[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]
The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.
I bought this book and read it because it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. See, it says so right there on the cover: “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.”
Did you know there was a time in our country’s history when black people were bought and sold as property, sometimes by other black people? And did you also know that 15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance?
Human slavery is deplorable, yes, but at this late date, can it be deplored any more than it has been already? If you have new depths of insight into the hearts and minds of the participants, by all means offer them, but Jones doesn’t have them. Reading The Known World is like reading a history book, albeit with a little more authorial contempt for some of the characters.
It’s customary in book reviews to mention authors whose work is called to mind by the volume at hand. The reviews included in my copy of The Known World cite
- William Faulkner (multiple times)
- Charles Frazier
- Gabriel García Márquez
- Cormac McCarthy
- Toni Morrison (multiple times)
- William Styron
If you want to say something nice about a black author writing about the American South, you can’t go wrong with a Morrison or Faulkner comparison, although comparing an author writing his second book to Faulkner (or García Márquez) makes as much sense as comparing a young composer to Beethoven or Mozart. (I can’t comment on the Toni Morrison comparison as I have to admit I haven’t read her work.)
The author that Jones most reminded me of is Kurt Vonnegut, who once wrote
I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, which I think I have done.
Jones follows the Vonnegut model of introducing a lot of characters of equal importance and weaving their lives together via seemingly insignificant details. Vonnegut has written better books than The Known World — most notably, in my opinion, Breakfast of Champions, although many people prefer Slaughterhouse-Five — but he did not win, nor was he ever a finalist for, a Pulitzer Prize.
So it goes.
The New York Times has been editorializing recently on the nation’s need to enlarge our pool of science and math students, with a particular focus on girls and minorities, and to encourage them to pursue careers that will keep the country competitive.
Here’s a list of the members of the NYT editorial board, including academic major(s), which I obtained from their online bios. See if you notice anything unusual.
- Andrew Rosenthal, Editor
- (American History)
- Terry Tang, Deputy Editorial Page Editor
- (Economics, Law)
- Robert B. Semple Jr., Associate Editor
- David Firestone, Projects Editor, National Politics, the White House and Congress
- Vikas Bajaj, Business, International Economics
- Philip M. Boffey, Science
- Francis X. Clines, National Politics, Congress, Campaign Finance
- (none listed)
- Lawrence Downes, Immigration, Veterans Issues
- (English, Journalism)
- Carol Giacomo, Foreign Affairs
- (English Literature)
- Mira Kamdar, International Affairs
- (French Literature)
- Verlyn Klinkenborg, Agriculture, Environment, Culture
- (English Literature)
- Juliet Lapidos, Culture
- (Comparative Literature, English Literature)
- Eleanor Randolph, New York State, Northeast Region, Media
- (none listed)
- Dorothy Samuels, Law, Civil Rights, National Affairs
- Serge Schmemann, International Affairs
- (none listed)
- Brent Staples, Education, Criminal Justice, Economics
- Masaru Tamamoto, International Affairs
- (International Relations)
- Teresa Tritch, Economic Issues, Tax Policy
- (German, Journalism)
- Jesse Wegman, The Supreme Court, Legal Affairs
Did you notice that no one on that list, including the science editor, has a degree in anything related to math or science?
Now you might say, “Well, I’ve never heard of any of these people so why should I care what they think?” That’s a fair point.
But still, one has to give them credit for having made it in the big city, despite their lack of interest in math and science. So why encourage students to pursue educational goals that they themselves had no interest in, when this lack of interest has evidently not been a hindrance? Why is this a credible course of action?
[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]
A 1-year-old girl was shot dead in her babysitter’s arms in New Orleans, prompting the city’s mayor to declare “enough is enough” as police hunted for two suspects with little help from witnesses.
Londyn Samuels, who was just learning to walk, was struck by a bullet fired into her 18-year-old nanny’s back as she carried the toddler home from the park.
There’s a train they call the City of New Orleans, and it is on a fast track to Hell.
First of all, let me say for the record that everyone is equal in Hell — regardless of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, blah blah blah, or any other legally protected status.
That said, when I see a headline like 1-year-old shot to death on New Orleans street, I know when I click through, I’m going to see a black face on the other side.
White people have their own peccadilloes, but they don’t shoot babies in the street.
As for the second part of the headline — “Enough is enough” — an 11-year-old New Orleans girl rocking her baby cousin to sleep was killed a few days later when gunmen started shooting into her house.
It’s getting to where I myself am afraid to go to New Orleans. Ha ha, no I’m not, but you see what I mean.
Anyway, here’s some advice from a guy who’s been around: If you’re black, and you want to be remembered fondly, or remembered at all, make sure you get shot by someone who’s not black.
For example: a kid in Florida named Trayvon Martin was shot by a Hispanic man with a white name: George Zimmerman. Everyone remembers Trayvon Martin. Even the president talks about him. Black “leaders” shuffle his parents in front of various assemblages demanding Justice for Trayvon.
He’s remembered lovingly by people willing to overlook the fact that he was trying to beat George Zimmerman to death when, unfortunately for him, Zimmerman pulled a gun and shot him.
Trayvon Martin is . . . well, let’s just say that God doesn’t like violent troublemakers, despite being a violent troublemaker himself. What a phony.
Londyn Samuels is in heaven, of course. She led a short, blameless life.
But because the man who shot her was black, not only is no one demanding Justice for Londyn, witnesses won’t come forward to ID the shooter, and no black “leader” has directed so much as a “shame on you” toward anyone involved.
See you in Hell!
The office park where my a friend of mine works was burglarized over the weekend. Surveillance cameras captured the whole operation.
“They were Mexicans,” he said. “They look like professionals. They were wearing hats and jackets so you couldn’t see their build or anything.”
“So how are you identifying them as Mexicans?” I asked. “Because they were stealing stuff?”
African Americans benefit from Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law at a rate far out of proportion to their presence in the state’s population, despite an assertion by Attorney General Eric Holder that repealing “Stand Your Ground” would help African Americans.
Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total “Stand Your Ground” claims in homicide cases, a rate nearly double the black percentage of Florida’s population. The majority of those claims have been successful, a success rate that exceeds that for Florida whites.
Detroit used to be known as “the Paris of the midwest” – a city of wide streets, imposing buildings, and home to the great US auto industry. In 1960, it had the highest per capita income in the nation. But decades of decline, racial tension and corruption have brought the motor city to its knees.
Highest per capita income in the nation! I did not know that.
Anyway, Detroit filed for bankruptcy last week with debts of more than $18 billion.
The city’s population has dropped from 2 million in 1950 to 700,000 today, as Detroiters have become fed up with decades of mismanagement and rising crime and poverty. Detroit’s murder rate is at a 40-year high, only a third of its ambulances are in working order, and nearly half its streetlights are broken.
Citizens wait 58 minutes for the police to respond to calls, compared to a national average of 11 minutes. There are 78,000 abandoned buildings . . .
Detroit (1701-2013). Don't cry for us, America. You're next.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) July 19, 2013
Michael Moore, like a stopped clock, is occasionally right. It’s funny he should say that though — “You’re next” — because he’s never been an advocate of fiscal responsibility or not spending lots and lots of money that you don’t actually have.
Maybe I’m misinterpreting but if what he’s saying is that America is on track for bankruptcy, then I couldn’t agree more.
When racial preferences were banned by the voters in California, there were dire predictions that this would mean the virtual disappearance of black and Hispanic students from the University of California system. What in fact happened was a 2% decline in their enrollment in the University of California system as a whole, but an increase in the number of black and Hispanic students graduating, including an increase of 55% in the number graduating in four years and an increase of 63% in the number graduating in four years with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Instead of the predicted drastic decline in enrollment in the system as a whole, there was a drastic redistribution of black and Hispanic students within the University of California system. Their enrollment dropped at the two most elite campuses, Berkeley and UCLA — by 42% at the former and 33% at the latter. But their enrollment rose by 22% at the Irvine campus, 18% at the Santa Cruz campus, and 65% at the University of California at Riverside. After this redistribution, the number of black and Hispanic students who graduated with degrees in science, mathematics, and engineering “rose by nearly 50 percent,” according to Sander and Taylor. The number of doctorates earned by black and Hispanic students in the system rose by about 20%.
In short, the problems created by the mismatching brought on by affirmative action gave way to significant improvements in the academic performances of black and Hispanic students in the University of California system after those preferences were banned.
My whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father wasn’t for my mother and me. I want to break that cycle — where a father’s not at home, where a father’s not helping to raise that son and daughter. I want to be a better father, a better husband, a better man. . . .
Growing up, I made quite a few [bad choices] myself. Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. I had a tendency to make excuses for me not doing the right thing.
We’ve got no time for excuses.
In today’s hyper-connected, hyper-competitive world, with millions of young people from China and India and Brazil, many of whom started with a whole lot less than all of you did, all of them entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned. Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was. Nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination.
Moreover, you have to remember that whatever you’ve gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured — and if they overcame them, you can overcome them, too.
Morehouse College is a historically black, all-male college in Atlanta.
- Obama gets personal about race and manhood in Morehouse speech (washingtonpost.com)
Look at this — before Jackie Robinson, they didn’t let black guys play major league baseball!
Right . . . that was 70 years ago, in the 1940s. Let’s move on already.
You know what else they did in the 1940s? They rounded up Japanese Americans, just took them right out of their homes and their jobs, and stuck them into “relocation camps.”
When’s the last time you heard a Japanese person talk about relocation camps? They don’t talk about relocation camps because they’re too busy being engineers and doctors and businessmen and raising their families and sending their kids to top universities.
You can focus your mind on what other people did a long time ago or you can focus your mind on what you’re doing right now.
Let’s move on already.
Footnote: We’ve come full circle on blacks in baseball. The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants don’t have a single black player on their current roster (although some of the Latin players are pretty dark). Black men can play baseball if they want to but they don’t want to.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports this story under the headline “Falling Diversity of Provosts Signals Challenge for Presidential Pipeline, Study Finds.”
FALLING DIVERSITY! LOOK OUT BELOW!
Ha ha . . . but seriously, who even knows what a provost is? I don’t. I’ve vaguely heard of it as an academic job title but that’s about it.
I know that Jon Provost played little Timmy on the Lassie TV series. I know that Marie Prevost was a one-time Mack Sennett bathing beauty and leading lady in the 1920s whose screen glory had faded by the time she died of acute alcoholism in a small Hollywood apartment at the age of 38.
By the way, I notice that Asian students are continuing to excel, even in the absence of Asian provosts. Go figure.
If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.
My fellow Americans –
The first headline I saw this morning was Obama Victory Speech Urges Unity in Facing Challenges.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s an ad run by President Obama in Ohio in the closing days of the campaign:
A few days ago, it was Us vs. Them, whoever you imagine Us and Them to be. Now it’s Obama Urges Unity.
“Not one of us” is an ugly sentiment in itself, but coming from a man who not long ago promised us Hope and Change and Inclusiveness, it betrays a complete absence of character.
Four years ago, I said what I thought I needed to say to get elected, and I’m doing the same thing now, even though what I’m saying now is the exact opposite of what I said then.
Obama has been nothing if not divisive. On class and income, he speaks contemptuously of “millionaires” and glowingly of “spreading the wealth around.”
Obamacare, his signature “accomplishment,” allows — encourages, in fact — free riders to take advantage of others who’ll be forced to pay double and triple fares.
In cases where black boys beat a white man almost to death because they were bored, or black boys killed a white girl for bike parts, he has nothing to say — nothing about hate crimes, social disintegration or the resemblance of the perpetrators to his own hypothetical offspring.
Now that the election is over and won, he takes a few minutes for the obligatory call for unity before another four years of division.
I, for one, am tired of the bullshit.
Randy Newman has a new song and video out — “I’m Dreaming” — about a voter who casts his ballot solely based on skin color.
I listened to it . . . it’s great, like every other Newman song I can think of, but didn’t this train leave the station in 2008? We already have a black president. (Yes, his mother was white, but “mixed-race” doesn’t get you 12 percent of the electorate.)
Will some people not vote for Obama because he’s black? Yes.
Will some people only vote for Obama because he’s black? Yes.
As Geraldine Ferraro said in 2008, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.”
Naturally, she was denounced as a racist by the Obama campaign.
Let’s move on already . . .
In a story ignored by the national media, in April a Tunica County, Miss., jury convicted NAACP official Lessadolla Sowers on 10 counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots.
Sowers received a five-year prison term for each of the 10 counts, but Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster permitted Sowers to serve those terms concurrently, according to the Tunica Times, the only media outlet to cover the sentencing.
Sowers was found guilty of voting in the names of Carrie Collins, Walter Howard, Sheena Shelton, Alberta Pickett, Draper Cotton and Eddie Davis. She was also convicted of voting in the names of four dead persons: James L. Young, Dora Price, Dorothy Harris, and David Ross.
Cops: Teens beat man because ‘they were just bored’ — NBCNews.com
Strange piece of “journalism” from NBC News . . . basically just a rewrite of a story in the Cincinnati Enquirer in which a 45-year-old man named Pat Mahaney received a senseless, brutal beating from six boys, ages 13 and 14:
Mahaney was taken to Mercy Mount Airy Hospital, where he was treated for four days before being released Tuesday. Police said doctors had to insert a tube down his throat to remove all of the blood from his stomach.
A tube remained in his right nostril as blood continued to seep out of his head, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, and his left eye is heavily blackened.
Police said the teens admitted that Mahaney had done nothing to provoke being kicked and punched repeatedly in the face while he lay helpless on the ground. One of the boys allegedly told police they only stopped assaulting Mahaney when a neighbor began yelling at them and said he was calling police.
The strange thing about the NBC article, though, is that it deletes information about the race of the kids, which is in the Enquirer article:
“It was a heinous crime but it was not a hate crime,” said North College Hill Police Chief Gary Foust of the teens, who are all black.
He said several residents have called police inquiring if Mahaney was specifically targeted because he is white. He was not, the chief stressed.
- If the boys were white and the victim black, would NBC have deleted that information?
- Do the boys look like President Obama’s son would look if he had one?
While more than nine in 10 Americans would vote for a presidential candidate who is black, a woman, Catholic, Hispanic, or Jewish, significantly smaller percentages would vote for one who is an atheist (54%) or Muslim (58%). Americans’ willingness to vote for a Mormon (80%) or gay or lesbian (68%) candidate falls between these two extremes.
I fear that I won’t live to see a gay atheist in the Oval Office.
In other findings, far more Americans are open to voting for a black presidential candidate (96%) than for a Mormon (80%). Blacks also poll higher than women (95%), Catholics (94%) and Jews (91%), although those percentages are within the margin of sampling error.
Things You Can Do
Things You Can’t Do
The University of California is prohibited by law from considering race in the admissions process, but they are allowed to identify certain ethnic groups as “underrepresented minorities.”
Here are some freshman enrollment numbers at UC Berkeley for Fall 2011. The first four groups on the list are considered underrepresented; the others aren’t.
|Native American/Alaskan Native||33|
Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best.
Chinese parents can say, “You’re lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you.” By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicted feelings about achievement, and try to persuade themselves that they’re not disappointed about how their kids turned out.