and lesbians must be put to death!”
The Children of Israel are merely loud. The silences they evoke are deafening.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online