Saturday, June 9, 2018

The High Price of Stale Grievances. By John Hinderaker

The High Price of Stale Grievances. By John Hinderaker
Excerpt: That is the title of this essay by Columbia undergraduate Coleman Hughes. The piece is quite brilliant. More than that, Hughes must be one of America’s bravest young men.
Hughes’s subject is the double standard that is so often applied in favor of African-Americans. He begins with an anecdote about being selected to back the singer Rihanna on the MTV Video Music Awards. Several of his friends were chosen as well, but one of them, a “white Hispanic,” was then discharged because the “artistic team had decided to go for an all-black aesthetic.”
One thing, however, is clear. If the races were reversed—if a black musician had been fired in order to achieve an all-white aesthetic—it would have made front page headlines. It would have been seen as an unambiguous moral infraction. ...Though the question seems na├»ve to some, it is in fact perfectly valid to ask why black people can get away with behavior that white people can’t. The progressive response to this question invariably contains some reference to history: blacks were taken from their homeland in chains, forced to work as chattel for 250 years, and then subjected to redlining, segregation, and lynchings for another century. In the face of such a brutal past, many would argue, it is simply ignorant to complain about what modern-day blacks can get away with.
Yet there we were—young black men born decades after anything that could rightly be called ‘oppression’ had ended—benefitting from a social license bequeathed to us by a history that we have only experienced through textbooks and folklore. And my white Hispanic friend (who could have had a tougher life than all of us, for all I know) paid the price. The underlying logic of using the past to justify racial double-standards in the present is rarely interrogated. What do slavery and Jim Crow have to do with modern-day blacks, who experienced neither? Do all black people have P.T.S.D from racism, as the Grammy and Emmy award-winning artist Donald Glover recently claimed? Is ancestral suffering actually transmitted to descendants? If so, how? What exactly are historical ‘ties’ made of?
Hughes goes on to describe less benign instances of what can fairly be described as black racism from writers Michael Eric Dyson and Ta-Nehisi Coates, who exemplify “the lower ethical standard to which black writers are held.” Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t end with would-be intellectuals:
By itself, the fact that black progressives like Dyson and Coates play by a different set of rules would not amount to a great societal injustice. But the biases of the chattering classes don’t stay put; they seep out into the general populace, setting the boundaries of polite conversation, and coloring the political landscape in which laws are crafted.
(This is the kind of thing that lets hope spring anew for me. That we have a man like this is such a tremendous encouragement and affirmation, it really, really makes my day. But now we all have to hope he survives the guaranteed avalanche of criticism and personal attacks that will be coming his way. BTW, I looked up and read his entire essay, it's just beyond outstanding. --Del)

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