Are The Residents Of A Shithole Nation Responsible For It Being A Shithole?

It's hard to argue this is not a shithole.

“Appalachia’s idea of a moderate drinker was the mountain man who limited himself to a single quart [of whiskey] at a sitting, explaining that more ‘might fly to my head’. Other beverages were regarded with contempt.”

Do we get the governments we so richly deserve? Are the people of a nation just as responsible for it’s path as it’s government?  These are sobering questions, if not harsh one’s about a people’s morality and culture.  This is the main thrust of the this post.

The racy racism shitstorm we’ve been hearing about in full blast is of curious nature.  For all the “racism”, I am left to wonder what it actually has to do about “race” and how exactly Trump is wrong here.   Seriously.   We all knew Trump was lude, rude, and crude and plenty of us backward fundamentalist bigots really do appreciate it.

Andrew Klavan makes this point effectively in an article for City Journal, “Of Crudeness and Truth” in his own version of a revolutionary act in today’s culture.

“Let’s state the obvious. Some countries are shitholes. To claim that this is racist is racist. They are not shitholes because of the color of the populace but because of bad ideas, corrupt governance, false religion, and broken culture. Further, most of the problems in these countries are generated at the top. Plenty of rank-and-file immigrants from such ruined venues ultimately make good Americans—witness those who came from 1840s potato-famine Ireland, a shithole if ever there was one! It takes caution and skill to separate the good from the bad.”

But let’s go for a moment back to that race angle that these people love to obsess and bloviate over.   Africa isn’t a “Race”.  Neither are Africans. Why do people always assume its about race? Sure, some people might think “Black!” when they think of Africa, but there’s a hell of a difference between Bantus and Egyptians or Moroccans.

African’s don’t even think of themselves as “Black”.  That’s an american thing, and American blacks have literally nothing in common with Africans except for things for their skin color and some susceptibilities to medical conditions.

Hell, the Bantus have more in common DNA wise with Europeans then they do with the Bushman (KhoiSan) that the Bantus displaced and destroyed in South Africa.  Even similar skin color doesn’t equate to being the same race in Africa or being viewed as such.

I’ll back that up.  In Ghana, people who aren’t actual “Africans” are considered white. If you were black, brown, or whatever else and went there, they would consider you a white foreigner. That’s just how they see it.  Per the New York Times:

“Many African-Americans who visit Africa are shocked to find that Africans treat them – even refer to them – the same as white tourists. In Ghana, the term “obruni,” or “white foreigner,” is applied to all foreigners regardless of skin color.

To African-Americans who come here seeking their roots, the term is a shocking sign of the chasm between Africans and African-Americans. Though they who share a legacy stained slavery, they experience it entirely differently.

“It is a shock for any black person to be called white,” said Mann, who moved here two years ago. “But it is really tough to hear it when you come with your heart to seek your roots in Africa.”

Yes the continent is quite diversified, but across much of it you see the same vicious internal corruption to the point of destabilizing and ensuring poverty for a majority of the populations of said countries/regions in Africa. It seems to even transcend region ranging from South Africa all the way up to Libya. It’s a way of life to the point that an estimated 75 million people have to pay bribes annually.

I’m not exaggerating how bad it can be in countries on the continent. Consider Nigeria through the lens of Aussie Tim Newman who lived in Lagos there working for 3 years.  The level of corruption there is staggering to the point where it’s woven into every day life as if nothing else is expected.   I’ll quote a large portion:

There is no getting away from the fact that corruption in Nigeria has infested almost every aspect of life, work, and society.  I can’t think of a single area where I didn’t encounter a scam of some sort.  Some of them were pretty normal – policemen hassling motorists for bribes, for example – with others being less common elsewhere.  Filling brand named alcohol bottles with local hooch was widespread practice.  Not so bad in itself, but these were being sold through supposedly legitimate suppliers and turning up in established bars.  Others were unique to Nigeria.  

I knew a guy in charge of oil shipments for a foreign oil company who received a call from somebody in the authorities saying he was not going to release the multi-million dollar cargo until somebody had bought his cousin $10 worth of phone credit.  My acquaintance found himself going to the shop, buying a phone card, and handing it over to some scruffy bloke who showed up at his office in order to allow his crude oil out of the country.

The corruption, theft, and graft can take many forms: falsifying a CV (I don’t mean enhancing, I mean pretending you’re a Lead Piping Engineer of 12 years experience when actually, until yesterday, you were a fisherman); selling positions in a company; stealing diesel from the storage tanks you’re paid to protect; issuance of false material certificates; impersonating an immigration officer to access an office, from which you then tap up the people within to fund your latest venture; selling land which isn’t yours; deliberately running down the country’s refining capacity in order to partake in the lucrative import of fuels; falsifying delivery notes of said refined fuels in order to receive greater government subsidies; deliberately restricting the country’s power generation capacity in order to benefit from the importation of generators (which must be run on imported fuel); theft of half-eaten sandwiches and opened drink containers from the office fridge; tinkering with fuel gauges at petrol stations to sell customers short; conspiring with company drivers to issue false receipts indicating more fuel was supplied than actually was; supplying counterfeit safety equipment; falsifying certificates related to professional competence (e.g. rope access work); paying employees less than stipulated in their contract (or not at all); cloning satellite TV cards, meaning the legitimate user gets their service cut off when the other card is in use (the cards are cloned by the same people who issue the genuine cards); the list is literally endless.  There is no beginning or end to corruption in Nigeria, it is a permanent fixture.

Nepotism is rife: family members are employed and promoted before anyone else.  Outright theft is rife: from a pen lying on a desk, to billions from the state coffers. Dishonesty is rife: from the state governors to the street urchin, lying to enrich yourself is the norm.  You name the scam, it is being done in Nigeria.  Eventually, nothing surprises you.

As I said before, you’ll find such practices everywhere, but to nowhere near the extent found in Nigeria.

Apparently it wasn’t always like this.  There was a time, probably from around the 1970s to 1990s, when Nigeria had a reasonably diverse economy.  Besides the oil and gas, they had agriculture, manufacturing and assembly (Peugeot set up an assembly plant in Nigeria in the mid-1970s), brewing (there is a both a Guinness and a Heineken brewery), refining, construction, and pharmaceuticals.  Some of these survive today.  There were decent universities, and students wishing to graduate had to apply themselves.  Security wasn’t much of a concern to the average citizen.

I don’t know the details, but at some point in the 1990s one of the military dictators decided to flood the place with oil money in order to buy support.  This had the effect of drowning every other form of enterprise and ensuring that oil and gas was the only game in town.  This is bad in itself, but by no means unique to Nigeria.  

What was worse is that this quickly instilled a mentality across Nigeria that there was a lot of money up for grabs, and getting your hands on it wasn’t in any way related to honest efforts or applying yourself to something constructive.  Nigeria became a place where if you’re not getting your hands on some of the oil money, either directly or indirectly, then you’re going nowhere.  

With oil money washing over the whole country like a tidal wave, soon everyone was trying to secure their own piece of the action, using fair means or foul.  Imagine throwing a huge box of sweets into a playgroup shouting “Grab what you can!”, and the chaos that ensues will be similar to what happened to Nigeria on a national scale.

At least, this is what I gather happened – I may be wrong – but for sure, the current situation reflects what I’ve described.  The economy is funded almost exclusively from oil and gas revenues, and everything else is merely feeding off that.  The new hotels in Lagos, the growth of capital city of Abuja, the importation of luxury goods, the Audi and Porsche dealerships, the sky-rocketting real estate prices, the money earmarked for infrastructure projects, the increase in flight passengers, all of it is directly or indirectly linked to the oil money.  

Okay, maybe there is some hyperbole in there.  Agriculture still makes up the lion’s share of GDP, and the services sector is booming.  Advertising is a big industry in Lagos, although the most common thing you see advertised is advertising space.  But nobody is going to get anywhere herding cattle, picking pineapples, or working in a sawmill.  Even the owners won’t be earning that much, not if that’s their only income.  There is very little opportunity to get rich, or even advance, unless you are somehow connected to the supply of oil money.

One of the results of this national free-for-all is the formation of groups, societies, associations, and unions whose raison d’être is to obtain as much money and benefits for their members as possible.  This isn’t much different from Europe in respect of trade unions, but groups and subgroups form at micro-levels with sometimes comical precision.  

The Lagos Association of Road Maintenance Engineers, Roundabout and Lay-by Division, 4th Department.  The Nigerian Association of Water Truck Drivers, Lagos Chapter.  Membership of one or more of these associations is both essential and compulsory: essential because an individual would get trampled very quickly in the general melee of Nigeria, and compulsory in the sense that you have almost no chance of being allowed to quietly ply your trade without paying dues to some group or other.  It’s not clear what the legal standing of a lot of these groups is, but it’s often hard to tell how they differ from a standard extortion racket.  

One of the most powerful unions in Lagos, the transport union, used to shake down any okada (motorcycle taxi) driver passing through their checkpoints, claiming the money was used “to protect them from the police”.  I doubt the money was used in such a manner, but people do need protection from the police in Lagos.  Not that the okada drivers had any say in the matter: membership was automatic, and the union muscle would beat any non-compliant driver or confiscate his vehicle.  The power of the oil and gas workers unions is legendary, ensuring their members enjoy pay and benefits which are the highest of any local staff in the world, and often outstrip those of the expatriates.

It may not entirely be their own doing if you consider the effects of colonialism, but awful tragic reality is still reality and the corruption during colonial times has continued with the current governments and elites.

You can’t say that same level of corruption with that same vicious impact exists on the same level across the other continents.  Or about the economic tax dollars that someone from Norway or a first world nation will bring compared to someone from a 3rd world country.

So shift focus for a moment. When it comes to facts, it matters the messenger, but the message, Haiti is for the most part a shithole. Imagine Bernie or some you like said it instead. They would be correct. Seriously ask people from Haiti who have immigrated here about what they think of it and see what they say.

Guess where all the recovery money they got from the hurricane went? Not to the people there. So are many countries in Africa that are devastated and relegated to third world status because of the corruption there thats innate to their cultures.

“But those places where refugees are fleeing from aren’t shitholes!” That’s quite delicious irony considering that you can’t suggest the refugees go back to those now non shithole countries because it’s too dangerous and simply speaking… a shithole that they don’t want to go back to. I don’t blame them.

That’s not even taking into account the brain drain, where most of their best people have moved here or to First world nations.   It kind of sad for those left behind.

Magic Dirt And Mass Immigration

People bring their cultures with them and corruption is one that’s innate to those cultures.   They don’t just magically become firm advocates and believers of democracy, tolerance, free speech, and dare I say, feminism.  Seriously, go ask the Somalis in Minnesota what they think about feminism. Yet still, the magic dirt theory prevails.

Again, people bring their worldviews and cultures with them. They don’t just happen to adapt the worldviews, cultures, and societal cohesion that people who’ve been living here for several generations or even just a few that make our government and society’s corruption less destabilizing then theirs.

Take into account when the Irish immigrated to American enmasse.  They brought their views and local organizational mindset to the big cities and utterly changed them.   Just as the communities helped provide for themselves under the struggle of English rule, they did the same for their fellow Irishmen making sure they got jobs in the right places of power.

We know it today as machine politics when we think of urban cities like Chicago or New York. Big city machine corruption in politics came with them. It eventually became so intertwined in American politics that people don’t even see it as Irish.  Now the Irish assimilated over time, but it didn’t happen in one or even two generations.

Even after assimilation, ethnic backgrounds and immigrants homelands still have implications and influences that we still see today.  There’s a reason that people in the Appalachians chose to live there specifically as well as the drug problems that plague it now, just as there is for those in Virginia, New England, or the South.

(Even more shocking you’ll realize why people from New England look down on people from the Appalachians known also as Borderers of Scottish and Irish roots – an attitude that’s existed since the country was founded.)

What’s happening with immigrants today from places like Africa? While they are better off here then where they came from, assimilation hasn’t quite occurred.   Again, we don’t know exactly how long it may take them to assimilate, but it’s a far different time now then it was 100 years ago with the attitude toward actual assimilation a point many on the Dissident Right have been wisely hammering.

That’s not to mention that many immigrants who came over before 1900 already had some cultural similarities to the “native” population in the US.

Instead of doing everything possible to get immigrants to adapt and to become American, we encourage “diversity.”  Instead of encouraging them to learn English, we provide translators both in the private and public sector allowing first generation immigrants to not bother with learning English – which is key if they want to succeed.

Sure, their kids will most likely learn it in the schools, but these kids are a huge disadvantage to succeed because their parents can’t help them with even basic homework.  If they can’t, and struggle in school or to find a job in a crowded minimum wage entry level job where they can be replaced easily with another cog in the machine, what do you think they will do?   Crime, drugs, etc are often the easy and logical next step.  Sad, but true.

Now the Churches of many immigrants provided a network of support. The same can be said of much of the Black population in the US as well. But they have limited resources and can only handle so many people.  It’s obvious it’s already overstretched.

In fact, local zoning laws prevent Churches from even offering basic things such as housing at the Churches themselves.  There are reasons for this, but the end result is still the same.

Yet, you have recent columns from guys like Bret Stephens at the NYT which promote the “benefits” of mass immigration, while ignoring the negatives and labeling those who point them out as “ists”, “isms”, and “phobes.”

“Also obvious is that immigrants don’t steal jobs. They fill jobs Americans won’t do or create those that haven’t been invented. They don’t bring crime to cities. They drive out crime by starting businesses and families in shrinking cities or underserved neighborhoods. They don’t undermine American culture. They feedenrich and reinvent it, not least through their educational ambitions for themselves and their children.”

Now he might have a point on crime, but what about the rest of it? For example we see evidence to the contrary in history when it came to immigrants vs native population and their propensity to commit violent crimes, or the noted impact of it in places like the UK.  Filling jobs Americans won’t take?

Live in a poor urban neighborhood and you’d be shocked at the jobs people will take if only those jobs existed – or weren’t filled by newer immigrants willing to do demanding work for less wages than a native worker.  I suppose that’s the competitive market place for you, but a consequence of that is driving down wages, not to mention what it’s already done to Union and organized labor power in the US.

Consider what might happen if people with antithetical views to American culture – whatever that looks like in your area of the country – settle in mass where you live. Imagine California suddenly taking in a lot of Somali immigrants who don’t hold kindly to the idea of LGBTQ rights. Suddenly it becomes a problem for them there if those immigrants don’t assimilate in terms of worldview.

Vulgar But True

Now on the topic of “shithole” it might be a harsh way to put it, but would putting it in other more “polite” words lessen the impact or change the fundamental issue for him or others on the subject?

Would people freak out this much if someone else said it? At this point I as well as many others in the Dissident Right are convinced people who loathe Trump will simply take anything he says and attribute the worst possible meaning and implications to it.

Sure, if actual refugees want to come and escape that, then let’s make sure they have views that arent in total opposition to the current citizens here. That there is as far as I’ll go for now in this post.

Instead of this diversity nonsense, we need to curb the amount of immigrants who come to the US with worldviews who have little compatibility with the people here.

Doesn’t matter how much people scream about racism. These are all places you don’t want to live. Most of the people there don’t. It’s why they keep trying to come over to the Europe or the US. India is a bit restrictive with their immigration and the Chinese and Japanese don’t let foreigners become citizens.

But WAIT!

I’m not from an African country. Or from Haiti. I don’t have any skin in this game. Of course I won’t be offended.  Well, I’ll imagine it was slight instead directed against my mother’s side of the family who came from Armenia.

Would I take offense if Trump or anyone else labeled one of my ancestral homelands a shithole?  Well, the truth hurts, but I’ll state it regardless. Take Armenia where my mothers side is from.

Parts of Armenia are a shithole – though I would point out much of it is not our fault. (Hell, there is a reason the “Armenian mobster/mafia” stereotype exists.) Much of the Middle East is for many reasons. Is it the fault of the people there? Yes and no. (Border war over territory, conquest by neighbors and empires over the millenia,etc.) I suppose the same point could be made for “shithole” countries.

Countries that aren’t shitholes surprisingly? China, Japan, India and many parts of Asia. Surprising, considering Mongol conquest and devastation. (I’m thinking of countries not traditionally considered to be part of the West, though you could still argue some places in Eastern Europe and Southern Italy are indeed shitholes.) I consider there to be quite a few variances in shitholes including the US.

To sum it all up; there’s consequences to immigration and we need to think about them, not ignore them.

PS:  I propose a new drinking game. Every time Don Lemon says the word “racist” or “racism” on CNN, take a shot.  You should be plastered and literally floored in a matter of hours. Alas, I digress.

 

Rejecting Guilt By Association

Regardless of what mortals you follow, adore, admire, and pay homage you will at some point disagree with them.  Whether it’s most of the time or almost never, no one will ever hold exactly all the viewpoints that you have come to cherish.

A tweet from Milo Yiannapolous prompted the above line of thought in which he voices disagreement with libertarians on the NSA spying incident – color my libertarian tendencies irked.

https://twitter.com/Nero/status/591284596190347264

Obviously, he is mistaken, as his his later tweet about Snowden being a traitor and not a hero.   I’m also above reproach in my conclusion. 

Today, the internet echo-chamber or “communities” as we call them is often bereft of any actual substance in discussion when it comes to disagreement over just about anything.  Dissenters are labeled “concern trolls” or just “trolls” in general.   In fact the word, “troll” has lost it’s meaning because of the abuse of the term.

Throw in “safe-spaces” and this takes on a whole new layer of people who immediately dismiss anything that comes from an opposing side.   If you make the mistake of identifying with a label that is considered “bad” or triggering, everything you say is immediately dismissed – regardless of the validity of what you say.

We need to start judging statements, comments, and opinions based on what they actually are –  the merit and validity of them – instead of who said them.    Whether they come from a radical liberal feminist or a neo-con warhawk, it shouldn’t matter; we need to reject guilt by association.

Encountering the “Other Side”

Take for example Cindy Brandt’s site/blog which I recently came across and her post, “You Don’t Need To Tell Me You Don’t Agree.”   She actually makes alot of good points, despite certain… social justice affiliations.

Well, I don’t agree.   Okay, I couldn’t resist.  Take a look at this specific observation:

“Which one of us agrees on everything with any other single person? No one! Certainly, many of us share similar passions and congregate according to common interests, it’s only human to interact with those who you resonate easily with. But if you dig deeper, or you spend enough time together, it isn’t long before one discovers there are indeed some, if not many points of disagreements with those we are in relationship with.”

As she points out, no one will  ever agree on everything, but with today’s identity politics and culture its often either all or nothing.  If someone doesn’t share enough “similar” passions, interests, and convictions,  chances are that most people won’t give anything they say the time of day.   This is more likely if they know about your “opinions” and affiliations before they evaluate what you’ve actually said.

“If we are honest with ourselves, adding the phrase is a form of social insurance. We want to protect ourselves from the risk of being associated with certain things this person represents. “

It certainly is a form of social insurance, but why?

People seem conditioned to pre-judge and make assumptions based on labels and what they “represent”, so what choice is there but to adjust? Unfortunately, this is the reality of where we are at.  It rather sucks that these qualifiers are needed, but can anyone point to topics of conversation where they aren’t?

The risk of being associated with someone who is deemed a racist, bigot, homophobe, ect or any other culturally deemed demagogues can be cause for your employment to be revoked. Consider Razib Khan who was initially hired by the New York Times, but then let go because of his “association” with right-wing publications who were deemed to be mired in racism.    So much for diversity of opinion right?

Whoever was working here must have spilled this paint...
Whoever was working here must have spilled this paint…

Shockingly, the fact that he isn’t even white was enough to save him from the wrath of social justice warriors who usually excuse certain people from terrible actions, deeds, and statements based purely on their genetics.  Another mighty journalism giant bows before Gawker and SJWs.    Apparently, all you need to do is label someone a racist enough to make them suffer the effects of today’s modern heresy.

For instance, Cindy describes herself as “social justice-y” on the side bar of her site.  GASP!

Someone, pull the alarm.   Danger is near.

  My spidey sense is tingling.

Now a large amount of people will probably dismiss anything she has to say because of the affiliation with social justice.  Don’t make that mistake; don’t fall prey to guilt by association.  I  may fall to this ever constant trap subconsciously, but then force myself to read what is actually state.  Some exceptions are made for Tumblr…

I strongly disagree with almost everything  modern day social justice folks advocate – what normal sane person wouldn’t – but I won’t necessarily dismiss something because of who is advocating it.

“We can dialogue with people as people, other human beings with different personalities, life experiences, and ideas. We can celebrate common ground without erecting walls or drawing boundary lines. We can connect without disclaimers, embracing the whole of our conversation partner along with her ideas. Let’s base our conversations with one another from a place of shared humanity instead of basing it on fear by association. “

Is this really possible? Can we connect without disclaimers? I don’t think we can.

Tales From The Online Crypt

I recently encountered and “argued” with some conservatives on TheRightScoop about the subject of police abuse.   Obviously, they deny this is a real problem.  In order to even get them to look at anything I have to say, I had to utter the following disclaimer, “I’m not a democrat…”

This is of course true, but if I didn’t point this out, said conservatives would assume I’m some sort of liberal because I disagree with one of their viewpoints.

Behold, the current state of online discourse.

If you disagree with someone on an issue you are immediately considered to be a follower of the opposing “side”.   If you disagree with some of the trash on the Huffington Post, you are a right-wing bigot, ect, ect, ect.   If you take issue with something on Breitbart you are left-wing marxist, socialist, ect, ect, ect.    Qualifiers are absolutely necessary.

“The power of association, of tribes, of communities, is so strong that we take extra measures to ensure boundaries are clearly marked, compelling us to insert disclaimers even in casual conversation. We are so fearful of being grouped with the “wrong” crowd as perceived by the person we are speaking with.

I do not think this is a healthy way to dialogue. I think it is a sign of disrespect to curate someone’s ideas, extracting it from their whole selves with all of their complexities and personhood.”

She is right; it’s not a healthy way to dialogue.   Yes, we must consider the context of a person – if that makes sense –  which is necessary to fully understand their ideas and why they have them. However, in today’s charged, “guilt by association” culture, you absolutely have to introduce qualifiers into the conversation or anything you say will be dismissed based on you supposedly are.

The need for safe spaces...
The need for safe spaces…

One popular “Debate” tactic is Godwin’s law.   To sum that up, it means that you equate a certain argument, idea, or even person to Hitler.  This of course invalidates anything they have to say.  Or does it?

Just because Hitler said something, doesn’t qualify it as being incorrect – such as his radical environmentalism, state control of “healthcare”, ect.   In fact, I’m sure almost everyone today holds some positions that Hitler advocated on economics, state control and power, and the environment.

Color me shocked.

This time-held tactic is “guilt by association/wrong by association” and is employed by disingenuous teenagers, tumblrites, and many adults who want to shout down others based on who they are, rather then what they’ve said on extremely important blogs and websites where their comments clearly make a difference.

 

Don’t be one of “those” people.

People who engage in daily displays on their Facebook feeds in guilt by association tactics usually have something in common;  they are angry, upset, and jaded.

Their life is a never ending stream of  un-fulfilled selfies, self-loathing, and vicious attacks on anyone who looks like they wallowed in depression for weeks upon end.   All of these bitter people online have one goal in mind; if they can’t be happy – neither can you.

Go outside of your bubble and live.

It’s been said that you can’t argue with certain people, and that is true. Argument however shouldn’t be the goal of every interaction.  You don’t need to “win”.    All you need to do is engage, discuss, and see if any new seeds are planted in either your mind or your “opponent.”   In order to any of that, you must reject guilt by association.

Perhaps, you may just develop a relationship with someone where you don’t need qualifiers, but you must take the initiative to do just that.

I encourage all to go out and have face-to-face conversations with people you know you disagree with. You will be surprised at what happens when both of you or others involved have a conversation that isn’t based on “convincing” anyone of a particular point, but is focused on the exchange of ideas and worldviews.

This is how you grow and become a more rounded individual.

 It is one of the first steps in today’s vicious culture in becoming a renaissance man.

Reject guilt by association.

Not Everyone Cares For MLK Day. Why?

 

Opinionated Man (OM) over at Harsh Reality is known for offending people and he’s at it again with an article most of us wouldn’t have had the balls to write entitled, “Why I don’t care for Martin Luther King Day”  Yes, he went there.  Another day, another Cushman crushing.

From An Asian Perspective...
From An Asian Perspective…

MLK like Lincoln, Washington, and Reagan,  is one of American culture’s Golden Calves.  You can’t even point out any wrong they did or any mistaken ideas they espoused without being labeled some kind of “ist or ism”.  In this case, you would be labeled a racist.  It’s almost a reverse, “guilt by association.”

Luckily for those of us with with “privilege” – in my case I only have half-white privilege – OM a.k.a Jason Cushman is a actually an Asian and an adopted one at that.   People can’t label him a racist as easily and he makes full use of this and well, he just doesn’t care.

It is the personal story of Jason and many of the commentors that is worth a lengthy observation as to why and how MLK day becomes a free-for-all to actually become a racist and to judge people specifically based on their skin – social justice warriors, I’m looking at you and some of the latest vitriol, “Reading Challenge: Stop Reading White  Straight Cis Male Authors For One Year”

Insert any other race, gender, ect into there and that kind of headline would have career ending effects.  But I digress.

Jason’s Story

“The black friends I had were born from friendships at my 80% black school (maybe it wasn’t 80% exactly but it sure felt like 99% most days)…

My school was “pro” anything that made African Americans feel important…”

What if his school had been anything that made White or Asian Americans feel important? (Currently these are the two easiest races to pick on without career ending implications.)

“I learned with every other kid in my school the good works that Martin Luther King did and I was truly proud of his accomplishments…”

“What I could not understand was how could the Blacks at my school celebrate equality and freedom and in the same breath bash with malice an Asian kid for being Asian. It was so hypocritical to me that my disdain extended past the handful of kids tormenting me and included their whole race…”

This post by Jason is so important, because it’s rare to see anyone openly talk about MLK day in a negative light or the “racial reconciliation” that’s supposed to take place on the day.

“It did not breed hatred, at least not at this point, but what it bred was a scorn for this holiday and even this man that was not fairly handed out. But pain and suffering create feelings that are not always rational. I know this now, looking back I probably knew this at the time as well, but the result is still the same. I dislike this holiday and all I see is hypocrites.”

I honestly expect this kind of treatment and hypocrisy on racial issues to get worse over the years as we attempt “racial reconciliation” with people who proudly proclaim things such as, “There is no such thing as reverse racism,” or Racism requires power. Without it negative racial feelings might be discriminatory but they certainly aren’t racist.”   Yea, she just said that.   Looks like “yellow” privilege might be coming to a social media feed soon near you.

This kind of thinking has now spread to gender, ethnicity, “cis” and every other category we can dream up to be terrible toward others, but somehow excuse it.  The next time you are being beaten to death by an “oppressed group”, I’ll be curious to see who holds the power in that situation.  Even then though, some people still will blame themselves, as this white college did after he was mugged.  He apparently deserved it because of his privilege.

In the comments, Jason addresses the question of who and why we should hold MLK up as a hero and what he should mean to Americans,

“I disagree. He means nothing to me as an Asian. He did not end segregation for us. He did not give me any scholarships or a future where Korean Americans are valued. He did nothing for us. Was he a good man? Sure. But I hate when people try to TELL us who our heros are. He is not my hero.”

Ah the subject of cultural heroes – a very violate one in today’s climate – but that is for another post.  Observe his point though.   Is MLK a hero for what he did for each and every one of us or because society and popular culture tell us he was?  That’s for each person to decide.

The Commentors Have Their Say

There are some telling comments in OM’s post about how much celebration of MLK day could take place and what kind of discrimination via hypocrisy people had faced. Note these comments are those of people who primarily share similar misfortune to Jason’s situation and experience.

Amanuensis – ” I am a black female mid 40’s, who was harassed, belittled and made to feel inferior by other black kids at school. The kids in my neighborhood were fine, but at school, I was called an “oreo” (black on the outside white on the inside,) I talked “white,” what is that really? I read books during recess and tried to avoid all confrontation. I was a “nerd” because I got good grades and got put into a special program for high IQ kids. I was a traitor because I had white friends. I was just happy to have friends who were like me, no matter the race.”

Ashley – “Growing up, in school, I was also teased by my own race (blacks). I got teased because I didn’t act like the rest, I was mostly quiet and felt like I couldn’t speak for a while, because of the damage. Kids can be so cruel. Im story for going on and on about my feelings, but the point I’m making, is you are not the only one who didn’t celebrate MLK bday.”

mykiasmind – it was the Black kids at home that made me feel really out of place. They made fun of me because I “talked white” and went to a “white school” and actually had to do my homework and play “white” sports. They ostracized me from all the other kids in the neighborhood and I hated them for it. Now that I’m older, I realize that it was just ignorance, lack of knowledge and understanding about anything different than what they were used to… but the damage is still done. So I get it.

Elta – Until high school, I went to school where black kids were the majority. I remember this one time where a teacher was announcing the dates we had off for school and he mentioned MLK Day. This one asshole in the class opens his mouth and says “Elta should come for HALF the day, since she’s only HALF black”. Mouthes dropped in the classroom and everyone looked at me.

… I had told him that I was half Korean and not to tell anyone because kids were usually mean to me once they found out. It happened before. Fucking asshole proceeded to then tell the class that I should keep my Black side at home but bring the Korean part to school because Martin Luther King “didn’t die for no chinks”.

Feminadazza – “Black people discriminate too. Just because one Great Black guy is celebrated he is not the embodiment of an entire race. You speak of yourself because of your experiences, and you are justified to think that way of Martin Luther King day. I don’t celebrate it, although I’m black. There are some shit stuff black people do that I’m expected to tolerate, but I find them immature – a thought that could immediately isolate me. Nevertheless, I hear you loud and clear, and respect your opinion.”

Penshift – ” I’m of mixed racial decescent. However I look very white. Because I look white I always get the accusatory end of the stick the moment the subject of discrimination comes up. In the more heated ‘discussions’ I have always loved the blame laying -_- I’m white therefore I’m personally at fault for the slaves sold into slavery; I personally ripped the ‘stolen generation’ from their kin. All this shows is that discrimnation comes in many forms and can be justified a little too easily.”

infjreflections – “I don’t get why we can celebrate some races, but not others. It is racist to celebrate any race that isn’t black. I live right next door to a playground, where 3 black boys were playing with a white kid. They said to the white kid, “If you white, you racist!” REALLY?? Is that what parents are teaching their kids? It’s no wonder race is still such an issue! We are teaching our children that your skin color alone indicates that you are racist.

Adam – I don’t care much for the Federal holiday because it does not coincide with the 15th—MLK Jr’s actual birthday. And what happened Monday? I heard more about protests than anything else, and barely anything besides maybe people talking about not working. Where is the legacy today? Hypocrisy is an understatement.

leonahenry – There is racism and bigorty within the white race, too. I’m blonde and pale skinned, but when I lived in California, I was picked on and bullied of all the time by the Anglo supremacist jerks just because I was an immigrant with an accent. If you are not WASP and have a foreign accent, you are a second class citizen in their eyes, regardless of color.

Is it Cultural Appropriation? Or Perpetual Fake Outrage?

Wait, You Still Are Racist!

Nothing can destroy your career, cost you Facebook friends, and present many other life-enduring difficulties such as people believing that you are racist or have done something racist.  Being declared as a racist is almost like being labeled a heretic in the 14th century, except you might not be burned at the stake… yet.

“Cultural appropriation” is just the newest frontier in the fight against racism – a struggle that looks like it will never be overcome, not even in the most luscious of utopias.  It is also a cleverly designed tactic by certain folks to not only stop “racism”, but to make sure that it continues to endure and spread.    You can shout cultural appropriation when a member of a different race, culture, ethnicity, ect does something similar to your own.   Once they stop, you can then shout, “Non-inclusive environments and ingrained structural racism is preventing them from appreciating the unique aspects of our culture in society!”   It’s a brilliant Catch-22 and a way to always have something “ethno-centric and racial-centric” to criticize.   Page views over controversial headlines anyone?

Now,  I’m half-white and I can play the “genocide” card, so luckily when I enter into specific left-wing conversations and “internet spaces”, nothing I do can be racist because there is no such thing as reverse racism, members of the oppressing class can’t be oppressed ect.    Sweeping labels and generalizations really are a wondrous thing.

I came across this article on XoJane by Dianca London,  “UNPOPULAR OPINION: I Can’t Love Taylor Swift Anymore Because Yes, “Shake It Off” Is Still Racist”.    Quite a claim.   So how was it and Taylor Swift being racist?

“I felt nothing but frustration and anger watching Swift’s quirky twerk and even more anger as I watched her crawl on her knees beneath a line of twerking bodies. The coy look on her face as she stared at the bodies above her made me sick. It wasn’t just problematic. It was racist.”

She ends this article with a stern warning about the effects of  cultural appropriation.

“Cultural appropriation might be a current hot topic for bloggers and those who consider themselves to be allies of women of color, but for women of color like me, it’s another reminder of all the ways in which my identity is constantly being devalued, mocked, and trivialized by the media and its stars. “

So how does one go about determining what exactly is culture appropriation?

Well damn.

Remember the white girl who donned some lengthy braids a few weeks back? She was eviscerated on social media, because apparently people of African descent own braids.   Apparently, there are many styles, foods, ideas, ect owned by certain cultures and those of us not in those particular cultures are left in stark and utter confusion as to whether we can make their food, listen to their music, or become Hindus.   At this point, we might as well throw Eminem to the dogs because “rap” is clearly owned by black folks.

I sense a disturbance in the Force.

But Multiculturalism?!?!

There seems to be this fine line between “appropriating minority culture” and embracing someone’s cultural ideas, styles, ect.  Can it happen in the reverse? Is all of history simply “cultural appropriation”?   Tumblr of course tells us that cultural appropriation can only happen one way, specifically when concerned with “White supremacy, white privilege, entitlement, colonialism, ect.”   There is a GIGANTIC elephant in the “cultural appropriation” room. It’s called multiculturalism – a deeply held value by many of those who also hold onto the idea of “cultural appropriation

It is very disturbing that in one breath people can rage about about society not being “inclusive” and then in the next use phrases like cultural appropriation?   The entire idea of cultural appropriation seems to be a direct contradiction in the embracing of the values of multiculturalism.   Or we can embrace the segregation of cultures with concepts like, “cultural appropriation” and then rage as to why racism and cultural conflict is “still” on the never-ending rise.

Wherever this “line” is, I’m still not sure.

A sneaking suspicion arises in my mind.  Those who claim “cultural appropriation” and offense from are desperate to find something to label, “racist”, so that people will pay attention to them.  Rising to the number one slot in the “Oppression Olympics” is far more important than real racism, because in order for the country to supposedly conquer racism, there must always be perpetual outrage concerning the subject, even if no racism is witnessed in one’s daily life.

Simply put, if you can’t find racism in someone’s actions or words, find something new to insinuate as “racist”.  I am however starting to not care about claims of cultural appropriation, whether someone else commits them or I do.

If you do want to call out and maintain a consistent platform that prohibits “Cultural Appropriation”, here are some great places to think about and start!

“1. Eating at Chinese restaurants by white Americans and other majority non-Chinese should be looked down upon, as it entails the physical ingestion of Chinese culture.

2. Anyone who suffers a serious but non-permanent physically debilitating injury shouldn’t be allowed the use of a wheelchair, as this is an ableist appropriation of differently abled culture.

3. Members of the privileged and oppressive white majority should never, under any circumstances, expose themselves to black entertainment or express an appreciation for it. Jay Z is for black men and women only and the producers of 12 Years a Slave should give back the film’s Best Picture Oscar in the name of making a direct statement against appropriation. The same goes for Latino entertainment. Production on Machete Kills in Space by Open Road Films should be halted immediately.

4. Under no circumstances should members of the privileged class give their children ethnic names without the express written consent of a majority of that culture or a dual ruling from the staff of Salon.com and that woman who runs Shakesville. Anglo Americans specifically should be required to research proposed names for their children to ensure that the meaning of each name has no ethnic connotation going back at least four generations. Also, no Biblical names unless one is Jewish or otherwise related by blood to the cultures of the Middle East and holy land.

5. Heterosexuals or members of the heteronormative patriarchy may not, during karaoke, perform the version of Willkommen made famous by Alan Cumming in the 1998 Broadway revival of Cabaret, as that would be an immeasurable appropriation of gay and bisexual culture. Likewise, no one outside of the LGBT, specifically the trans, community should be allowed to watch and enjoy RuPaul’s Drag Race.”