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Sunday, March 23, 2008
Some Spare Outrage?

Glenn Greenwald tries to make a little guilt by association here:

Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds today linked to what he called "EASTER THOUGHTS" from one of his favorite right-wing blogs, his namesake, "Instapunk." That Easter post has a large picture of a crucified Christ along with a lovely religious poem.

Immediately beneath that righteous celebration of Easter is a somewhat less charitable post purporting to take up Barack Obama's invitation to speak about race.

Now, I understand that those of us on the center-right don't care for Greenwald; he's a self-righteous and arrogant bastard. And Instapundit isn't to blame for the fact that a blog he linked to has some nasty stuff on it that he didn't link. But....

It does seem like we could spare a little outrage for the post at Instapunk, which is indeed in very poor taste.

On the other hand, I am sick to death of black people as a group. The truth. That is part of the conversation Obama is asking for, isn't it? I live in an eastern state almost exactly on the fabled Mason-Dixon line. Every day I see young black males wearing tee shirts down to their knees -- and jeans belted just above their knees. I'm an old guy. I want to smack them. All of them. They are egregious stereotypes. It's impossible not to think the unthinkable N-Word when they roll up beside you at a stoplight in their trashed old Hondas with 19-inch spinner wheels and rap recordings that shake the foundations of the buildings. It's like a broadcast dare: Go ahead! Call me a nigger! And then I'll cap your ass.

Here's the dirty secret all of us know and no one will admit to. There ARE niggers. Black people know it. White people know it. And only black people are allowed to notice and pronounce the truth of it. Which would be fine. Except that black people are not a community but a political party. They can squabble with each other in caucus but they absolutely refuse to speak the truth in public. And this is the single biggest obstacle to healing the racial divide in this country. The dammed-up flood of good will in this nation for black people who want to work for their own American Dream is absolutely enormous. The biggest impediment is the doubt created in each and every non-black American by the clannish, tribalist, irrational defense of every low act committed by any black person. If you're offended when Republicans defend Richard Nixon or when Democrats defend Chuck Schumer, imagine what it's like when black people swarm the streets to defend Jeremiah Wright.

I live in a place where I see lots of white kids with shirts down to their knees and pants belted just above the knee, who have beat up old cars with 19-inch spinner wheels and rap recordings that shake the foundations, etc. And I don't think "nigger", and it's not because they aren't black. I think "kid", or in my less charitable moments, "punk kid". Everybody does dumb things when they're young. What did old folks think of me when I tooled up next to them in my beat-up Mustang with the stereo blasting "Smoke On the Water" some 30+ years ago?

By labeling them "Nigger", Oldpunk is focusing on the wrong aspect. It's not that they're black, it's that they're kids. He goes on to list a group of famous blacks that he considers to be "Niggers":

- Jeremiah Wright
- O.J. Simpson
- Marion Barry
- Alan Iverson
- William Jefferson
- Louis Farrakhan
- Mike Tyson

That's a pretty varied collection of people. Wright and Farrakhan are bigots but they aren't in the same class as Tyson or Simpson, who are thugs. Marion Barry? He's clearly a drug abuser, but that's pretty small potatoes; there are certainly plenty of white people his age who do the same things. Iverson's something of a jerk and a hothead. Jefferson may be a crook, but the only real connection he has to the rest of this list is skin color.

The idea that "Nigger" can be resurrected as a catchall for blacks with character flaws ranging from drug abuse to murder ignores the history of the word.
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