Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Personal Asides: “Potential Racism” a Super-Politically Correct Threat with the Obama Sanitized Speech Fanatics…Defining Moment of the `60s III: The Tet Offensive and Readers’ Comments…Then Defining Moment IV.


“Potential Racism” = Disorderly Conduct?

It’s not surprising that an Obama staffer pressured a Hispanic Carpentersville Village trustee to resign as an elected Obama delegate because she made the fatal error…a slip of the tongue…in calling black kids who were climbing on her trees “monkeys”…and getting her a $75 fine for so-called “disorderly conduct.” This is the likely calm dispassionate conversation on race that we are slated to have once he becomes president. It is a conversation not grounded on candor or freedom of expression but one which will hide behind the conventions. Who was the Obama official who got Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski to resign and who was the Carpentersville law enforcement palooka who issued the fine which is clearly an abrogation of the 1st amendment? It is very close to the abjectly reactionary view of perverted, government-sanctioned “non-hate speech” in Canada that forbids discussion of anything but positive views of homosexuality and race.

III: The Tet Offensive.

Once again all your comments were educational and all were in general agreement—more so than on the JFK assassination: the Tet Offensive “debacle” was one of the worst-covered episodes in modern journalism and precipitated a disastrous U.S. withdrawal. But to bash the media alone is un-salutary. Media reflect fundamental philosophic moods of society. Remarks from Hank were on the button, Andy Kowakczyk makes a point I don’t think I have heard before—that Vietnam led to the fall of the USSR: I think he’ll get some disagreements on that. Frank Nofsinger is letter-perfect as usual and Leon Dixon is absolutely eloquent.

The interesting thing is that historians using primary source materials from former Vietcong and North Vietnamese authorities have proved that the Tet Offensive was in fact a victory…that the antiwar domestic policies of the Sixties enabled by Walter Cronkite seized the day and caused America to pull defeat from the jaws of victory. While no responsible historian can deny that Tet was anything less than a colossal military defeat for North Vietnam and the wrap-up of the Viet Cong as an effective agent for Vietnam’s future, the myth still continues.

Moreover the real lesson of Tet has not been learned or acknowledged by today’s liberals and/or major news media. Living a lie in liberal and some media attitudes has become existentialist in this country and permeates our current debate on Iraq. Existentialist because what counts is not the facts nor evidence but the nobility of my feelings. Gene McCarthy and those who came after bear some major responsibility: Vietnam should not have been won by us in any manner since we should not have been there…and indeed McCarthy rooted for our losing the war. Theologian Godfrey Diekmann OSB of St. John’s said frequently that feelings trump orthodoxy…and the two, Diekmann and McCarthy, influenced each other rather than one the other. Anyhow, the existential Catholic liberalism and celebration of non-orthodoxy screwed up more than one of my colleagues whose faith was shaken.

Existentialism triumphs today in non-religious circles. In Chicago we have Bill Ayres and Bernadette Dorn…former renegades and enemies of society having been on the lam…teaching in higher education and regretting that they did not do more as underground Weathermen beyond trying to bomb the Pentagon—and their views are celebrated in academe. Celebrated because of the existential view that feelings, no matter how spurious, overcome mere recitation of facts. Can you see how the existential survives in today’s society anent the Kennedy assassination being perpetrated by the forces of “unreason” aligned with the Right…with the constitutional “right of privacy” that was invented out of whole cloth by Justice Douglas…and Tet? Now we go to IV.

Defining Moment of the `60s IV: the Kerner Report.

Created by President Johnson and known as the Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to account for the race riots that burned in America in the summer of 1967 said that black anger and white racism were the two forces shaping U. S. urban life. Black America was victimized and as such should not be held morally responsible for standing up to those who perpetrated its victimization. Government, the Report concluded, had to take an ever-increasing role to deal with the sad fact that America was “moving toward two societies…separate and unequal.”

Once again your assignment is to draw a conclusion as to whether the Kerner Report was right or wrong or whether it was responsible for liberals veering away from a color-blind society to new black and minority militancy.


  1. elizabeth alexanderApril 9, 2008 at 4:30 AM

    Please, go back to the comments under John Kass's Sunday column. People are still writing. Read the last pages first. The more both blacks and whites wrote, the meaner and uglier the opinions get.

    Check again how the racists from both sides think about each other.

    It is frightening. I worry about a repeat of the late '60s and early '70s. This country was torn apart. I am fearful it will be again.


  2. It reads to me as if the commission concluded the solution to big government is more big government. It didn't work before 1968 and it doesn't work now.

    There are literally billions of private $ that would be invested in Chicago's South Side if the City had a functioning government, rather than what we have now. The swindlers have won over the last 40 years, the taxpayers lose.


  3. No one really read the report. It was just a hatrack for those who wished a tiny fig leaf to continue to expand "government". Those who seized the opportunity were racists like Jesse Jackson and a liberal judicial system that craved more power to shape society. The costs were profiled in a later book, Losing Ground, by Charles Murray. Kerner's stupidities helped create the urban underclass with its wallowing in victimhood, its need policy wise,for benign neglect, and a great loosening of the bonds of the FDR political machine. Jews, who had run the NCAAP as a Jewish instrument lost out as the race baiters, empowered by a stupid document, took over and the Silent Majority sorts bolted to Nixon, George Wallace, and later, Ronald Reagan. Duh liberal media, empowered by a document, also took the opportunity to make matters worse by shouting their moralisms at folks who actually knew better. You wind up with the O.J. Simpson trial as a monument to American Liberalism and a majority of Americans no longer care about minority kids as they have moved themselves out of the inner cities so that they don't have to put up with urban criminals fostered by this ugly side of liberalism.

  4. Where does extreme political correctness stop? As for the Carpentersville Village Trustee who was dumped as an elected Obama delegate, what are we to make of elected officials such as Governor Blagojevich who has affectionately referred to his youngest daughter as "monkeyface" while playing with her?
    US Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., appeared on WLS Radio this morning and admitted that when kids are at play (he provided a few examples of children playing, crawling, dancing and jumping) that he could see referring to children as "monkeys" without intending any harm or insult.

    This seems to be blown out of proportion. The Carpentersville Village Trustee is dumped by Obama, but Reverend Wright can go on spewing vitriol forever?

  5. Let me offer a few factors that have helped create the situation today:
    1) World War II- Blacks were recruited en masse to work in Defense Plants in major Northern industial cities. Like all newcomers (i.e. Irish, Jewish, Italian, etc.) they had to crowd into living quarters at the lowest levels of society.
    2) The Interstate Highway System- Created to fill a national defense need envisioned by President Eisenhower, decisions were made to route through major cities rather than skirting them. This destroyed or isolated various ethnic neighborhoods, in the short term benefiting blacks but in the long term creating ghettos.
    3) Migration to the Suburbs- Anyone of any color that could afford it moved out of polluted and crime infested inner cities. Those that couldn't remained.
    4) Sexual License and Moral Deterioration- Increasingly the nuclear family and marriage fell out of favor. Government welfare catered to single-parent families. Children grew up without fathers.

    It is hard to see how racism per se created any of the above. Nevertheless those in the race baiting business claim so incessantly.

    The Kerner Report concluded that Government had to have an ever-increasing role. In fact, the greater the government's role, the worse the outcome. Therefore the Report is nothing more than a cover puff piece for the LBJ Administration.

    I believe that liberals do not want a color blind society lest their roles as racial arsonists disappear. This view is shared by noted black authors, educators and commentators such as Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams among others.

  6. She's decided to go to Denver and vote for Obama. She's probably one of the few Hispanic delegates Obama has.