“Racial slander is like duct tape”

“Racial slander is like duct tape: There’s no limit to what you can do with it.”
Jonah Goldberg

This story exemplifies the fundamental racial dynamic in America today. It is one of mutual fear and mistrust: Blacks are on the defensive about white racism, while whites are on the defensive about the accusation of racism, almost universally regarded as a grave moral offense.

At the heart of the left-liberal ideology that dominates American debate about race is a glaring contradiction. In theory, white attitudes toward blacks are all-important, in that any difficulties blacks experience is said to be the result of white racism. But as we have seen with Mayor Nutter’s reaction to Huber’s article, there is no interest in pondering actual white attitudes toward race, and every interest in suppressing–or stereotyping–them.

You can see why. Democratic politicians like Nutter, black and white, exploit blacks’ fears to win their votes. Whites deal with racial tension through various strategies of avoidance, from moving to the suburbs to loudly accusing other whites of racism. (These days “white guilt” is almost always directed outward.) It’s just easier than getting involved in any sort of constructive way.

Nuts to Nutter: Yes, we can talk about race.

The specific call in the mayor’s letter, which is for the Commission to “conduct an inquiry into the state of racial issues, biases, and attitudes within and among the many communities and neighborhoods in the City of Philadelphia,” and to “consider specifically whether Philadelphia Magazine and the writer, Bob Huber are appropriate for rebuke by the Commission,” is not as troubling — both the mayor and the Commission have the right to express their own views, and indeed it is commonly argued that the proper alternative to suppression of speech is counterspeech. But the Mayor’s rationale wasn’t just, “this speech is constitutionally protected but so is our response.” Rather, the Mayor expressly suggested that the speech in the article was unprotected, and therefore punishable outright and not just worthy of public disapproval.

Philadelphia Mayor Suggests Magazine Article on Race Relations Isn’t Protected by the First Amendment

When a public official acts like a censorious asshat, and flogs one of my least-favorite stupid pro-censorship quotes, and is named “Nutter,” my fundamentally suspicious and misanthropic nature leads me to look around nervously. Am I being Akbarred here? Or is this giddy warmth and pre-pounce quivering anticipation I feel further evidence of a God that loves me?

It’s the giddy warmth one.
. . .
Long-form douchebaggery is common in American letters. Our archives are to the right if you doubt me.

What’s remarkable is the reaction of the Mayor Of Philadelphia, the presciently named Michael Nutter. Nutter could have used his bully pulpit to blast the article and condemn its author as a racist and rage against the magazine for printing it. That would be the classic “more speech” reaction to speech we don’t like, and I would support his right to do so. But simply using his taxpayer-sponsored megaphone wasn’t enough for this Nutter. He went straight to the government thuggery, sending a letter to the “Philadelphia Human Relations Commission” demanding an investigation of Philadelphia Magazine:
. . .
The threat may be understated — it may be vague — but as I often say here, vagueness in legal threats is the hallmark of thuggery and censorship. It’s repulsive, and Nutter ought to be ashamed, if only he had such capacity.

What Kind of Nutter Calls For Censorship?

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is a thug and a budding fascist.

Others have an uneasy sense that something is amiss, but a combination of historical ignorance and race sensitivity strikes them dumb. They look around America and see a number of urban areas with predominantly African-American populations. They see that many (not all) of these cities are run by incompetent, race-baiting hacks and criminals who use identity politics to bond themselves to the voters they exploit.

Because they don’t understand that corruption and identity politics have been the hallmark of American municipal government since the 1830s and 184os, they think the ghastly spectacle of demagogic corruption ruining our cities today is somehow a racial phenomenon. The racists among us see that picture and want to draw racist conclusions about African-American capacity for self governance; most of the rest of us are made so uncomfortable by the whole topic that we let the subject slide.

But thieves like the despicable Kwame Kilpatrick in Detroit are anything but a racial phenomenon. There were Irish, Jewish, Italian, Polish and Greek Kilpatricks in their day. We can confidently expect a wave of Latino Kilpatricks as Latino voting power pushes African-American machines aside in more urban areas.

And there’s another thing American history teaches: unscrupulous politicians will find unscrupulous bankers who will float them abusive loans in exchange for fat fees.

If our so-called ‘progressives’ today weren’t so intellectually decadent and, well, historically challenged, they would be leading the charge to clean up American cities. Instead they are mostly silent — and sometimes even defend the machines.

Detroit Dems Enrich Wall Street As City Goes Bust

Nothing to see here. Move along.


Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. We also need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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