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Race

No, Not Everything is Racism

Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez

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Racism isn’t what many seem to think it is. The word has been stretched and pulled, expanded and homogenized to fit a great many things. It’s been made to mean “racial,” and the two are essentially different in at least one vital way: Racism contains the contemptible component of inferiority; racial does not.

Racial refers to physical, cultural and ethnic characteristics of races and ethnicities, often manifesting itself in stereotypes. Stereotypes are common characteristics observed over time. They aren’t negative in and of themselves—unless they’re applied negatively. That said, generally I avoid them because they can be hurtful without being racist.

For example, I’m Italian and Irish. I have a Roman nose. It’s prominent. And it’s part of my DNA from my Italian father. It’s one of my racial characteristics, and it’s stereotypical. If someone were to say of me, “He’s got a big nose—I wonder if he’s Italian,” they’d be applying a stereotype. The comment wouldn’t be racist; it would be racial because it lacks antagonism and/or application of inferiority. It could still hurt or offend me, but it doesn’t because I like my Roman nose.

Here’s another personal example: A friend’s mother, after meeting me for the first time, warned him to be careful with me because, “Italians, they steal, son.” She applied a negative stereotype that’s based on cultural characteristics depicted by Hollywood—AND in real life. Italians DO steal, but so do people of other races and ethnicities.

I once witnessed two Italians in Naples drive up on a moped, one hop off and enter a parked car and extract its radio, hop back on the escape scooter, and ride off—all in about 20 seconds. I found myself admiring their efficiency. It’s like they were German, not Italian.

Stereotypes, not racism

My friends mom’s mistake was in misapplying a stereotype. She didn’t denigrate my ethnicity or lower it below hers, she simply stereotyped me unfairly—and racially. She wasn’t being racist. Nor did what she say imply inferiority. That said, I admit that I don’t know the worst of racism; I simply don’t have that experience.

How many times do we read about someone using a stereotype to describe another’s race or ethnicity and who’s tarred and feather as a racist for it? Again, using stereotypes can be hurtful and can offend, but doing so isn’t always racist.

Who’s a fan of The Office? Remember when Michael Scott does his Ping routine? He uses hurtful and offensive stereotypes involving slant-eyed glasses, buckteeth and speech. It’s clearly cringe-worthy and would never fly today (and shouldn’t), but is it racist? Is Michael Scott racist?

Meaning means everything

Words have meaning. They mean what they mean and altering and expanding them based on culture or politics or ideology is a recipe for turning them into bombs. Is racist an umbrella word for racial? No, both are unique words with unique meanings. It’s just that one is being used as a weapon to malign and cancel.

I say we take more care to understand words and their meaning and that we resist slinging them like stones and lobbing them like grenades. I say also that we fight real racism with clear heads and full hearts. Let’s make love our byword. After all, it’s the best of all words and, thankfully, one with a meaning that never changes.

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Patrick grew up in Texas and graduated from the University of North Texas with a master’s degree in journalism and advertising. His undergraduate degree is in English and photography. He served six years in the U.S. Navy where his life was changed forever by the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California with his wife, dog and two cats. He enjoys hiking and cycling, taking pictures, writing and blogging at https://luscri.com/



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Life

Leftists Romanticize the Settling of the Americas, While Loathing the Emergence of the U.S.

On every continent, in every nation, for all of human history, “good” people and “bad” people have existed

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In their naive and ultra-simplistic worldview the Left sees only there is ‘good’ and there is ‘bad,’ and they’ll be the judge of that. Their soft spot for Native Americans includes a ready-made narrative about the absolute nobility of our earlier continental inhabitants.

Early inhabitants of North America originally migrated from Siberia over the probable land bridge at the Bering Strait, through Alaska and Canada, to what is now the United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. These “Native Americans” preceded European explorers arriving in the 15th century.

Displaying many admirable traits, individually and collectively, Native Americans have been showcased with the rise of political correctness. That Native Americans, per se, did not represent a unified, homogeneous people is overlooked. More than 1000 nations occupied North America from the middle of the first millennium. To this day, 574 Indian tribes are legally recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Few Close Encounters

As happens with people everywhere, some nations – referred to as tribes – were peace-loving. Some were warring. Some respected nature; some did not. Many of the peace-loving characteristics we ascribe to Native American nations might actually be attributed to the curious fact that they hardly ever encountered each other.

Native American nations rarely interacted with each other unless they sought out one another to do battle or to trade. Until the introduction of the horse, brought over by Europeans, it was rare for a member of one tribe to see someone from another tribe.

Years back, I visited an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., which showed that during the 100-year period when Native Americans relied heavily upon horses for mobility, roughly 1785 to 1885, some tribes engaged in hellish warfare with each other. Without being provoked, some nations decimated other peace-loving nations, and braves earned respect by committing barbarous acts against members of other tribes. Captives were turned into slaves. Entire villages were raped and plundered, as they had been in Central America since at least 500 A.D.

Slaughtering Each Other is Okay?

Native Americans often butchered one another, took slaves, made the conquered pay tribute, and forced the attractive women to be concubines. The Lakotas, mythologized in Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves, hacked off the limbs and scalps of those whom they slaughtered. They proudly exhibited such trophies with their tribe, particularly with the women, who held victory celebrations that included parading with severed limbs on sticks and dancing about with them hoisted high.

The poor braves who returned without such trophies felt ostracism and a bitter social sting from the tribe’s women. These women would make the warriors’ lives hell on earth until they “proved” themselves, and then re-proved themselves by murdering more braves of other tribes and hacking off more limbs. Among some nations, continual warfare was a way of life. Living peacefully with other nations was not within the norms of their culture.

Predictably, Ken Burns’ PBS series The West gives short shrift to long-standing, gross incidences of Native American inhumanities to each other. Meanwhile, the uber-leftist Burns highlighted the transgressions of the imperious white man. What political agenda is was he promoting?

Politically Correct Slaughter

Do historically, or geographically, related peoples have a “justifiable” right to brutalize each other? Is it politically “incorrect” that the technologically and tactically superior Spaniards, whether led by Cortes or Desoto, were more efficient at man’s inhumanity to man?

Before modern Europeans ever set foot in North America, Native Americans bestowed horrific carnage upon each other. Aztec artifacts reveal battles between warring factions as hostile as any in history. Entire villages, including babies, were wiped out. Unspeakable horrors were committed for power, glory, and riches. Rape was followed by dismemberment (of the living, no less) and decapitation.

Comanche, Pawnee, Creek, Haida, and Tlingit, among many other tribes, enslaved those who they captured in battle. The Incas engaged in regular rituals of human sacrifice. The Aztecs might eat the hearts or livers of their enemies, in some cases, actually plucking out the hearts or livers of live victims, known as vivisection. The victors felt it made them stronger.

To Generalize is To Deceive

Why call attention to decapitation, dismemberment, consumption of human organs, and vivisection? It is not to cast aspersions on any peoples, but to hone our present-day observations. When one makes sweeping generalizations about groups, it is stereotyping, even if the stereotype is presumably “positive.”

On every continent, in every nation, and at every locale, for all of human history, both “good” people and “bad” people have existed, to the complete denial or utter ignorance of Leftists.

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Politics

Cancel-free: The Charmed Lives of Offensive Democrats

The American Left is teaming with hypocritical womanizers, homophobes, and anti-white racists, all of whom receive a free pass

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Pretend that you’re the governor of some state, perhaps out in the Midwest. Seven different women have come forward accusing you of sexually harassing or molesting them. Suppose, as well, that you happen to be a Republican.

Cuomo Nation

As successful as you might have been in holding on to your post for the first six accusations, how long would you last after the seventh woman has come forward?

Any level headed person would conclude that you wouldn’t be able to hang on for long. The press would hammer you every day. People on your staff would rebel. Those who exert any type of influence in your state’s legislative body would go on the warpath, and insist that you resign immediately.

You’d have significant trouble working with elected officials, heads of agencies and commissions, and your own staff. CNN and MSNBC would feature you as a nightly topic. Yet, Andrew Cuomo can hang on for months, and possibly even for the duration of his elected term. Why? He is a Democrat.

The Joy of Being Joy Reid

Suppose that you become a nightly news anchor for a major TV network. A short time thereafter, it is revealed that you’ve made highly questionable, homophobic, even vicious statements and blog posts within the past decade. At your network, how quickly would you be asked to resign? A day? A week?

If you’re able to retain your post, what would your relationship be with your existing staff, some of whom represent the type of people that you so ungraciously disparaged in your posts? What would your relationship be with the studio and broadcast executives? What about your audience? Would they  seek your removal?

Suppose, however, that your name is Joy Reid. You are a black woman in America, and have made statements in your blog, “The Reid Report” where you have openly “mocked public figures for their perceived femininity and gayness.” Worse, you have sought to expose political opponents whom you believed to be homosexual.

Cancel-Free and Lovin’ It

Many months pass and the din dies down. While your reputation has been tarnished, the Public Broadcasting System, de facto, has granted that you will continue on in your post. No real harm, right? After all, it’s been 10 years, and presumably you’re a better person now, eh? Yet, others at other stations, who made less derogatory comments, far more that ten years ago, have been terminated.

As a ‘woman of color’ in America, a Democrat, a liberal, a progressive, and one who supports the Left, you are immune from being dislodged from your position. You would have to murder somebody, live, on air, before your position would be in jeopardy. Anything that has occurred off of the air will be downplayed.

Soon, your transgression will be swept under the rug. Your deed will never completely disappear, because the Internet is eternal. However, the impact and  ramifications of your transgression can be reduced to the bare minimum.

A Caucasian-hating Asian

Your big day arrives: you land a prime position at the New York Times, “the newspaper of record.” The prestige that goes along with your role is enormous. You are on the advisory committee for the editorial opinion page: You decide what makes it into print and what does not, and you get to shape what is printed.

Before you officially begin, serious allegations about you have surfaced. You’ve made inflammatory statements, insulting older white Caucasians. You have said, verbatim, “Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.”

You have tweeted, “Dumb*ss f*cking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs p-ssing on fire hydrants” and, “White people have stopped breeding. You’ll all go extinct soon. This was my plan all along.”

How long would it take your employer to fire you, even before your first day? Your name, however, is Sarah Jeong. You are an Asian-American, part of a protected class, a Democrat, and a progressive who is highly supportive of Leftist causes. Despite all that is known about your past, the Times embraces you.

State of Disgrace

After a mercifully short stay, deputy editor Kate Kingsbury said, “Sarah decided to leave the editorial board in August. But we’re glad to still have her journalism and insights around technology in our pages through her work as a contributor.”

This is the state of the American Left today, an ideology teaming with hypocritical womanizers, homophobes, and anti-white racists. As if in The Twilight Zone, these people receive a free pass: They are Democrats, a special class and part of the upper tier in our two-tier level of justice and “social” justice.

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