Patterico's Pontifications

4/16/2017

Don’t Look Now But. . .

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:57 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Our old friend Andrew Sullivan seems to be trying on his conservative hat once again. In a column at New York magazine titled “Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton” (a sensible essay, if fairly predictable), he includes an interesting criticism of people who have apparently been trying to spin the whole United Airlines kerfuffle as a battle in the social justice wars:

Do you know the real reason Dr. Dao was so brutally tackled and thrown off that United flight? It was all about white supremacy. I mean, what isn’t these days? That idea is from the New Republic. Yes, the cops “seemed” to be African-American, as the author concedes, so the white-versus-minority paradigm is a little off. Yes, this has happened before to many people with no discernible racial or gender pattern. Yes, there is an obvious alternative explanation: The seats from which passengers were forcibly removed were randomly assigned. New York published a similar piece, which argued that the incident was just another example of Trump’s border-and-immigration-enforcement policies toward suspected illegal immigrants of color. That no federal cops were involved and there is no actual evidence at all of police harassment of Asian-Americans is irrelevant — it’s all racism, all the time, everywhere in everything.

It’s easy to mock this reductionism, I know, but it reflects something a little deeper. Asian-Americans, like Jews, are indeed a problem for the “social-justice” brigade. I mean, how on earth have both ethnic groups done so well in such a profoundly racist society? How have bigoted white people allowed these minorities to do so well — even to the point of earning more, on average, than whites? Asian-Americans, for example, have been subject to some of the most brutal oppression, racial hatred, and open discrimination over the years. In the late 19th century, as most worked in hard labor, they were subject to lynchings and violence across the American West and laws that prohibited their employment. They were banned from immigrating to the U.S. in 1924. Japanese-American citizens were forced into internment camps during the Second World War, and subjected to hideous, racist propaganda after Pearl Harbor. Yet, today, Asian-Americans are among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America. What gives? It couldn’t possibly be that they maintained solid two-parent family structures, had social networks that looked after one another, placed enormous emphasis on education and hard work, and thereby turned false, negative stereotypes into true, positive ones, could it? It couldn’t be that all whites are not racists or that the American dream still lives?

No doubt that Sullivan will find plenty of reasons in the future to gratuitously attack conservatives, but for the time being let’s welcome him back to the sensible side, especially inasmuch as he he dares to write about the importance of the two-parent family structure, which no doubt sends the crybully left into paroxysms of rage.

Happy Easter, friends.

[Cross-posted at the Jury Talks Back.]

– JVW

Happy Easter

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:46 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Happy Easter to you and yours. Easter, the day we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the Hope we have in Him. Because who wants to go through this life, with its inevitable trials and tribulations, heartaches and sorrows, without some sort of solid Hope to hold onto? My feeling is, if one’s hope is in the goodness of man, then this life is doubly-bound to be one rough and disappointing ride. And to what end?

With that, Ross Douthat has an interesting column today about saving the mainline churches, and why he believes it is essential that liberals, particularly, attend these traditional house of worship:

For the sake of their country, their culture, and their very selves, liberal post-Protestants should find a mainline congregation and start attending every week.

Do it for your political philosophy: More religion would make liberalism more intellectually coherent (the “created” in “created equal” is there for a reason), more politically effective, more rooted in its own history, less of a congerie of suspicious “allies” and more of an actual fraternity.

Do it for your friends and neighbors, towns and cities: Thriving congregations have spillover effects that even anti-Trump marches can’t match.

Do it for your family: Church is good for health and happiness, it’s a better place to meet a mate than Tinder, and even its most modernized form is still an ark of memory, a link between the living and the dead.

Douthat also has an exhortation for atheists as well:

Finally, a brief word to the really hardened atheists: Oh, come on. Sure, all of that beauty and ecstasy and astonishing mathematical order is because we’re part of a multiverse or a simulation or something; that’s the ticket. Sure, consciousness and free will are illusions, but human rights and gender identities are totally real. Sure, your flying spaghetti monster jokes make you a lot smarter than Aquinas, Karl Barth, Martin Luther King. Sure.

Just go to church, guys. The mainline churches’ doors are open. They need you. America still needs them.

(Note: this post did not get published late on Easter Sunday because the author was at church. It was because of pancakes. Blueberry, to be specific. Although a believer (but not a liberal), I have happily not attended church for many years, in spite of Douthat’s encouragements.)

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)
–Dana


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