Zhee Whiz

Looking for Hate in the Wrong Places

Expanding on the growing institutional campaign to use gender-neutral pronouns, the University of Tennessee has confected up some new ones:

Students are increasingly coming to college ill prepared to do the work required, and the (overstaffed) administrations are still piddling about inventing new ways to tongue-tie pupils, ignoring that the English language – unlike, for example, Romance-based ones, Hebrew, Greek, and German – is remarkably devoid of gender specificity except for the basic pronouns, which clarify meaning.  Try this out with zhee: Tom and Mary went to school.  Zhee passed; zhee flunked out.  Who?

Not tongue-tied is the odious Louis Farrakhan, friend of many top Democrats, including Keith Ellison, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Democratic Congressman Danny Davis, and former president Obama.

This past week, Farrakhan unleashed a ridiculous diatribe to an audience, which included one of the leaders of the upcoming Women's March (several of whom have allied with him)...to silence from Democrats and those who find aggressions and microaggressions even in ordinary grammar:

During the speech in Chicago, Farrakhan made several anti-Semitic comments, including, "the powerful Jews are my enemy."

"White folks are going down.  And Satan is going down.  And Farrakhan, by God's grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I'm here to say your time is up, your world is through," he later said.

It's impossible for me to take issue with Jake Tapper's tweeted observation:

The difference between Farrakhan and some members of the alt-reich whose heinous bigotry has received a lot of attention this past year: Farrakhan has a much larger following and elected officials meet with him openly.

Congressman Don Young remarked this week that had European Jews been armed, they might have defended themselves and been able to save many.

The ADL responded by asserting that it is "offensive for anyone to manipulate the history of the Holocaust to score political points."

"It is mind-bending to suggest that personal firearms in the hands of the small number of Germany's Jews (about 214,000 remaining in Germany in 1938) could have stopped the totalitarian onslaught of Nazi Germany when the armies of Poland, France, Belgium and numerous other countries were overwhelmed by the Third Reich," said Jonathan Greenblatt, the group's chief executive, in a statement to The Washington Post.

Young's statement is strikingly like Condoleezza Rice's remarks on The View that had the people in her black neighborhood been forced to register their arms, Bull Connor would have confiscated them, and the community would have been defenseless against the Night Riders who beset them. 

And Greenblatt's perfervid retort came in the same week we learned the leaders of Israel's Jews had been begging for weapons to join the British in fighting off the Nazis:

Two days after Churchill assumed office, [Chaim] Weizmann published a proclamation in The Times of London that the Jewish people stood ready to assist Britain, and he proposed a Jewish force of 50,000 men.  [Ze'ev] Jabotinsky cabled Churchill directly, offering to organize an army of 100,000 from the half-million stateless Jews in the world and Jewish volunteers.  Ben-Gurion told the British there were "tens of thousands of young Jews" in Palestine eager to fight as British allies.

Ten days after these offers, Churchill directed his cabinet that the Jews in Palestine "be armed in their own defense, and properly organized as speedily as possible," because Churchill wanted "to liberate the eleven battalions of excellent Regular [British] troops who are now tethered" in Palestine, charged with preventing Arab attacks on the Jews, and move those British battalions elsewhere, where they were desperately needed. ...

Jabotinsky told the crowd that "every division may now prove decisive," and that an army of 100,000 Jewish soldiers could be formed – "even without counting American Jews."  There was still time, he said, for decisive changes, provided "we all remember the principle by which all great nations live ... the principle which is the secret of our own Jewish people's survival through all these centuries of torture: No Surrender."  The Times quoted him as challenging Jewish youth throughout the world to "demand the right of fighting the giant rattlesnake."

Weizmann, Jabotinsky and Ben-Gurion spent a total of 11 months in America during 1940, pursuing support for a Jewish army to join the fight against Hitler.  They didn't succeed, in part because of a fractured Zionist movement; in part because of British bureaucratic resistance; and in part because much of American Jewry was worried – not without cause – about false accusations of "warmongering" and "dual loyalty" from anti-Semites such as Charles Lindbergh, Father Coughlin, Henry Ford and similar influential American figures.

What bears remembering, however, is not the result, but the heroic effort.  The 1940 campaign to assist Britain, at the lowest military moment of World War II, to join what the Zionist leaders knew was an existential fight not only for Britain but Jewry as well, and indeed for Western civilization, is an important part of the saga of the war – a little-known story from the time when the Jewish people faced their own darkest hour.

The Game of Victims and Oppressors

The pretzeling of language to fit ideas of victims and oppressors is part and parcel of the simplistic reordering of the world into victims and oppressors, noted by Victor Davis Hanson, who had a fine piece this past week in American Greatness.  Reviewing the circular firing squads aimed at Nancy Pelosi, Tavis Smiley, and the producers of Black Panther, he argues:

The concept of "disparate impact" is asterisked by the disproportional "meritocracy" of the NFL or NBA.  Yet meritocratic Asian admittances at UC Berkeley are seen as some sort of unnatural "overrepresentation," and thus in the past were carefully and stealthily trimmed.  (Isn't a professional sports billet considered far more lucrative than an undergraduate slot at Berkeley?)

Cultural appropriation aimed at whites is not reciprocal.  The doctrine does not absurdly mean that Latinas should not dye their hair blond, or that talented African-Americans should not become great violinists or opera singers, or that Asian actors should not play Hamlet or Lady Macbeth.  But strangely, it does mean that those who are not minorities should not play minority roles, or even adopt for their own the fashions and styles of nonwhite peoples.

We are told that the concealing and carrying of firearms should be outlawed.  Armed guards at schools only ensure greater violence.  Mace and pepper spray suffice instead of bullets.

Yet politicians, celebrities and marquee athletes require well-armed bodyguards, on the premise that in their unique cases, guns really do both deter and in extremis protect the important.  Do armed guards protect or provoke?

Post-Freddie Grey Baltimore has become a far more dangerous place for African-Americans and for small business owners – even as once oppressive and supposedly Neanderthal police became more socially aware and adopted enlightened reforms.

There are a few common denominators to all these paradoxes that overwhelm the daily news.

One, people are people, unique individuals, not monolithic cut-outs of classes, races, or religions.

Two, in comparative global terms, it is hard for anyone to be oppressed in a free-wheeling, rich, and leisured 21st-century America.  The efforts to appear so can hinge on the embarrassing.

Three, when movements, such as the identity politics core of progressivism, rely on shared oppressions, and when the categories of the oppressed in many demographic groups outnumber the available oppressors, we should expect a confused competition of grievances.

Four, victimhood cannot serve as the basis of a viable political movement.  Contemporary oppression requires a Byzantine regulatory handbook of qualifications, exceptions, and nuances to rank competing reparatory claims on society and culture.  How else to account for things like multibillionaire Oprah Winfrey being "discriminated" against in a Swiss boutique on the basis of supposedly not easily being accorded a customer's look at a $38,000 crocodile-skin handbag?  And is such a luxury even permissible in the era of PETA.

Years ago, Sultan Knish predicted this:

The Victim Value Index is calculated based on one overriding factor: Disruptiveness. Those who are most disruptive go to the head of the line.  This can be mistaken for a "Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease" phenomenon, and occasionally in the micro it is, but in the macro it goes to the question of why progressives value minorities and for what purpose.

To be a progressive is to be committed to perpetual reform in the name of perpetual grievance for perpetual power."

Speaking of circular firing squads, former community organizer Barack Obama's plan for a Memorial Mesoamerican Ballgame and Basketball Court library without books is running into heavy opposition from Chicago community organizers who are using the same tactics he used against "the establishment" against him.

Looking for Hate in the Wrong Places

Expanding on the growing institutional campaign to use gender-neutral pronouns, the University of Tennessee has confected up some new ones:

Students are increasingly coming to college ill prepared to do the work required, and the (overstaffed) administrations are still piddling about inventing new ways to tongue-tie pupils, ignoring that the English language – unlike, for example, Romance-based ones, Hebrew, Greek, and German – is remarkably devoid of gender specificity except for the basic pronouns, which clarify meaning.  Try this out with zhee: Tom and Mary went to school.  Zhee passed; zhee flunked out.  Who?

Not tongue-tied is the odious Louis Farrakhan, friend of many top Democrats, including Keith Ellison, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Democratic Congressman Danny Davis, and former president Obama.

This past week, Farrakhan unleashed a ridiculous diatribe to an audience, which included one of the leaders of the upcoming Women's March (several of whom have allied with him)...to silence from Democrats and those who find aggressions and microaggressions even in ordinary grammar:

During the speech in Chicago, Farrakhan made several anti-Semitic comments, including, "the powerful Jews are my enemy."

"White folks are going down.  And Satan is going down.  And Farrakhan, by God's grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I'm here to say your time is up, your world is through," he later said.

It's impossible for me to take issue with Jake Tapper's tweeted observation:

The difference between Farrakhan and some members of the alt-reich whose heinous bigotry has received a lot of attention this past year: Farrakhan has a much larger following and elected officials meet with him openly.

Congressman Don Young remarked this week that had European Jews been armed, they might have defended themselves and been able to save many.

The ADL responded by asserting that it is "offensive for anyone to manipulate the history of the Holocaust to score political points."

"It is mind-bending to suggest that personal firearms in the hands of the small number of Germany's Jews (about 214,000 remaining in Germany in 1938) could have stopped the totalitarian onslaught of Nazi Germany when the armies of Poland, France, Belgium and numerous other countries were overwhelmed by the Third Reich," said Jonathan Greenblatt, the group's chief executive, in a statement to The Washington Post.

Young's statement is strikingly like Condoleezza Rice's remarks on The View that had the people in her black neighborhood been forced to register their arms, Bull Connor would have confiscated them, and the community would have been defenseless against the Night Riders who beset them. 

And Greenblatt's perfervid retort came in the same week we learned the leaders of Israel's Jews had been begging for weapons to join the British in fighting off the Nazis:

Two days after Churchill assumed office, [Chaim] Weizmann published a proclamation in The Times of London that the Jewish people stood ready to assist Britain, and he proposed a Jewish force of 50,000 men.  [Ze'ev] Jabotinsky cabled Churchill directly, offering to organize an army of 100,000 from the half-million stateless Jews in the world and Jewish volunteers.  Ben-Gurion told the British there were "tens of thousands of young Jews" in Palestine eager to fight as British allies.

Ten days after these offers, Churchill directed his cabinet that the Jews in Palestine "be armed in their own defense, and properly organized as speedily as possible," because Churchill wanted "to liberate the eleven battalions of excellent Regular [British] troops who are now tethered" in Palestine, charged with preventing Arab attacks on the Jews, and move those British battalions elsewhere, where they were desperately needed. ...

Jabotinsky told the crowd that "every division may now prove decisive," and that an army of 100,000 Jewish soldiers could be formed – "even without counting American Jews."  There was still time, he said, for decisive changes, provided "we all remember the principle by which all great nations live ... the principle which is the secret of our own Jewish people's survival through all these centuries of torture: No Surrender."  The Times quoted him as challenging Jewish youth throughout the world to "demand the right of fighting the giant rattlesnake."

Weizmann, Jabotinsky and Ben-Gurion spent a total of 11 months in America during 1940, pursuing support for a Jewish army to join the fight against Hitler.  They didn't succeed, in part because of a fractured Zionist movement; in part because of British bureaucratic resistance; and in part because much of American Jewry was worried – not without cause – about false accusations of "warmongering" and "dual loyalty" from anti-Semites such as Charles Lindbergh, Father Coughlin, Henry Ford and similar influential American figures.

What bears remembering, however, is not the result, but the heroic effort.  The 1940 campaign to assist Britain, at the lowest military moment of World War II, to join what the Zionist leaders knew was an existential fight not only for Britain but Jewry as well, and indeed for Western civilization, is an important part of the saga of the war – a little-known story from the time when the Jewish people faced their own darkest hour.

The Game of Victims and Oppressors

The pretzeling of language to fit ideas of victims and oppressors is part and parcel of the simplistic reordering of the world into victims and oppressors, noted by Victor Davis Hanson, who had a fine piece this past week in American Greatness.  Reviewing the circular firing squads aimed at Nancy Pelosi, Tavis Smiley, and the producers of Black Panther, he argues:

The concept of "disparate impact" is asterisked by the disproportional "meritocracy" of the NFL or NBA.  Yet meritocratic Asian admittances at UC Berkeley are seen as some sort of unnatural "overrepresentation," and thus in the past were carefully and stealthily trimmed.  (Isn't a professional sports billet considered far more lucrative than an undergraduate slot at Berkeley?)

Cultural appropriation aimed at whites is not reciprocal.  The doctrine does not absurdly mean that Latinas should not dye their hair blond, or that talented African-Americans should not become great violinists or opera singers, or that Asian actors should not play Hamlet or Lady Macbeth.  But strangely, it does mean that those who are not minorities should not play minority roles, or even adopt for their own the fashions and styles of nonwhite peoples.

We are told that the concealing and carrying of firearms should be outlawed.  Armed guards at schools only ensure greater violence.  Mace and pepper spray suffice instead of bullets.

Yet politicians, celebrities and marquee athletes require well-armed bodyguards, on the premise that in their unique cases, guns really do both deter and in extremis protect the important.  Do armed guards protect or provoke?

Post-Freddie Grey Baltimore has become a far more dangerous place for African-Americans and for small business owners – even as once oppressive and supposedly Neanderthal police became more socially aware and adopted enlightened reforms.

There are a few common denominators to all these paradoxes that overwhelm the daily news.

One, people are people, unique individuals, not monolithic cut-outs of classes, races, or religions.

Two, in comparative global terms, it is hard for anyone to be oppressed in a free-wheeling, rich, and leisured 21st-century America.  The efforts to appear so can hinge on the embarrassing.

Three, when movements, such as the identity politics core of progressivism, rely on shared oppressions, and when the categories of the oppressed in many demographic groups outnumber the available oppressors, we should expect a confused competition of grievances.

Four, victimhood cannot serve as the basis of a viable political movement.  Contemporary oppression requires a Byzantine regulatory handbook of qualifications, exceptions, and nuances to rank competing reparatory claims on society and culture.  How else to account for things like multibillionaire Oprah Winfrey being "discriminated" against in a Swiss boutique on the basis of supposedly not easily being accorded a customer's look at a $38,000 crocodile-skin handbag?  And is such a luxury even permissible in the era of PETA.

Years ago, Sultan Knish predicted this:

The Victim Value Index is calculated based on one overriding factor: Disruptiveness. Those who are most disruptive go to the head of the line.  This can be mistaken for a "Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease" phenomenon, and occasionally in the micro it is, but in the macro it goes to the question of why progressives value minorities and for what purpose.

To be a progressive is to be committed to perpetual reform in the name of perpetual grievance for perpetual power."

Speaking of circular firing squads, former community organizer Barack Obama's plan for a Memorial Mesoamerican Ballgame and Basketball Court library without books is running into heavy opposition from Chicago community organizers who are using the same tactics he used against "the establishment" against him.