An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
Anyone can be a racist, regardless of their own race.
Racism, even when rooted in a desire to exact retribution for racism, is unjustifiable, in part because it creates a negative feedback loop that results in increasingly virulent racism.
There are different kinds of racists: some are unrepentant, but others are deeply troubled by their prejudices and seek ways to repress, redress, and expunge them.
To address all racism with a single response is unconstructive. The response must match the situation and the perpetrator.
Racist behavior and actions can and should be regulated by law and government as a matter of protecting the fundamental rights of all.
Racism itself cannot be eliminated by government action or legislation.
Racism often takes insidious forms and can hide behind ostensibly non-racist or even anti-racist behavior.
At the same time, projecting racism into a situation in which it does not exist is as reprehensible as ignoring racism where it does exist, if for no other reason than it undermines efforts to address and eliminate actual racism.
Historically, in the United States, European-Americans have been the primary vector of racism.
That does not mean, however, that only European-Americans can be racist, nor that racism today is found only among European-Americans.
De-legitimizing or ignoring European-American voices in the dialogue about racism is prima facie a racist act, especially as European-Americans undergo the transition to ethnic minority status.
For the record, I think the consumption of pork is an affront to G-d. I think abortion in most cases is morally indefensible. The smell of marijuana in a public place disgusts me. But you will never in these pages read or hear of me calling for bacon to be outlawed, for the re-criminalization of cannibis, or for the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
For all of you who would use the heavy hand of legislation to stop your neighbor from doing something that has been a part of their lives or culture, know this: there are many things that you like doing that your neighbors find objectionable, if not downright sick-making, depraved, and socially dangerous. But we do not try to legislate them out of existence. We understand that tolerance is the handmaiden of liberty.
So the next time you are tempted to show support to a law that will criminalize someone else’s lifestyle, remember: that knife can cut both ways, and it is the nature of history that the further the knife cuts one way, the further it will swing back and slice the other. Deep inside you know this, and this is why books like The Handmaid’s Tale do, and should, scare the living daylights out of any thinking liberal. Payback is an unholy bitch, and all of us would be wise to remember that fact when we are tempted to overmilk the political climate on behalf of our own ideologies.
You might be said to have extremist views if you object to same sex marriages or gay adoptions, or if you think we should halt immigration. By the same token, an opinion poll published last year revealed that almost 40 per cent of the population think it is extremist to believe that global warming is happening and 36 per cent think it extremist to hope that Britain leaves the EU. In other words, ‘extremism’ has simply become one of those words which has lost almost all of its meaning and is used simply as an insult to hurl at one’s opponents. A bit like ‘troll’.
As a someone who is – at least in his own mind – about two notches to the right of center on the American Two-Dimensional Political Taxonomy, I only rarely find myself being called an extremist, but it happens often enough to make me believe that Rod Liddle has raised a pressing issue.
The overuse of the word “extremist” undermined the meaning of a once-valuable political descriptor. Worse, it has also ushered in an era in which political name-calling and demonization have become acceptable substitutes for intelligent political discourse.
Here is my suggestion: let us expunge the term from our political discussions, and let us also purge ourselves of the desire to demonize those who disagree with us. Disagreement, along with compromise and participation, is an essential ingredient in a democracy. The minute we are all compelled to agree with each other – or pretend to do so – we have taken upon ourselves the fetters of tyranny.
Let us not do that. Let us instead agree that there are no safe zones in a democratic society, and to toughen ourselves to those who (verbally, at least) oppose us so that all may enjoy the liberties our founding fathers bestowed upon us.
Or, Republicans could soar if the House Democratic Caucus insists on retaining Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader and presumptive Speaker.
Indeed, one is compelled to wonder how many more Americans would tick the box next to the Democratic candidate if the Dems would simply shed their tired, pedantic old-school progressives in favor of someone more inspiring and less, well, scolding.
Yes, the military needs rebuilding. But not with gold-plated white elephant programs and outdated weapons systems sucking up the lion’s share of the budget.
We need to start rebuilding the military by rebuilding procurement and by taking a flamethrower to the military-industrial-congressional iron triangle that is turning the military that won WWII into the one that lost at Dien Bien Phu.
True conservatives want no truck with white supremacists.
White supremacy – indeed, ethnic chauvinism of any ilk – is reactionary in both nature and origin.
To be a white supremacist is to be a reactionary, not only opposed to progress but desirous that the march of progress be reversed.
For the record, this author and this blog want no truck with reactionaries, and that includes the hate-spewing rabble who continue to treasure a vision of an America dominated by any faith, gender, or ethnic group.
I support feminism to the point that I once called myself a feminist. I maintain that gender balance in all aspects of society is not only a necessary precondition to a just civilization, it is also the antidote to many social ills that plague traditional patriarchies, whether in the workplace, the statehouse, or the home.
But when feminism crosses the line into misandry, when it engages in or tolerates behavior that incites hatred against the male gender as a whole, feminism mocks its own goals and becomes unsupportable.
There are many men who are deserving of the worst unflattering epithets known to language. But to draw from that fact the conclusion that “men are scum” (or worse) is to put us all on a pathway to oppression and injustice from which no person would be safe.
Misandry disguised as feminism is hypocrisy. Facebook was right to take the actions that it did.