red tribe blue tribe

Orlando and Elite Bigotry: Come Out as an American

Marines Marry - photo from Freedom to Marry

Marines Marry – photo from Freedom to Marry

Instapundit (Ed Driscoll posting) has a post up quoting a New York Times piece on Garrison Keillor’s retirement from Prairie Home Companion:

Curiously, Mr. Keillor has always found it difficult spending so much time with the strong, good-looking, above average people of Lake Wobegon, which he based on his relatives, past and present.

In “The Keillor Reader” (2014), he complained bitterly about “their industriousness, their infernal humility, their schoolmarmish sincerity, their earnest interest in you, their clichés falling like clockwork — it can be tiring to be around.”

Speaking on his porch, Mr. Keillor said of Lake Wobegonians, i.e., his relatives, “I am frustrated by them in real life.” They were too controlled by good manners, he said, and “have a very hard time breaking through.”

So why devote so much of his professional life ruminating about them? “It’s the people I think I know,” he replied.

Will he miss them, and the weekly jolt of the show?

“No,” he replied. “No.”

Ed continues: “As with many on the left, in the wake of 9/11, Keillor emerged as a vicious partisan, describing President Bush’s supporters thusly in 2004:”

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.

Then this quote from Christopher Caldwell:

At some point, Democrats became the party of small-town people who think they’re too big for their small towns…For these people, liberalism is not a belief at all. No, it’s something more important: a badge of certain social aspirations. That is why the laments of the small-town leftists get voiced with such intemperance and desperation. As if those who voice them are fighting off the nagging thought: If the Republicans aren’t particularly evil, then maybe I’m not particularly special.

Ed has outlined the problem: the opinion leaders in the Blue Tribe gleefully engage in the extreme stereotyping, bigotry, and prejudice they rightfully decry when applied to everyone but their cultural cousins in the heartland. It is all about feeling superior to their countrymen not so privileged as to live in elite coastal communities where wealth, education, and stable academic or government jobs give them a platform to look down on, and prescribe correct thought to, the great unwashed they have separated themselves from.

The current attempt to paint evangelical Christians and gun control opponents as responsible for a supposed climate of hate leading to the Orlando massacre is a good example. After winning enormous improvements in both law and opinion on gay rights, Democrats and activists want to continue to crusade against old enemies rather than facing the reality — that there is almost no one in their demonized classes who would want them killed, while there are a millions of fundamentalist Islamists, egged on by Salafist training financed for decades by Saudi Arabia, who *do* want them killed. By displacing the blame, the Blue Tribe leaders can avoid considering the enormity of the evil of gays and women being stoned, shot, thrown from buildings, and otherwise sacrificed in a broad swath of the Middle East and Africa where these fundamentalists are in power, and how that evil is coming home to us now.

Burt Gummer from "Tremors" - Tremors Wikia

Burt Gummer from “Tremors” – Tremors Wikia

Yesterday’s post about the infighting between American cultures over the response to Orlando murders gets at some of this — American Red Tribe members, many of whom have some traditionalist beliefs about sex roles and gay marriage, bear no murderous urges toward anyone, and would help defend their fellow citizens should it ever come to that using their stores of guns and ammo and military training. Like the townspeople’s reaction to prepper Burt Gummer in Tremors, “sophisticates” roll their eyes when the ex-military guy seems to be paranoid and overprepared for unlikely threats, but everyone is grateful when the threat appears and he’s the only one who has a useful response. A civilization which has so protected its people that they lose the ability to even imagine the need to defend themselves is ripe for external attack. And the threat from Islamist ideology is real — it’s not a country, it’s not a state (no matter what ISIS’s pretensions are), it’s a thought-virus.

It is not helpful that so many filter the news for the most outrageous behaviors to confirm their fear of the other tribe — steady consumption of clickbait outrage stories would have you believe most Christian leaders want gays killed and approve of the Orlando murders, while the truth is only a minute number of attention-seeking sect leaders (like the Westboro “Baptist” Church) are anything but properly horrified. By choosing to read these outrage porn sites, people nurture old grievances and retain a profoundly wrong idea of the feelings of their Red Tribe countrymen, so much so that it is becoming a danger to our polity.

I grew up in the era when everyone who appeared weak or different could expect to be bullied. We’ve made a lot of progress as a people to remedy that kind of abuse, but the defensive reflexes remain. The generation now in their 50s and 60s are the primary opinion leaders, and edit most of the media we read. They still believe in the ill-will of their flyover countrymen that many of them worked hard to get away from, and identities and egos are built on their feelings of moral superiority. They are easily persuaded that external threats are unimportant compared to the need to continue to suppress their old enemies in the culture wars — and that is a great danger, since by not acting to counteract Islamist ideology and its promoters, and by portraying legitimate criticism of the current government’s management of security and screening of millions of immigrants as racist, sexist, and xenophobic, they block any reform that might reduce the number of Jihadi converts in sensitive positions.

So here’s my suggestion for my Blue Tribe friends — get to know your Red Tribe cousins. Go shooting with them, barbecue some ribs with them, visit the country in the middle you’ve never seen and absorb the culture there without your blinders on. Instead of vacationing in New York or San Francisco or the villa in Tuscany or the south of France, try Salina, Kansas, or New Braunfels, Texas. Get to know some young men who sport cultural signifiers you fear — like pickup trucks, gun racks, and military backgrounds. You’ll find them to be as friendly and civilized as the average coastal resident, just different. And you may come to respect them as much as I do — even though I worked as hard as I could to get away from them when I was young. Your past experience has prejudiced you against a people who in the current reality are your closest and warmest cousins. Bigotry and discrimination have no place in the new America — the President is quite right about that. But his blindness and bigotry toward half the population of his own country is obvious.

Don’t be a bigot. Talk to those people you think you loathe and fear. Come out as an American.

Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.


Progressive Displacement and Social Media: Gun Control Edition

Gadsen LGBT Flag - Daily Wire photo

Gadsen LGBT Flag – Daily Wire photo

On my mind — the general nastiness on social media lately. I try to be a) entertaining, and b) post only items that include some ideas I haven’t seen elsewhere. If I’m overdoing something, I would hope people would let me know personally rather than defriending or unfollowing me.

Meanwhile, some friends post incessantly in an apparent attempt to persuade others. There is a virtue-signalling component — “see, I think correctly, and I am a good person with good feelings,” and a campaign purpose — “let’s get those bastards [which may be R or D, depending.]” Especially nice is blaming relatively harmless Americans who might not be a supportive as you like instead of the murderous Islamist ideology.

This is psychological displacement. The US Progressive mindset only allows for certain classes to be hated and Otherized — white cishetmale Christians, or some mix thereof. So the natural anger at the inexplicably evil shooting of fifty innocent (mostly) Latino gay young men last week at the Pulse disco in Orlando *must* be directed at rightwing Christian white males, not the actual Islamist shooter, a registered Democrat and son of an abusive Afghan father who supported the Taliban and trained his son to hate.

So yesterday I posted a middle-of-the-road thought piece suggesting neither knee-jerk gun controls or bans on Muslims were likely to be helpful responses to recent events. This brought some commenters who wanted to mix it up. I tried to calm them down, then left. Then a nice fellow I know of the transnational elite sort tried to suggest one *must* concede that guns are too available, and other countries are *so* much more enlightened. Which of course brought forth a Red Tribe American to push back. Now a really sensitive person criticizing a culture he didn’t grow up with would be careful to concede the feelings of a native, but not my friend — he retreated in bewilderment at the hostility he had evoked.

I deleted that part of the thread as unproductive. I understand why my Red Tribe friend was belligerent — he and people like him are tired of having to explain themselves over and over to people who don’t know much about guns but are happy to judge and imply they are stupid for believing as they do. It does not help that pro-gun control friend was obviously coming from a non-American background and suggesting Europe etc do these things better. Which is offensive to many here. “You French people — why are you so racist toward Arabs? Can’t you see your discrimination against them plus your welfare support for their idleness is damaging them? We do this so much better in the US!”

Both of them brought statistics, and they were as it turns out not inconsistent — gun controller brought raw data about murder rates, which gun owner correctly noted include the high murder rates from areas dominated by lawless drug gangs and culture — once those are removed, the geographies dominated by “gun nuts” have murder rates well below average European levels, as low as Switzerland (where it is viewed as a civil defense duty to train and keep a semiautomatic rifle in your home.) The presence of long guns is barely relevant to murder rates, and terrorist mass murderers have many other methods to accomplish their evil acts. The heavy-duty gun control regime in France did nothing to slow down the Islamist mass murderers.

If you want to persuade American gun owners, make the effort to understand them. Insulting them and their country is not a good start. We do have a voluntary militia — and by the way, the amendment’s “well regulated” means “well-equipped and trained.” And BTW, Harry Reid and others campaigning against “automatic weapons” show their ignorance — automatic weapons are tightly controlled and legally-owned ones are both rare and essentially never involved in mass shootings.

Can we work on understanding and forgiving our closest cousins? Or will we always be manipulated to hate them so that certain people can hold onto power?

Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.


Some Red Tribe readings:

Larry Correia: “Self-defense is a Human Right”
More Larry: “An Opinion on Gun Control”
Damon Root: “Of Course the Second Amendment Protects an Individual Right: Correcting the record about guns and the Constitution”
David French: “The Orlando Shooting Launches a War on Christianity”
Rachael Larimore: “Bullet Points: If the media wants a healthy conversation about firearm laws, it needs to stop getting basic gun facts wrong when reporting on mass shootings”

More reading on other topics:

Islamist, Communist, Nazi: Ideologies of Hate
A Milestone For Women In Politics: Libertarians Reflect on Hillary’s Nomination
Free Trade, Specialization, and Economic Dynamism
Jane Jacobs’ Monstrous Hybrids: Guardians vs Commerce
The Great Progressive Stagnation vs. Dynamism
Death by HR: How Affirmative Action is Crippling America
Death by HR: The End of Merit in Civil Service
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Public Employee Unions
Death by HR: History and Practice of Affirmative Action and the EEOC
Civil Service: Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive Dream
Bootleggers and Baptists
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Justice Dept. Extortion
Corrupt Feedback Loops, Goldman Sachs: More Justice Dept. Extortion
Death by HR: The Birth and Evolution of the HR Department
Death by HR: The Simple Model of Project Labor
Levellers and Redistributionists: The Feudal Underpinnings of Socialism
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
Trump World: Looking Backward
Minimum Wage: The Parable of the Ladder
Selective Outrage
Culture Wars: Co-Existence Through Limited Government
Social Justice Warriors, Jihadists, and Neo-Nazis: Constructed Identities
Tuitions Inflated, Product Degraded, Student Debts Unsustainable
The Morality of Glamour

On Affirmative Action and Social Policy:

Affirmative Action: Chinese, Indian-Origin Citizens in Malaysia Oppressed
Affirmative Action: Caste Reservation in India
Diversity Hires: Pressure on High Tech<a
Title IX Totalitarianism is Gender-Neutral
Public Schools in Poor Districts: For Control Not Education
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Child Welfare Ideas: Every Child Gets a Government Guardian!
“Income Inequality” Propaganda is Just Disguised Materialism

The greatest hits from (Science Fiction topics):

Fear is the Mindkiller
Mirror Neurons and Irene Gallo
YA Dystopias vs Heinlein et al: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Selective Outrage
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
“Tomorrowland”: Tragic Misfire
The Death of “Wired”: Hugo Awards Edition
Hugos, Sad Puppies 3, and Direct Knowledge
Selective Outrage and Angry Tribes
Men of Honor vs Victim Culture
SFF, Hugos, Curating the Best
“Why Aren’t There More Women Futurists?”
Science Fiction Fandom and SJW warfare

More reading on the military:

US Military: From No Standing Armies to Permanent Global Power
US Military: The Desegregation Experience
The VA Scandals: Death by Bureaucracy

“Sublime Narcissism” – Freddie deBoer

Social Justice: Listen and Believe!

Social Justice: Listen and Believe!

Freddie deBoer spends time on Twitter so you don’t have to, and thinks independently instead of being a herd creature (which doesn’t let you off the hook.) Today in his post The Sublime Narcissism of Getting Offended On Other People’s Behalf he tears into the faddish accusation of cultural appropriation and other efforts to condemn behavior on behalf of someone else who shows no sign of being offended:

A few months back I got into a Twitter argument about the uselessness of complaints about cultural appropriation, in particular a muscular form that takes it as offensive to consume the goods of cultures to which one does not belong — food, clothing, music, and so on. I pointed out the usual problems with this thinking. All culture is hybrid; there is no place where legitimate appreciation ends and shameful appropriation begins; a world without cultural borrowing is a bleak and terrible place; and as I’ve said many times, saying “you should only consume that which comes from your own culture” is functionally identical to the efforts of white supremacists to keep the people pure.

Maybe most importantly, given that cultures are always large, diffuse, and made up of lots of different people, the idea of appropriation has to inevitably posit some ideal member of the group, when in reality all cultures are made up of many people. I had very earnest Twitterers telling me that American Chinese food is appropriation, not seeming to grasp that it was Chinese people who spread their cuisine in the United States, in order to make a living. In much the same way, thought white people doing yoga has been attacked as cultural appropriation, it was in fact a concerted effort by Indian people to spread the practice that has caused it to become an economic juggernaut in the West. Certainly members of those cultures can get mad at the other members of the cultures who spread these things. But they can hardly do so by claiming cultural appropriation on the part of those who they disagree with. Nor can any of us from outside those cultures rightly decide who’s an “authentic” member of the Chinese or Indian culture. But in order to make these complaints, you have to: you are, by definition, asserting a right to define the authentic for a culture you don’t belong to in order to claim that the authentic has been somehow corrupted.

This doesn’t mean that a person who is deeply knowledgeable in a culture other than their own is not allowed to point out deficiencies in how it’s portrayed or used. We’re free to note with amusement how tragically awful Hollywood was at depicting, say, African tribal culture in early movies. But those were not intended to be instruction manuals for diplomats. If all portrayals are to be examined for authenticity, most of our cultural production would fail. Which is beside the point: a story is told for values other than perfect fidelity, and if there’s a good-faith effort not to unfairly demonize another culture, that is better (no matter how flawed) than no attempt to bring in other cultures at all.

Some other recent “appropriation” controversies:

J. K. Rowling’s Pottermore extension of wizarding lore to the New World and Native Americans, attacked for insensitively using Navajo Skinwalker beliefs: Indian Country Today, N. K. Jemesin’s criticisms. Rowling is accused of doing “real harm” by fitting a modified Skinwalker belief into her fictional magical lore — in other words, she has committed heresy — or what would be heresy if she were Navajo. If Skinwalkers were central to her story, there might be some concern, but it’s a colorful detail which no one with any perspective would take seriously. Magic isn’t actually a real thing, and neither are skinwalkers. No one outside Navajo religious practice is required to do deep research to mention it in passing.

Two members of Bowdoin College’s student government to be impeached for holding a party featuring tiny sombrero hats. Realizing how foolish they looked, Bowdoin administrators have since backed down, but the knee-jerk accusations wasted everyone’s time and damage credibility when real issues might need to be addressed. Who would listen to such fools? The birthday party was set up by students, invitations sent out by a student of Colombian descent. Actual Mexicans and Latinos were not offended, any more than they would be by a Taco Bell.

One student of Guatemalan and Costa Rican heritage, freshman Brandon Lopez, pronounced the whole kerfuffle “mind-boggling” and called the disciplinary consequences a “travesty,” especially in light of the dining hall’s Mexican night a week later. (Lopez was invited to the party but could not attend because of baseball practice, he said.)

Freddy’s point is that this “concern on behalf of others” is itself condescending and betrays a belief that the other cultures are so weak and their adherents so helpless that sensitive progressives must come to their aid and appoint themselves judges of proper behavior toward the “lesser cultures.” And I will add this point about virtue-signalling generally (from a Facebook comment on his post):

It’s condescending to the individuals of the culture involved. It’s also most commonly intended to signal that the offended-on-behalf-of one is not only enlightened, but enlightened in an uncommon way so that those who don’t share their insight can be deprecated. Aimed at nearby tribal enemies. Which is why it doesn’t satisfy to condemn evils of greater magnitude that everyone deplores, like FGM and throwing homosexuals off buildings. “More empathetic and sensitive than thou.” A corollary sin of pride.