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?
Its 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 agreementmore 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 dont think I have heard beforethat Vietnam led to the fall of the USSR: I think hell 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 Vietnams future, the myth still continues.
Moreover the real lesson of Tet has not been learned or acknowledged by todays 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. Johns 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 Pentagonand 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 todays 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.