Carolina Review Podcast Episode Five: Charlie Hebdo and the Importance of Religious Tolerance

Episode Five: Charlie Hebdo and the Importance of Religious Tolerance by Carolina Review on Mixcloud

On this week’s episode of the Carolina Review Podcast, Timothy Bame discusses the power of love and tolerance (0:37), the gang dives straight into the terrorist attacks surrounding Charlie Hebdo (4:36) and Alex Thomas catches up with UNC-Chapel Hill Student Body President Andrew Powell (11:16).

Music used:

“Actionable”
Bensound (bensound.com)

“Electro (Sketch)”, “Unity”
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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“The Hill is Burning:” State of the Union Responses

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by | January 24, 2015 · 5:28 pm

Conservative of the Week

So the Carolina Review has decided to start a segment called “Conservative of the Week.” It can be a student, professor, teachers assistant, or administrator. We want to find progressive thinkers who are changing the way that conservatives are viewed throughout UNC and the rest of the country.  If you know anyone that you would like to nominate for this position feel free to email us at crdailyeditor@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Our first Conservative of the Week is, senior Kelsey Mace! She is a double major in Journalism and Mass Communication with a focus in Public Relations and Political Science as well as, a minor in Geography.  Here’s a little bit about Kelsey!

  1. Name: Kelsey Mace
  2. Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
  3. Major(s)/Minor(s): Journalism and Mass Communication (Public Relations), Political Science with a minor in Geography
  4. Conservative Role Model: This past summer I was an intern for The Ace & TJ Show, which is a syndicated radio show based in Charlotte, North Carolina but is played in over ten other states.  I know that most people would think you should have a popular politician as a role model, but my role model would have to be TJ.  He was really passionate about his political views, but never in an over-the-top way.  He really showed me how to convey my considerably, less-accepted views to people without seeming like I was completely arrogant.  TJ had a radio segment called “Courageous Conservative”, which I feel like in this day and time is the perfect name for a show about being a conservative. To me it takes real bravery to openly admit to hundreds of thousands of people you’re conservative and that just something that stuck out to me.
  5. Why do you consider yourself a conservative?: Admittedly, I grew up in a rather conservative household, but I feel this ideology holds true to more of my values. I love the military and I can’t begin to explain how much I appreciate the things they do for our country.  I feel like the Republican party appreciates more of what they do for citizens of not only the United States, but countries around the world and I am considering joining the Army Reserves or the National Guard to show my appreciate for all of their work.  I believe in smaller government and holding true to the values that this country was founded on and simply put, the Republican Party does this more than anyone else.
  6. How do you feel about being conservative at UNC?: OUTNUMBERED. A majority of my friends are liberals, but I don’t let this get in the way of me being proud of my beliefs.
  7. Favorite Professor and why?: Napoleon Byars, hands down. He’s not a professor here anymore, unfortunately.  However, he really cared about his students and tried to awake the passions we all had. His class was interesting and he was never afraid to talk about his time in the Air Force!
  8. If you could change ONE thing about the way people think about conservatives at UNC, what would it be?
    • That we are all ignorant and don’t care about the people around us. It’s simply not true.

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Does Politics Really Matter?

It always seems to be around the holidays that my mind wanders to a particularly perplexing question – perplexing, at least, to someone who has dedicated a significant portion of his life to studying and joining the political process: That is, to what extent, in the grand scheme of things, does politics actually matter?

Those of us who breathe – or oftentimes regurgitate – political philosophy can certainly think that talk of public goods theory and the federal government’s fiscal role in our macroeconomic landscape, of the inerrancy of natural rights and the characteristics of federalism, is important; and perhaps, in an indubitable sense, it is. But then I run into a piece of artwork as uplifting as The Sound of Music or as poignant as The Catcher in the Rye, and I remember that the hills are not, in fact, alive with the sound of political discourse – nor is it legitimate to place oneself in Holden Caulfield’s shoes by imagining what it’d be like to catch absentminded politicians as they fall from cliffs. Indeed, there is a reason that the hills are alive with the sound of music, that Holden envisions “these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all” – and it all has to do with reasoning that is far more important and fundamental than politics; it all leads me to believe that, when compared with something as treasurable as art, politics is ultimately frivolous. The conclusion is preachy, but nonetheless basic and critical: As conservatives, we must see politics merely as the protection of things that are vastly more worthy of our attention and important to our lives as individuals, rather than as a subject of unfettered fixation.

The sublime, resolute, conflict-ridden music of Ludwig van Beethoven is an apt illustration of the transcendence of art, explaining why I will always choose the experience of music over that of politics and its frustrating cohorts. In 1802, Germany’s (and many music fanatics’) most beloved composer wrote what is one of the most heartbreaking and compelling admissions in the history of Western music – known in the scholarly world as the Heiligenstadt Testament – which details a period in Beethoven’s life in which he grew increasingly depressed at losing his hearing. The letter to his brothers suggests something about the creation and experience of art amidst struggle that is, in the deepest sense, profound:

Oh you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you … think that for six years now I have been hopelessly afflicted, made worse by senseless physicians, from year to year deceived with hopes of improvement, finally compelled to face the prospect of a lasting malady … I was soon compelled to withdraw to myself, to live alone. If at times I tried to forget all this, oh how harshly was I flung back by the doubly sad experience of my bad hearing … I must live almost alone, like one who has been banished … Such incidents drove me almost to despair; a little more of that and I would have ended my life – it was only my art that held me back.

It was only my art that held me back - I cannot imagine a more endearing or earnest view of the purposes of art, which so captivates the psyche that even the saddest person who is sufficiently in touch with it can survive past torment, devastation, and utter loss. The realization seems to me to be an obvious one: Politics does not operate on the same spiritual level of existence as does art, such that its involvement can alleviate the qualms of life to the same extent as can a trip to the symphony, quiet time with a great piece of literature, or AMC’s latest miniseries. We would all do well, I think, to keep that in mind.

It is true, anyway, that the words of the Heiligenstadt Testament reveal Beethoven as a man who was not only temperamental in his interactions with people (perhaps as a result of his personality and his father’s draconian treatment of him during childhood), but who was also sufficiently depressed at his bad health and hearing loss – he was, after all, a musical prodigy – that he was tempted to take his own life. One can only shudder at the implications: The loss of some of the most precious music in our collective repertory, as well as the diminished effect on scores of great composers in the nineteenth century and beyond who looked to Beethoven as a hallmark of something powerful in music-making.

According to the composer, himself, it was his art that kept him motivated through all the emotional instability of that fragile time in his life. Indeed, only two years following his writing of the Heiligenstadt Testament, Beethoven created a symphony (his third) that both fulfilled and upset the presiding classical traditions of Viennese music – that has the ability to beat you into submission with its tragedy and uplift you into awe with its heroism – even while his musical aptitude faced a rather sizable obstacle in partial deafness. When you listen, in particular, to the funerary second movement – considering all of Beethoven’s struggles and frustrations, his moments of defeat and of exceeding triumph – it would be impossible not to marvel not only at the skill and power of his composing, but also at the extent to which he used music to understand and transmit to sound human crisis. If anything, Beethoven’s third symphony comes across as a complete representation of the power of art and of the beauty inherent to its process of distracting us from the trivialities of everyday life: When, in listening, you reach the heroic and confident final movement, you have utterly forgotten about politics (or else you were not listening properly) and you have been reminded of the substance that truly matters – it has nothing to do with the things that only count inasmuch as they buttress the experience of higher goods.

Beethoven’s suicidal tendencies were tragic, but if they, in conjunction with his hearing loss, helped yield music like the third, fifth, seventh, and ninth symphonies, the whole musical world is behooved to say a prayer of thanks. As a major biographical harbinger of the composer’s struggle, the Heiligenstadt Testament seems to serve the critical purpose of focusing its readers’ attentions away from the petty, in favor of the existential and the poignant; for conservatives, it ought to remind us that we sometimes see politics in a way that is actually contrary to what we believe to be the role of political operation in the first place. After all, rampant political activity can turn even the most libertarian among us into creatures obsessed with using the instrument of government to fill the voids in our lives that Beethoven’s music or Shakespeare’s poetry or Newton’s theorems would normally fulfill.

All in all, art is an amusing thing: There is some that acts primarily as a sort of social commentary or political calculus, meant to challenge or critique conventional thought – that affects the way in which one considers the everyday, practical problems of life. And then there is the art that manages to cast aside the often inane issues of politics in order to uncover that which is primal and blisteringly human – the sort that can uplift you to experiential sublimity and resonance or crush you into a deep and overwhelming sadness, such that you cannot help but forget the pettiness of all of society’s otiose quibbles. The whole point is that we all should ask for as much as possible of the latter: I cannot help but question the sanity of anyone who listens to the second movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony – who momentarily pictures Cormac McCarthy’s wasted landscape in The Road - and does not drop whatever it is that he is doing in order to experience such profound meditation upon the nature of the human condition. Likewise, the conservative who bypasses The Great Gatsby for Mitt Romney’s latest expose on American exceptionalism is in need of serious self-consideration.

In the end, I think it absolutely critical that those of us who are politically-minded remember that politics exists merely to protect the elements of life that truly matter – to safeguard the religious, the artistic, the intellectual, the scientific, and the familial from the clumsy and overbearing hands of oppressive governments, which constantly attempt to chip away at the vibrancy of their citizens’ lives. The moment that conservatives begin to too much treat political operation and tact as ends, in and of themselves, instead of means to a freer and more prosperous society is the exact moment in which they lose the very substantive heart of the conservative philosophy. After all, to be artistic or intellectual or quantitative – indeed, to be thoughtful at all – is to firmly declare your individualism in the midst of politicians who would take it away and declare themselves prescient over your course of life, even if their models for doing so are grossly inefficient, outdated, and fundamentally perverse. Politics of all sorts is intoxicating, and not in a good way: We all ought to commit ourselves to Kevin Williamson’s wise maxim that “the fundamental political problem is politics itself.”

Author’s Disclaimer: If you were to replace every reference to art in this article with a reference to Christian teaching, the article’s underlying premise would be even truer. Although I often forget, Christianity is to art as art is to politics – without the unifying narrative that the Bible teaches, or the idea that God inspires intellectual and artistic pursuits of all sorts as a way of glorifying and learning about Him, art, like life in general, loses most of its resonance, purpose, and power.

Article Source: Beethoven by Maynard Solomon

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To Catch a Liberally Biased Professor

By Frank Pray, Editor

 

American Academia seems a hollowed out shell of what it once was.  At one time, professors taught young Americans how to think for themselves, how to be entrepreneurs, and how to build this country into the greatest nation on Earth.  Now, many professors teach them that “old, angry, white men with reactionary views on race is a key part of the GOP Base.”  This lovely understanding of the electorate comes from Jonathan Zasloff, a Professor at the UCLA School of Law on a Facebook post comparing the recent scandal with Republican Congressman Steve Scalise to the scandal former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott found himself embroiled in after comments he made at a birthday parter for former Senator Strom Thurmond. 

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In the thread, Professor Zasloff engaged in what can only be described as an argument (as it lacked any factual evidence necessary for a debate) with the Editor of the Carolina Review, Frank Pray.   Through the use of two examples of questionable veracity, Professor Zasloff attempted to portray the majority of the GOP base as racist, grumpy, intolerant, and homogeneously white.

While it is true that white men do make up a significant proportion of the Republican base, they do not make it up in it’s entirety. Additionally, there is no way you can quantify what the white men who comprise this group believe, other than what is in the official platform of the Republican Party. It is simply ridiculous conjecture to state that they are reactionary about race and hint that they are racists or hold racist tendencies. However, this ridiculous line of thinking is one that is all too common in the minds of many liberal professors.  They claim to be some of the most tolerant and open-minded people, slamming the placing of labels on any group, yet when it comes to those they disagree with, they are the first to place labels, showing incredible intolerance. One can only hope that this type of hatred and ignorance is not what Professor Zasloff shows to conservative students in his classroom.

Unfortunately, the Facebook post and following thread have since been removed, but the Carolina Review was able to get screenshots before it was taken down. Below is the Facebook thread in it’s entirety. If you are easily angered by incredible generalizations and liberal intolerance, you may want to skip reading this one.

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The Irony of “Liberal”

In a lecture he gave to the Kansas City Public Library, Kevin Williamson, a writer for National Review magazine, alluded to a stark and pernicious element that underlies modern political rhetoric, emphasizing the importance of “call[ing] politics by its true name” – not only so that we can have sensible public discourse about public policy and its effects, but also so that we can understand the political world in a larger and more fundamental sense. Williamson proceeded to conclude with exasperation: “People who want to return us to 1930s-style central-planning policies that have their origins in the administration of Bismarck are progressives … [people] who, under the guise of civil rights law, would like to tell you from their offices in Washington D.C. how you have to run your bakery in rural Colorado.” As Williamson pointedly intimated, we call these people liberal, perversely enough, and have allowed the development of a blistering irony, wherein our contemporary descriptive rhetoric has become so problematic that it looks to those who wish to invest the federal government with the power to determine wage rates – to those who support the President’s policy of changing immigration law without the consent of Congress – and attributes them the title, “liberal.”

If anything, Williamson seemed to be indicating a particularly discouraging and sobering reality about the current political theater – that people simply no longer know what liberalism is and that they have been goaded by Democrats into thinking that the name is an ideological fashion statement, worn upon one’s proverbial sleeve.

But if any definition of liberalism is to be honored, it is Thomas Jefferson’s, a man who in my mind will always rank as one of the United States’ most thoughtful political thinkers. Jefferson once wrote that “rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others,” classifying a liberal as someone who upholds that and other enlightenment principles which reiterate government as an extension of a body of citizens – a body that is refulgent with the natural rights to which Jefferson, himself, referred in the Declaration. Williamson’s original statements can accordingly be restructured as such: Modern liberals, as represented in the political world by someone like Barack Obama or in the media realm by a journalist like Rachel Maddow, are not liberal – in fact, they do not even resemble true liberalism in any recognizable sense. Instead, modern liberals are among the most illiberal members of the legitimate political world, and our confusion of rhetoric in referring to them with a word related to liberty is a thing to be mourned.

So what do these modern liberals mean when they discuss their supposedly liberal ideas? Do they mean that the proper expression of liberty is one that excludes economic freedom, but simultaneously allows women to sanction a doctor to dismember a fetus without repercussion? Does it mean that the lazy can freely smoke marijuana, as long as the drug is provided equally by a coercive, bureaucratic body that taxes the middle class into extinction? Astonishingly, because modern liberals are merely disguised “illiberals” who despise individual devices and the laissez-faire mindset, the answer seems to be an emphatic “yes.” And thus we get the gross irony of the current political system – that those who are most hostile to its original constitutional and republican bases are the same politicians who have duped us all into calling them “liberal,” as if they had any respect for liberty in the first place.

Such disrespect for the notion of liberty seems to me to find its home on the college campus, where progressivism is so overwhelming that the few conservatives who live there are forced to purge themselves daily by reading National Review and by watching an hour of Fox News after classes. Indeed, there’s a reason that it is rare to encounter conservatives at state schools and elite, private institutions all over the country, and it would be a mistake to chalk it up to the Republicans’ poor social media skills: When a clueless, eighteen-year-old freshman strolls around campus his first year as student-life organizations of all sorts yell at him to support the newest environmental fad, to what extent can you expect him to avoid the actions he needs to undergo in order to be an accepted entity? He will be told over and over again that Republicans are evil, that conservatives hate poor people, and that southerners are politically ignorant – not just by misunderstood students, but also by professors with intellectual chips on their shoulders, who in turn make it difficult for anyone to escape such a predetermined political route in challenging the glib assumptions held by women’s studies majors or abortion fanatics. For those on the left who grace college campuses nationwide, the goal is to ensure the survival of their ridiculous maxim that liberalism has nothing to do with the pursuit of policies that limit the federal government’s scope, but everything to do with pitiful social acceptance and integration. In their arena, “liberal” becomes a social category that aspires to frivolously free thought defined only by an immature hatred of conventional thinking. It is a title that describes teenagers who look back to their parents and think, “I’m going to believe the exact opposite of what you do, simply because you are old, I am young, and I want to be cool.”

That statement is the essence of college-aged liberalism – a childish notion of freedom from one’s elders that is inextricably linked to the nectar of invigorating rebellion and the absence of personal responsibility. But more than that, modern liberals have managed to redefine their “ism” as a hallmark of postmodern acceptance within a thoroughly confused, religious world: Under the guise of tolerance, Elizabeth Warren-esque political operators scream about feelings and grievance – playing the victims to everyone else’s blatant ignorance – while all the while they prove themselves to be absolute enemies of diversity of thought, basking in their cocooned, intellectual sphere. Why else would there be such constant opposition to inviting speakers of a conservative bent, even if those speakers have had experiences that warrant relation on a college campus? Why else do they tolerate those angst-filled protestors – garish teenagers who will actually binge-drink themselves into oblivion because they know their parents would disapprove – who dress in all-black like Hamlet as they arrogantly declare, “I have that within which passeth show”? In a profound sense, modern liberals have allowed – indeed, caused – the notion of liberalism to mean not individualism or responsible self-determination, but rather the propensity to replace dignity with incessant complaint and hyper-sensitivity.

In the context of the current political debate, liberals have also been the troglodytes whose sole mission has been the cultivation of government dependence, touted under the misleading pretense of compassion and social justice – whose “well-intentioned” desires have created a sizable class of dependents that look to the government for their every move and that live with the depressing options put before them by obsequious bureaucrats. What a conversation it would be to tell Jefferson and Madison and Adams that liberals are those who stare in the eyes of the American people and make baseless financial promises about the probability of the welfare state’s survival – only to characterize the true champions of liberty as heartless Machiavellians whose understanding of the world is hampered by greed and materialism. The irony is obvious when you consider that the necessities of living a proud life cushioned by liberty are the very principles that are ever eroding in the face of liberal tactics.

Never has this proclivity for government dependence been better illustrated than by the Democrats’ recent advertising of a fictitious Julia – a woman whose entire life is bolstered by government intervention, formed by the manipulative hands of central-planners, and set into motion by expansive social programming. According to the advertisers’ perverse messaging, President Obama acts the role of the proverbial father of every man and child in the United States, waiting with his credit card to proliferate federal manna to a people hungry because his policies have obliterated wealth-creating, free-market incentives. Indeed, the arrogance is overwhelming, and it is a bit difficult to imagine how the beneficiaries of the “liberal” title can honestly continue to refer to themselves as such, especially when their entire motivation is centered on the flippant undermining of the American vision – to have the federal government so involved in the lives of its citizens that it flaunts the services it provides with taxpayer money as if it were some collective messiah here to transform us into heavenly angels. And it wouldn’t bother President Obama one bit to know that the founders would be crying if they could witness this profound transformation: To liberals the likes of him, liberalism means sacrificing individualism for collectivism, placing equality over liberty in the hierarchy of priorities, and using the federal government as an end-all to enforce their frightening conception of utopia.

This is all not to mention the most economically devastating aspect of modern liberals’ redefinition of liberalism: their obsession with centralization and federal standardization, as manifest in such horrors as the EPA and Common Core, its top-down vision of education reminiscent of something the Soviet Union may have attempted. The idea of allowing a federal entity to form a singular model or standard of performance and to force it down the throats of millions of people who live, act, and think differently is the defining aspect of the illiberal mindset – granting misguided bureaucrats the authority to exercise a position that they could not, under any circumstances, fulfill in any laudable sense. But when you have an ideology that cares primarily about control, the importance of implementing diverse standards – indeed, of eliminating fruitless and expansive models of all kinds – is lost to a seething vision of bureaucratic largess. The end result is that federalism morphs from an assurance of freedom to a useless antiquity – one with an outdated spirit of localization that ought to be cast aside in favor of unmitigated federal autonomy.

To condense, the irony of “liberal” is that the politicos who operate under the title’s contemporary classification manage to profoundly violate everything that classical liberalism signifies in the context of government: Modern liberalism is not a well-wrought philosophy, but rather a label that is paraded in academic circles among students who have nothing better to do than study every conceivable manifestation of grievance in the known world. Ultimately, the process of studying politics teaches that, in the context of the progressive left, liberalism means nothing – it is a clever front which used to mean something to real thinkers and sincere citizens, but that has now been corrupted by big-government sycophants like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid whose addiction to government is downright dangerous.

I would simply ask that the individuals who continue to cause this evolution admit that which is demonstrably true – that they are progressives of a most illiberal and pandering sort.

 

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Ferguson, Gardner, and the Convenient Narrative

When thinking about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Gardner, there is a particularly important statistic to remember in the face of Al Sharpton and his exercise of theatrics, traipsing around the hotbeds of civil conflict like some rebellious figurehead: Something like ninety-three percent of the black murders that occur in the United States are perpetrated by black offenders, as found in a 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics Report – not by white police officers or Hispanic vigilantes or the racially ambiguous face of “The Man,” but by criminals who, it would seem, are flustered with motivation entirely independent of race. And even for the other seven percent, I have yet to read a convincing, evidenced case that rampant racism plays a significant role in their occurrence. No matter, though – to the astute media analysts whose hysteric reactions to both of these situations has resembled a pitiful display of deceptive bias and frivolous conclusion-making, such a harrowing statistic matters little. Why? Because, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t contribute to the narrative that it is their pitiful job to create – a false narrative which makes it seem as if the United States is still suffering from entrenched institutional racism, despite all the evidence that shows otherwise.

The uncomfortable reality is that the death of Eric Gardner and what it tells us about the relationships between communities and their police officers is not one that can simply be conflated with what happened in Ferguson. Indeed, it does not stand to reason that if one was motivated by a white officer’s deep-seated, racial hatred, the other must have been, too – you might as well claim that because some people voted for President Obama as a direct result of his skin color, everybody must have, which itself is an entirely imperfect metaphor due to the fact that neither Michael Brown’s nor Eric Gardner’s death came about as a result of being black (don’t take my word for it, look at the evidence and at specific comments that have been made by Gardner’s family). As such, it is absolutely necessary that we treat these two terrible events in turn – looking at them from an objective point of view so as to avoid the incoherent and false ranting that has unfortunately characterized the contributions of many.

With regard to Gardner, we have specific video evidence which shows his albeit large frame surrounded by several police officers who are attempting to arrest him for the sale of “loose” cigarettes – single cigarettes instead of packs, the sale of which is illegal in Staten Island. In the process, Gardner visibly resists officers’ subdual of him, and as a result, he is placed in a choke-hold, the strength and longevity of which eventually cause his death. So, the question remains: Was the police officer’s use of force excessive considering Gardner’s offense and the number of officers there to ensure each other’s safety? Or was it completely within his right to do so, even though Gardner was unarmed and surrounded by able-bodied, police backup?

You can probably guess at my opinion from my framing of the questions – that I think the officer’s use of force was not only excessive, but also worthy of a manslaughter conviction, in the least. After all, the video clearly illustrates the officers’ legitimate control of the situation: they had Gardner surrounded, they were armed and he wasn’t, and there was the notable absence of any significant threat to innocent bystanders. The idea that an officer should be able to use such lethal force in such a situation is, I think, borderline abominable – not to mention that Gardner’s crime was so benign that there is a legitimate concern as to whether or not he should have been approached in the first place. The point is that there is a reasonable case that the grand jury’s interpretation of the events that transpired – and luckily, we have them on video – is somewhat spurious in its willingness to give the officers the benefit of the doubt. The evidence is quite clear, and we don’t have to rely on ambiguous and suspect eyewitness reports from people who are self-contradictory and unsure. With that being said, there is still no reason to believe that race fueled the officer’s apparent aggressiveness – it’s a distinct possibility, of course, but a positive claim about such a charged event that carries with it damaging implications is, accordingly, in need of positive, definitive evidence. Here, there doesn’t seem to be any – only the affective narrative of respected men like President Obama, who is actually sufficiently daft to suggest that Gardner’s death illustrates the persistence of racial animus and the necessity of more and more meaningless dialogue.

On the other hand, the situation that has unfolded in Ferguson is entirely dependent upon ridiculous and flippant interpretations of evidence – evidence that overwhelmingly points to Officer Darren Wilson’s innocence, but that is ignored at the pernicious discretion of Sharpton and his cronies. The suggestion of the evidence is simple enough: After having violently robbed a convenience store and been determined dangerous and on the run by police, Michael Brown was confronted by Wilson, who eventually was forced to use his gun in a deadly yet self-protective manner. The narrative furthered by protestors regarding Brown’s hands-up stance is not only irresponsible and facile because of the unreliable nature of the suggesting witness’ testimony, but also stunningly ignorant because of the forensic analysis which was conducted for the grand jury. As unfortunate as it is, we have no video available to show us directly the on-goings that led to Brown’s shooting, but we do, indeed, have witness reports, forensic evidence, ballistics, and a legal system that refuses to function on emotion – all of which suggest that the decision to not indict Wilson was the correct one.

It seems appropriate, then, to ask the protestors – who once more claim that Wilson was both unjustified in his use of force and brutally racist in his motivation for doing so – whether or not they would prefer a justice system that reviews evidence, but brews decisions within a cesspool of uninformed public opinion, emotive accusation, and egregious, witch-trial trickery. I, for one, am horrified by the willingness of many to crucify evidence in favor of the construction of a patently false, politically expedient narrative – to ignore that which is demonstrably true and instead air on the side of that which they wish to be true, for purposes of outrage.

You see, the difference between the typical conservative and the typical liberal response to these situations is that the Democrats see black deaths within a torrent of political opportunism, which, if they fail to use, will force them to focus on issues that will actually help the black community. No matter the extent to which the country continues to evolve on race – no matter the extent to which its citizens attempt to share constructive dialogue – Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will always be there to trump up the situation to serve their diabolic purposes. After all, upon what else do their careers thrive? Haven’t you heard in the news that Sharpton has some serious tax debt to pay? As long as that remains the case, the dialogue that credible members of both sides of the aisle try to proffer will proceed in absolute phoniness and insincerity – based upon the idea that our country is a bad place for black people, who must always look over their shoulders should a draconian, white cop begin to follow.

The bottom line is that it is patently irresponsible for the media to act like virtual merchants charged with bandying about the issue of race as if it were a currency. But that’s just the thing: for many liberals, race is a political currency which distracts from a variety of issues of significantly increased purport. Democrats hear Republicans all the time talk about things such as single-motherhood, the breakup of the black family, the nature of the welfare state and government dependence, the state of the economy in minority communities, the educational system, and gang culture; but all they seem to do in the meantime is think to themselves, “How boring! Those issues can’t headline campaign commercials …”

And then they spill out into the streets to protest.

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