Wednesday, January 16, 2019

January 16, 2019

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

Rep. STEVE KING, the Intellectual Gulag, and the Return of the Witch-finders


By now most of us have heard a bit about Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), his supposedly “racist” comments about white nationalism in an interview printed in The New York Times, and his almost-unanimous condemnation by the US House of Representatives  (including being stripped of all his committee assignments in Congress by House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy).

In a sense, Representative King’s problems were self-induced.

His lack of sound judgment was twofold. His original mistake was to agree to an interview by the Times. Who in his right mind, as a right wing conservative, would ever put himself in such a position, knowing that the Times notoriously “edits” and “massages” the news according to an extreme Leftist agenda—and that anything a self-proclaimed conservative might say would undergo such treatment? But King did. And then he compounded that error of judgment by responding to questions from the reporter in an inarticulate manner that left himself open for what then happened.

Phrases that King used were highlighted and taken out of context by the Times:  “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked the paper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” []  That snippet was enough to unleash a torrent of opprobrium, and most particularly from fellow Republicans and establishment Beltway conservatives, despite the fact that within hours King explained his quoted and garbled comments on the House floor and in an issued statement from his office.

Here is Representative King’s statement and clarification from Monday, January 14:

One of my quotes in a New York Times story has been completely mischaracterized. Here’s the context I believe accurately reflects my statement.
In a 56 minute interview, we discussed the changing use of language in political discourse. We discussed the worn out label “racist” and my observation that other slanderous labels have been increasingly assigned to Conservatives by the Left, who injected into our current political dialog such terms as Nazi, Fascist, "White Nationalist, White Supremacist — Western Civilization, how did THAT language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”…just to watch Western Civilization become a derogatory term in political discourse today. Clearly, I was only referencing Western Civilization classes. No one ever sat in a class listening to the merits of white nationalism and white supremacy.

When I used the word “THAT” it was in reference ONLY to Western Civilization and NOT to any previously stated evil ideology ALL of which I have denounced.

My record as a vocal advocate for Western Civilization is nearly as full as my record in defense of Freedom of Speech.
It didn’t matter; for the Left-leaning gatekeepers of the dominant and zealous conservative orthodoxy—“Conservatism Inc.”—for Jonah Goldberg and David French in National Review, and Ben Shapiro (who urged Congress to censure him)—King had committed the ultimate crime: he had espoused “racism.” By acknowledging even inarticulately, even as reported out of context by the notoriously Leftist New York Times that “whites” (=Europeans) had largely created Western civilization, King had crossed a fault-line, had uttered the unutterable. And for that reaction, truth had nothing to do with it.

There is a superbly-dramatized scene in the fine BBC historical series about the English Civil War, “By the Sword Divided,” [2004] which depicts the visit of two witch-finders to a village in the British Midlands. There they vigorously search for witches--single women who are denounced for practicing the magic arts and violating the frenzied and extreme Puritan orthodoxy being imposed during the dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell. All it takes is an idle comment, an ill-timed or ill-phrased sentence—and then the howling mob, inflamed and encouraged by the witch-finders, demands punishment—and blood.

Sadly, such instances have not been unique in history. Indeed, prescient observers over the centuries have understood and warned of the perverted power of persuasion and generated mob psychology. In more recent history, while the circumstances and the issues have changed considerably—we now don’t usually search for single women engaged in necromancy—the significance of the agitated and brainwashed mob led by modern-day equivalents of those witch-finders continues with increased fury.

In more recent times, most especially in the unlamented twentieth century and into our own time, it has been thought crimes which have become the new witchcraft. Thus, deviancy from “the party line” in the old Soviet Union landed the unfortunate accused a stay in the Gulag, if not execution.

Steve King’s sin was that in an unwary moment, talking with declared enemies of Western civilization and culture, he failed to understand the trap laid for him, for it was a trap, and, very likely, planned in advance. He committed a thought crime, and he had to pay the price.

And the howling hyenas of Neoconservatism—the motor-mouth Ben Shapiro, the fatuous Jonah Goldberg—and the cowardly herd of Congressional Republicans including the newly-minted senator from Utah, Mitt Romney, so fearful that some pundit somewhere on some news channel would call them “racists,” reacted like the mobs depicted in “By the Sword Divided”: Burn him at the stake! Purge him from Congress! We cannot tolerate any smidgen of perceived Racism or “white supremacy”!

Or, maybe like the Gadarene swine, themselves possessed of a form of diabolical infestation?

Of course, does anyone—can anyone—remember any time when Ben Shapiro or Jonah Goldberg ever demanded a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, say, a Maxine Waters, be censured for propagating “black nationalism”? What about the recent exhortation by newly-elected Congressman Rashida Tlaib about the president: “We’re gonna impeach the motherf-----!” [ ]  Where are the same self-righteous condemnations, the same demands for censure, from these self-appointed conservative intelligentsia and “opinion makers”?

We live in a society, a political culture, where the phrase coined by the French politician, Rene Renoult (1919), “pas d’ennemis a gauche”—“[There are] no enemies to the Left”—has become the watchword of the establishment conservative movement and the professional Inside-the-DC-Beltway” conservative punditocracy. When the increasingly farther Left says “Jump!” those conservative publicists and their politician friends on Capitol Hill respond: “How high?”

Our culture, our understanding of history, our educational and academic establishment, our entertainment industry, our politics, and, indeed, our very language have been so corrupted that comments and views that would have been considered commonplace and unobjectionable fifty years ago, even ten years ago, are now considered vicious and intolerable exercises in “hate speech” that must be censured and suppressed.

In America in 2019 we have our own version of the Gulag: it employs the distortion of facts and statements, the destruction of reputations, a public and frenzied opprobrium that effectively silences any dissident, and it does it far more effectively and cleverly than the rather unwieldy methods of the former KGB.

The witch-finders of 2019 are at again, and with an unrelenting passion and vengeance for their task. Behold their newest victim—Steve King of Iowa.

I pass on two essays that focus on this episode, the first by James Kirkpatrick, and the second by Dr. Paul Gottfried, both excellent reads:

Steve King Furor Shows Dems Are The Real Racial Nationalists—And Conservatism Inc. Is A Threat To America
James Kirkpatrick  January 13, 2019, 09:28 PM
And then they came for Steve King. The immigration patriot Iowa congressman fell for a Main Stream Media setup in The New York Times. [Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politicsby Trip Gabriel, January 10, 2019]  The clickbait headlines screamed Steve King had asked why “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western Civilization” had “become offensive.” Of course, he hadn’t—King is notoriously inarticulate, the quote was obviously garbled and, significantly, no audio or transcript has been released. But Conservatism Inc. obediently joined in anyway.
The truth: Congressman King was once again defending his non-racial view of American identity. And indeed he has subsequently denounced “white nationalism” and “white supremacy” as an “evil ideology.”
( thinks King is being wimpish about the term “white nationalism.” Thus Editor Peter Brimelow said in our FAQ statement that we publish
…a few writers, for example Jared Taylor, whom I would regard as "white nationalist," in the sense that they aim to defend the interests of American whites. They are not white supremacists. They do not advocate violence. They are rational and civil. They brush their teeth. But they unashamedly work for their people—exactly as La Raza works for Latinos and the Anti-Defamation League works for Jews.
Get used to it. As immigration policy drives whites into a minority, this type of interest-group "white nationalism" will inexorably increase. [Emphasis added].
Still, we note that Jared Taylor has subsequently abandoned the term “white nationalism” as hopelessly smeared, and now calls himself a “white advocate.”)
In King’s New York Times interview, King was quite clearly just asking why Republicans constantly find themselves being called “white nationalists” and “white supremacists” and why “Western Civilization” and “white” have become insults. (Note that the NYT article says: ”Mr. King attracted the attention of hate-watch groups like the Anti-Defamation League as he spoke increasingly about preserving ‘Western culture’ or ‘Western civilization.’ The groups consider those buzzwords that signal support to white nationalists”—i.e. no expression of even cultural pride can be tolerated).
But, needless to say, the House GOP is already signaling surrender and will take some kind of “action” against King based on this hit piece. [House GOP Leader: ‘Action Will Be Taken’ On Steve King Over White Supremacist Remarkby Hayley Miller, The Huffington Post, January 13, 2019] Other Republicans are also piling on. Thus, the MSM’s spinning King’s words as a defense of “white nationalism,” even when it was anything but, is simply accepted by Republicans, who immediately begin caving to Journofa demands. [GOP lawmaker: Steve King’s ‘embrace of racism’ has no place in Congressby Justin Wise, The Hill, January 10, 2019]
This includes Republicans who owe their careers to their color. Thus underqualified black hack Tim Scott was appointed Senator in South Carolina in a silly attempt to somehow show Republicans were not racist. Yet Tim Scott regularly appears in the MSM to preen about how evil and racist his party is.
In July, he stopped the nomination of judge Ryan Bounds to the 9th Court of Appeals because Bounds had written against race-based groups in college. In November, he again opposed at the last minute a Trump judicial appointee, Thomas Farr of North Carolina, based on spurious claims of racism based upon evidence Scott himself had previously discounted. [Tim Scott baffles conservatives with about-races on judgesby Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner, November 30, 2018]
Now, Tim Scott is condemning Steve King in an article in The Washington Post, implicitly linking him to acts of violence and “havoc that white nationalists and white supremacists have strewn across our nation for hundreds of years”. [Tim Scott: Why are Republicans accused of racism? Because we’re silent on things like thisBy Tim Scott, Washington Post, January 11, 2019]
This “havoc” presumably includes the American Revolution, significantly led by slave holders. (See below.)
Similarly, minicon and ultral-defender of Israel Ben Shapiro is calling for Congress to “censure” Steve King and then for him to be primaried, instantly accepting the MSM’s attack against a Congressman who has been utterly stalwart in defense of Israel. [Ben Shapiro Calls for Congress to Censure Steve King Over White Nationalist Comments, Ha’aretz, January 10, 2019]
Of course, Ben Shapiro was eager to defend Sarah Jeong when the newest member of The New York Times Editorial Board had her history of explicitly anti-white statements revealed. Indeed, he framed his defense of Jeong as a stand against “social media mobs” victimizing people like James Gunn, a far-Left movie director who had made “jokes” about the sexual exploitation of children. David French of National Review defended Jeong as well, saying it was “good” The New York Times was “standing by its hire”. [Yes, Anti-White Racism Existsby David French, National Review, August 2, 2018]
Both French and Shapiro conceded that what Jeong said was [Leftist] “racist,” but suggested it would be wrong to do anything about it. Conservatism Inc. doesn’t want its constituents trying to retake the levers of cultural and media power from the Left. [Tucker Carlson and the Question of White Victimhoodby Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, January 11, 2019]
Therefore, it’s not surprising that David French’s magazine National Review is eager to shiv Steve King and stand athwart history crying “We surrender!” Dump Steve King” is a new editorial from the magazine, in which editors plead that “one of the glories of American history is how we finally shed our shameful racist past”. [January 11, 2019]
This is a startling statement from a “conservative” magazine. Having now granted that American history is “shameful” and “racist,” what exactly is it that conservatives are supposed to conserve? Why not tear down not only Confederate statues, but the Founding Fathers and the American flag itself?
Given this stance, one expects to read articles about “the conservative case for renaming Washington after Martin Luther King” any day now.
National Review argues that Steve King must be purged lest he “tar” fellow conservatives. Again, the implication is that, if this or that person is purged, the accusations of racism will stop. Yet King’s whole point, however awkwardly expressed, is that charges of “white nationalism” and “white supremacy” are proliferating and apply to more and more things. Simply surrendering to this doesn’t accomplish anything.
The appalling Jonah Goldberg [Email him] also condemning King in National Review, declares that “Western Civilization is not synonymous with whiteness”. [Steve King’s bigotry is the antithesis of American ideals, National Review, January 11, 2019].
Yet King himself didn’t say it was. Nevertheless, based on an out-of-context quote from a hostile newspaper, Goldberg and other self-proclaimed conservative “leaders” are eager to sacrifice a champion of the pro-life, limited government principles that they supposedly believe in.
The obvious conclusion: they don’t really care about these principles—or they at least believe those principles are less important than keeping the good opinion of explicitly anti-white journalists and Democrats who openly declare their intention to destroy the country.
The most remarkable claim by Goldberg: “We are supposed to judge people on their individual merits, not keep score based on their ancestry.” Yet just about every educational, media, government, and corporate institution does indeed judge based on “ancestry,” giving people platformsprivileges, and money based on their non-white, non-Christian, non-heterosexual qualities. (Steve Sailer humorously calls them “intersectional diversity Pok√©mon points.)
If Goldberg really believes in “individual merits,” then one would expect a push to dismantle the Diversity Industry, starting with Affirmative Action policies. Instead, all we get from Conservatism Inc. are condemnations of conservatives who dare oppose the anti-white racial caste system.
In contrast, consider the open embrace of racial tribalism in the Democrats and among journalists, something conservatives meekly accept. Professional Hispanic Ana Navarro recently expressed her contempt for Americans by actually filing her nails during a television segment when a guest mentioned Americans killed by illegal aliens. Ana Navarro is certainly a “fake conservative”—despite her supposed status as a “Republican strategist,” she can barely contain her hatred for GOP voters.
Yet Ana Navarro isn’t essentially a Leftist. [Meet Ana Navarro, Hispanic Nationalistby Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, May 29, 2018] Nor is new Affirmative Action Congressbimbo Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose family history, early political career, and social media postings all revolve around profitable exploitation of Hispanic heritage [The Affirmative Action Congressby Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, January 9, 2019] Nor is Julian Castro. Nor is Jorge Ramos.
All of them are essentially nationalists—even imperialists, given their designs on American territory. It’s just that their sense of nationalism has nothing to do with the United States, with the American people, or with this country’s history, traditions, and culture.
Like Luis Gutierrez, these figures are “traitors” only in a technical sense— because there’s no indication they’ve ever really considered themselves Americans.
They are racial nationalists for their own people. And they will obviously ignore any hapless Conservativism Inc plea to stop practicing “identity politics.” Why should they? In all the cases above, their very political careers would not exist were it not for their status as tribal chieftains.
Indeed, the modern Democratic Party shows Steve King is wrong, though not in the way the Beltway Right thinks. Steve King’s vision appears to be that of an America governed by the rule of law, a country that is part of a larger Western Civilization not defined by race but by culture. But most non-whites want no part of this.
Steve King’s vision is also too much for “conservatives” who view America as a marketplace rather than a country. As shown by their furiously hostile reaction to Tucker Carlson’s passionate call for nationalist populism, Conservatism Inc thinks America as a shopping mall, with no identity, history, or purpose aside to serve some intangible god called “the economy” to which whites must sacrifice their culture, children, and future.
But for the Journofa/Democrat coalition, reducing America to a cultureless wasteland isn’t good enough. In their eyes, the culture must be explicitly anti-white.
And to defeat the specter of nationalist populism, Conservatism Inc. will go along with this agenda, tremulously submitting to every smear campaign by journalists and social networking companies. They—the Shapiros, the Goldbergs, the David Frenchs, the cowardly GOP solons in Congress—won’t even give Steve King the benefit of the doubt they give Sarah Jeong, James Gunn, and others who actually said hateful things.
It must be said plainly: Steve King did nothing wrong. If anything, he wasn’t forthright enough.
Some may think the shameful Conservatism Inc. surrender shows the Beltway Right has learned nothing from the Trump campaign. But this presupposes Conservatism Inc. wants to win. The truth: the Beltway Right is already preparing for a post-Trump future and wants to purge National Conservatives from its ranks. They were always going to come for Steve King given the first opportunity.
Either America replaces Conservatism Inc.—or it will replace America.
January 15, 2019

Striking at a King

In a disastrous interview with the New York Times last week, Iowa congressman Steve King put his foot in his mouth (and not for the first time) by asking this imprudent question: "White nationalists, white supremacists, Western civilization, how did that language become offensive?  Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"  Put charitably (and I have no reason to attribute malice as opposed to stunning verbal ineptitude to the speaker), Congressman King wished to tell us that at one time, our teachers spoke with respect about the merits of our shared civilization.  No one back then when he and I were in school attacked our civilization because it was created mostly by white men.
Establishment conservative journalists have gone after King as a vicious bigot, who has no place in their conservative movement.  They also tried to set matters right by underlining the supposed fact that, in the words of John Podhoretz, "Western civilization isn't a white thing."  But then the counter-model being proposed doesn't really seem to work.  Podhoretz, writing in the New York Post, informs us that whites could not have singlehandedly given us our civilization because "ancient Jerusalem is the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity and its residents were certainly of a darker hue."  Further, Alexander Hamilton, who came from Nevis in the West Indies, "might either be of a Jewish or black stock."
One looks at these statements with wonder.  Ancient Semites who lived in Jerusalem were Caucasians, but not Indo-Europeans (which I think is the term Podhoretz might have chosen if he understood the distinction).  Caucasians have long resided in Europe, including Basques and the original Hungarians and Finns.  But, like Semites, many Caucasians are not members of the Indo-European subgroup that settled in Europe around 4,000 years ago.  What evidence can Podhoretz come up with that Alexander Hamilton was black?  (Even the musical Hamilton doesn't claim that, since the celebrated American statesman is played there by a white actor.)
Also doubtful is that Hamilton had Jewish blood.  His natural father, James Hamilton, was a landowner of Scottish noble ancestry.  The rumor about Hamilton's highly unlikely Jewish antecedents originated from the fact that his mother was then married to a Danish trader, John Michael Lavien, whose name has sometimes been mistakenly identified with the Jewish "Levine."  Among other obstacles facing him, Hamilton had to rise above the shame of having a loose woman as a mother.  But let's give Podhoretz credit for correctly telling us that St. Augustine had Berber ancestors.  Although Augustine's father's family was of Roman origin, his mother, the future St. Monica, was indeed a North African Berber.
None of this disproves that Western civilization was mostly the work of "white people," broadly understood, providing we allow for exceptions (like the Russian poet Pushkin, who was of Ethiopian descent, and Alexander Dumas, who was part black).  
Podhoretz, however, writes like a polymath next to his friend Jonah Goldberg, who is even more upset by King's bringing up the race question.  According to Goldberg, we have no moral right to associate the West with people called "white" because "at the beginning of the twentieth century" all sorts of ethnic groups in the U.S. were not viewed as whites: e.g. Jews, Southern Italians, Czechs, Poles, Greeks, and Hungarians.  Goldberg is trying to forbid us to use a term on the grounds that someone's neighbors once tried to insult that person by saying counterfactually that he wasn't white.  He also mentions that a Congressional Immigration Commission in 1911 drew from a dictionary on ethnic groups derogatory references to Czechs and other Europeans.  What Goldberg doesn't prove is that these references prevented the recognition of these European immigrants as white.
The Naturalization Act passed by Congress in 1790 opened settlement in the newly formed United States to all European nationalities.  This doesn't mean that all those groups that took advantage of the act enjoyed the same social treatment. But from a legal standpoint, all of them were considered white "at the beginning of the twentieth century."  They also not incidentally were found on professional sports teams at a time when blacks were barred from them.  Moreover, while it is possible to recognize the appeal of Western cultural achievements outside the West, that doesn't mean these achievements were not primarily produced by certain groups rather than other ones.  Christianity is a universal religion, but it also came out of an ancient Semitic world.  Plato, Aristotle, and Aeschylus have been read throughout most of the world, but were also identifiably Hellenic.  Why is it verboten to note such facts?
Perhaps the most controversial screed written by an authorized conservative against Steve King came from Ben Shapiro.  After replicating most of his friends' tirades, Shapiro called on Congress to censure the offending Iowa lawmaker.  The Hill takes note of this as some kind of critical event.  Shapiro, it would appear, is eager to join the black caucus and others on the left who are already on the warpath against King. Shapiro wants us to know that he's a “moderate” conservative, who is just trying to police the right, that is, exclude from his movement those whom he deems undesirable.  To the applause of his devotees, he has already excoriated Trump and Pat Buchanan for not fitting his fastidious definition of a proper conservative.

We might ask Shapiro whether he intends to call for a congressional censure of Maxine Waters for inciting violence against GOP lawmakers. What about censuring members of the black caucus who slobber over Louis Farrakhan, who has regularly ranted against whites and especially Jews?  And that young congresswoman from southwest Detroit who used obscenities in calling for Trump's removal?  Perhaps Shapiro might censure her as well.  Mind you, I'm not keen on having Congress censure any of its members.  I'm just suggesting that some socially acceptable conservatives adopt more of a sense of proportion before they pile on colleagues on the right whom the left is already piling up on.

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