Look, I know I’m not telling our readers anything you don’t already know here. But in those quaint old days when the liberals (remember when those dinosaurs roamed the earth?) used to engage in debate, they had a saying.
They said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
That one is old enough that it’s long since had its retirement party. The replacement is from our side. It goes like this:
“Racism” is the last refuge of a moron.
That saying actually works two ways, of course. Normal Americans know, for example, that the Ku Klux Klan consists of two kinds of people: morons and feds.
And no, those aren’t mutually exclusive.
What this column is about is a different meaning: namely, that all the dumbest arguments in America use race, and accusations of racism, as a shield against being picked apart by far more intelligent people than those making the arguments.
I can go through a million examples, and I’ll be delighted if the commenters below wish to add their own. What follows are just a few.
But first, a quick digression: this is a manifestation of a larger issue with the Left (not the liberals, the Left, because they’re not the same thing, especially these days). Namely, they aren’t interested in persuading anyone of anything. They’ve given up doing that. Instead, they’re about demonization and shut-uppery. All they really know is their Alinsky, and most of those Rules for Radicals come down to fighting dirty by making and using bad-faith arguments and tactics.
Attacking the messenger being the primary one. They don’t know how to do anything else anymore. Their appeals are all to the emotions and never the intellect.
You know this already, but it’s productive to call it out so people who don’t get it can have it shown to them. And then maybe we can all appreciate how sinister and dishonest it is.
My attention returned to this race-as-a-shield-for-idiotic-arguments phenomenon due to a couple of things taking place here in Louisiana this week.
I’m in Baton Rouge, and if you’re a long-time reader of this column you probably remember that I’ve talked a couple of times about the effort to incorporate the city of St. George in the unincorporated southern part of East Baton Rouge Parish. The first effort to do that started in 2014, and it got very close to turning in a successful petition to force an election to create St. George. There was, it appeared, chicanery on the part of the city-parish officials in denying the petition — particularly at the registrar’s office, where a whole bunch of apparently valid signatures were disallowed.
Then in 2019 the organizers tried again, this time trimming down St. George’s geography to include mostly just the areas where lots of people had signed the petition the first time. That worked, and the petition created an election that the St. George side won convincingly.
But Baton Rouge, which has a city-parish unified government in which the chief executive isn’t just the mayor of Baton Rouge the city but the parish president of East Baton Rouge Parish (we have parishes instead of counties in Louisiana, in case you didn’t know), didn’t give up. The mayor-president, a black Democrat named Sharon Weston Broome who is absolutely running this place into the ground, immediately sued the St. George organizers to stop the new city the voters opted for from going live.
The two-week trial over that lawsuit is ending, and the arguments made by Broome and her cronies from the plaintiff side have been unbelievably stupid. But, you guessed it, they’re all about race. Because St. George is mostly white and wealthy, East Baton Rouge Parish is about half-and-half white and black, and the city of Baton Rouge is two-thirds black and increasingly dirt-poor and government-dependent, the aim is to paint the St. George folks as super-sophisticated Klansmen trying a 21st-century secession.
Bear in mind that what is to be St. George is currently part of East Baton Rouge Parish but not part of the city of Baton Rouge and no element of that equation will change as the new city goes live. What will change is that some of the tax dollars collected from St. George residents, which are now paid to the city-parish government, will be paid to the new city of St. George.
And they’ll be spent in St. George, which will be a change. Currently those funds are taken and spent elsewhere in the parish.
For example, Baton Rouge’s police chief Murphy Paul, a Broome stooge who’s so incompetent that the International Union of Police Associations called on him to resign earlier this month as the city’s murder rate launched into the stratosphere, testified that he’s had to prepare two budgets for the Baton Rouge Police Department: one normal budget and another 20 percent smaller should the BRPD lose the St. George funds.
The BRPD doesn’t patrol St. George. It patrols Baton Rouge proper. So Baton Rouge is swiping money from the St. George people while providing no services in return. And it isn’t alone.
Another “highlight” of the trial is the contention that the St. George folks were racist because they didn’t include Gardere, the impoverished, gang-infested, and mostly black neighborhood in southwest Baton Rouge, in the second petition drive. The thing was, the first time around the St. George organizers did include Gardere — and got almost no one from there to agree to sign the petition. That fact was the No. 1 reason they didn’t hit their number. So Gardere was excised in the second petition drive.
This is racist, apparently. And apparently, based on the arguments at the trial, what wouldn’t have been racist would be for the St. George people to include Gardere against the will of the locals.
The St. George people are going to win, either at trial or down the road when the Louisiana Supreme Court gets the case. That doesn’t change how insultingly stupid the arguments have been. It’s the same story in Atlanta, where the Buckhead area is trying to become its own city.
Also here in Louisiana, there was a vote yesterday in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on a resolution that would have stopped Louisiana’s Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards from adding the COVID shot to the state immunization schedule for schoolkids. Nobody else in America — not even California — does anything this reckless given (1) the manifest lack of necessity for the COVID shot to kids who are at very little risk from the virus and (2) the clearly present, if small, risk of complications to those kids from the vaccine.
The Senate Health and Welfare Committee in Louisiana is atrociously staffed by a supposedly Republican leadership. It has five Republicans and four Democrats, and it’s chaired by a pharmacist named Fred Mills who was a Democrat five minutes before he ran for the Senate a decade ago. There are just three conservatives out of nine committee members.
So HCR 3, which was the resolution stopping Edwards from sticking needles into the arms of all the schoolkids, passed through the House with a 69-30 vote and then landed in this committee. And I kid you not, the four Democrats in Senate Health and Welfare proceeded to call it a racist resolution. Why? Because black people disproportionately suffer severe symptoms of COVID, and therefore failing to vaccinate everybody puts black Louisianans at risk.
This wasn’t very persuasive, but on the other hand two of the five Republicans, a doddering RINO named J. Rogers Pope and Mills, skipped the vote, and the resolution failed 4-3. There’s an attempt brewing to resuscitate it by discharging it onto the Senate floor; maybe that’ll happen.
These are two examples you don’t know. You already know some of the more national ones.
Take “environmental justice” as another example. That one goes like this: it’s poor brown and black people who are disproportionately affected by pollution from heavy industry, and so therefore heavy industry is racist.
The reality? Most of those industrial plants, say an oil refinery or a chemical plant, were built in strategic locations in the middle of nowhere where the land was inexpensive and there were few people around to be bothered by their activities. And after the plants opened people moved nearby because the land was cheap. The plants are regulated by the government, so they have environmental and safety standards they have to meet. And on balance they meet those standards. We have the cleanest heavy industrial sector on planet Earth.
But the environmentalists, who can’t just take credit for policing those plants, need a new hook for fundraising, so they rile up the people around these plants as some sort of victims, and racism is the hook to do it. Forget about the fact that the “victims” chose to live near the industrial facilities. You aren’t even allowed to investigate whether or not there’s any real documentable harm to the black and brown people around those plants, you racist.
The arguments over voter ID? Comically stupid, and all about racism. Meanwhile, black people all over America are actually insulted by the Left’s insinuation that they’re too dumb and possess insufficient agency to get an ID they need to board a plane or buy cigarettes.
Then there’s the contention, which I and Jeffrey Lord both swatted a week or so ago, by the New York Times that Tucker Carlson is a racist because he rails against illegal immigration. Tell that to the “Latinx” crowd (whoops!), who are amid a historic shift in party affiliation out of outrage over the open border, among other things. Hispanic Americans must be “racist” against Hispanics from other countries trying to invade the USA.
Everything is stupid. This is 2022, after all, and POTUS is really POTATUS. But in reality, the racists are the people who project their biases all over the rest of us. Let’s call this crap out and insist it go away.