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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air. Yes, listeners; this is your variably genial host John Derbyshire podcasting from Taki's private island here in the sun-kissed Aegean. I am here to bring you highlights from the week's news, with help from my very diligent and complaisant research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy, and my sound technicians Spiros, Nicholas, Konstantinis, Theophylaktos, and DeShawn. Many thanks to all of them.
This week's news offers yet more evidence, as if more were needed, that the people who hold power in this country regard our black population as spoiled children to be pampered, indulged, and appeased, but never corrected. Exhibit A: The hysteria over frat boys at the University of Oklahoma singing a rude song.
02 — Kicking against the pricks. Yes: You heard about it and read about it. Students from the chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma were on a bus last weekend, all dressed up in formal wear for some kind of function at a country club. To while away time on the journey, they sang one of their traditional fraternity songs. [Clip.]
My first reaction on hearing that song was a happy one.
My happiness didn't derive from musical pleasure delivered by the song itself. The song actually comes across as clunky. The tune requires a metrical pattern like this: duh-duh-DUH duh-duh-duh-DUH duh-duh-duh-DUH. The words the frat boys were trying to sing to the first, second, and last lines obliged them to squinch an extra syllable in there, with results that were not very satisfactory. If they'd sung: "There will never be a black at SAE …" they would have conveyed the same meaning with better scansion.
Surely the frat house has a copy of Boileau's L'Art poétique lying around somewhere?
No, it wasn't the composition itself that stirred me to happiness. It was the evidence on display there that the younger generation of white Americans, or at least some of them, are willing to buck the Cultural Marxist party line; the evidence, in other words, that years of indoctrination by leftist schoolteachers — feminist females and feminized males — doesn't always "take."
I've written more than one column deploring the fact that young people no longer want to vex their parents by scoffing at their values and attitudes. When I was young we had hippies who turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. Before that there were beatniks, who listened to jazz, smoked French cigarettes, and wore black turtleneck sweaters. Before that there was revolutionary leftism, well-brought-up young men and women running off to join anarchist cells. Before that there were Bohemians, who lived in garrets and wrote poems, painted pictures, and had children out of wedlock.
It goes way back, and the spirit of the thing was always the same: to kick against the pricks, to poke a finger in the eye of respectable bourgeois society, and to perform a kind of critical function on society's sacred cows.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of the bourgeois virtues; and I'm not such a fool as to think that an entire society could be sustained on bohemian principles. I want them there, though, as seasoning in the stew. If you purge them away, you're left with a flock of sheep, all going baa-aa-aaa! in unison. The bourgeois virtues can be stifling, if they are not sometimes questioned, contradicted, and, yes, mocked and jeered at.
I don't think you have a healthy society if it doesn't include some rebellion against bourgeois pomposity. I'm not talking about criminal rebellion, Clockwork Orange-style, or about white skinheads or black street thugs. I'm talking about a bunch of well-educated, well-dressed young white men mocking the idea that they must always and everywhere defer to the exquisitely delicate sensibilities of blacks, who will melt like little black snowflakes if anyone says an unkind word about them.
When I was the age of those Oklahoma frat boys, I was watching the progress of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S.A., and looking forward to a society of justice and equality where race only mattered to the manufacturers of cosmetics.
That society didn't come, and never will. The differences are too great, and too intractable. What came instead was a society of lies and pretense, of "affirmative action" and "disparate impact," of rampages by "teens" and "youths," of crimes committed by perpetrators described solemnly on the TV news as "a tall man of about 30."
That there are young people willing to scoff at the lies and pretense, however coarsely, seems to me something healthy, something to celebrate. So I'm celebrating it. Good luck to those young fraternity brothers.
And hoo boy, are they going to need it!
03 — Whites grovel, blacks jeer. Yes, those University of Oklahoma students, along with their families, friends, and anyone who ever sold them a burrito, are up against the almighty wrath of the commissars of bourgeois propriety. Jack Kerouac and Abbie Hoffman never had to face anything like this.
The President of the university, former Oklahoma Governor and U.S. Senator David Boren, has expelled two of the students without a hearing, and declared his intention to hunt down the others. The fraternity house, where several students lived but which belongs to the college, has been emptied and locked up.
The fraternity itself, as represented by the board of trustees and alumni, has cringed, groveled, and issued a nauseating statement filled with girly psychobabble. They are, they have told the world, quote, "sincerely remorseful for the pain that this terrible chant has caused," end quote. They further whimpered that, quote, "our desire would be for all parties to begin the healing process," end quote.
Just listen to the language there. "Pain" … "healing" … as if some grievous wound has been inflicted by some frat boys singing a rude song on a bus; as if distraught negroes are slitting their wrists and hurling themselves from high buildings all over the Republic. Is this really the nation that defeated fascism and stared down communism? Is this really the nation that went to the Moon? Hard to believe when you hear these squealing, whining ninnies doing the white-guilt shuffle.
Two of the students on the bus have been identified by name and both have made the full apologetic kowtow. One of them, 19-year-old Parker Rice, issued a 300-word statement saying in part, quote:
For me, this is a devastating lesson and I am seeking guidance on how I can learn from this and make sure it never happens again. My goal for the long-term is to be a man who has the heart and the courage to reject racism wherever I see or experience it in the future.
End quote. For goodness' sake, man, it's not as though you burned a cross on somebody's lawn. How about you have the "heart and the courage" to stand up to the thugs and weenies pretending to be traumatized by a rude song? I hate it when people apologize in these situations. It does them no good, anyway; it's just blood in the water to the PC sharks.
Perhaps that's too harsh, though. Parker Rice is only 19. The commissars are out in force. They are legion, and they're going to crush him like a bug. Not many 19-year-olds would have the courage to stand against the massed forces of Cultural Marxism and spit in their faces.
Rice's family have already had to evacuate their home in Dallas. It's been surrounded by a screeching rent-a-mob; if their family home isn't burned to the ground, the Rices will have gotten off lightly.
This is an organized protest — organized, to be precise, by a group called Next Generation Action Network, the usual rabble of black ne'er-do-wells and white communists, the brainchild of Dominique R. Alexander, who is referred to on the organization's website with the title "Minister."
Minister Alexander seems to be the pastor of the True Love Missionary Baptist Church at 1602 Garza Avenue, in Dallas, which presumably enjoys tax-exempt status while its minister goes across town with a mob to harass and intimidate white people.
It would be interesting to know what else Minister Alexander gets up to. The whole black-preacher thing is dubious. Any time we get a good careful look at one of these Messengers of the Lord it turns out he's embezzling the church funds and/or porking the congregation. Martin Luther King, Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, … I wouldn't go so far as to say that the phrase "black preacher" is a synonym for "philandering tax evader," but it's pretty damn close.
Am I mad about this? Yes, I'm mad. I hate to see people grovel and squirm like this in front of opportunistic hustlers who contribute nothing to society but rancor and discord. Where's our self-respect? Stand up for yourselves, people!
There may be a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel, though.
04 — Carry your bags, Sir? The thing is, we've been getting a lot of legal opinions that in expelling the students without a hearing, university President Boren has acted unconstitutionally.
It's not just gap-toothed foam-flecked ranters like me saying that; it's also legal scholars like the genteel and mild-mannered Eugene Volokh writing at the impeccably liberal Washington Post. Sample quote:
There is no First Amendment exception for racist speech, or exclusionary speech, or … for speech by university students that [and here he quotes President Boren] "has created a hostile educational environment for others."
End quote. Blake Neff at the Daily Caller argues that the expulsions even violate the university's Student Conduct Code. Quote from him:
The code clearly states that conducting investigations is the prerogative of the Student Conduct Office, and that any punishment must be preceded by ordering an accused student to attend a "mandatory meeting" to hear and, if the student wishes, answer the allegations against them … Boren appears to have overridden these procedures, and it could end up costing him, personally.
End quote. So the university — and, according Neff, President Boren personally — may find themselves at the sharp end of some big fat lawsuits. Please let it be so!
Just to drive the point home, and because I've been reading and relishing these words, here is the closing sentence of Blake Neff's piece, quote:
Combined with the possible damages stemming from First Amendment violations, Oklahoma could be exposing itself to hundreds of thousands in damages, while Boren could wind up personally exposed as well.
End quote. If that comes true, and plaintiff's attorneys need someone to carry their bags to and from the courthouse, I'll be glad to make myself available. I can be reached via Taki's Magazine.
05 — The color of justice. As always in these race stories, there's a big element of hypocrisy and double standards.
This has emerged as the spotlight of national attention and racial sanctimony has swept across President Boren's university. It turns out there are students at Oklahoma U with worse things on their rap sheet than singing songs about lynching … unless you think that nothing on God's earth could possibly be worse than that, in which case you're listening to the wrong podcast.
I'm still chewing my way through Exhibit A, the University of Oklahoma, so I shall have to list the following as sub-categories of that.
Here we go, then. Exhibit A(i): Black guy Chuka Ndulue, who was a defensive tackle on the university football team. In summer of 2013, Ndulue pleaded no contest to a DUI charge, and got a deferred one-year sentence from the court. The university suspended him from playing for one game.
Exhibit A(ii): Black guy Frank Shannon, who is a linebacker on the university football team. In April last year, a female student alleged that Shannon sexually assaulted her at his off-campus apartment. The civil authorities declined to prosecute, but the university investigated and found Shannon had violated the school's sexual misconduct policy. They suspended him for a year — note they did not expel him — and when he appealed to the State Supreme Court, the court upheld the suspension.
Exhibit A(iii): Black guy Dorial Green-Beckham is yet another football player, a wide receiver. He transferred to the University of Oklahoma from the University of Missouri last summer. Why did he do that? Well, because he was dropped from the Missouri football team last April after several arrests, the last one for forcing his way into a woman's home, violently threatening her, and then pushing another woman down a flight of stairs. Both women were 18 years old. Luckily for Green-Beckham the women declined to press charges, otherwise he'd have been up for burglary and assault.
So Missouri dropped the thug and Oklahoma jumped on the opportunity to recruit him, in the teeth of much criticism. He deserved a second chance, Oklahoma said. Alas for good intentions: NCAA rules require college transfers to sit out a season. Oklahoma applied for a waiver, but it was denied. Let's look on the bright side, though: not being able to play football has allowed Green-Beckham to concentrate on his studies in molecular biology.
Exhibit A(iv): Black guy Joe Mixon, also a footballer — this time a running back. Last July Mixon, who is of course large and muscular, made a pass at a small, slight young woman outside an off-campus coffee shop. The young woman rebuffed him. Mixon then hurled an insult at the young woman's boyfriend, who was nearby. The young woman objected, and Mixon smashed her in the face with his fist, breaking four bones in her face and leaving her unconscious.
That's what happened as witnesses reported it, anyway. The entire incident was actually filmed, but the video record has never been released, although President Boren has seen it, and on normal rules of evidence in criminal cases it should have been released last November.
Mixon was charged with a misdemeanor assault and given a one-year deferred sentence, with 100 hours of community service and cognitive behavior counseling. He was suspended from the football team for this season, but not from the university; and of course there was no question of him being expelled. Oklahoma U doesn't expel students for trivial things like smashing a girl's face.
Quote from President Boren on the case, quote:
The University is an educational institution, which always sets high standards that we hope will be upheld by our students. We hope that our students will all learn from those standards, but at the same time, we believe in second chances so that our students can learn and grow from life's experiences.
Ah yes, those little experiences in life: like delivering a bone-shattering blow to the face of a girl half your weight and twelve inches shorter. Gosh, I hope the poor chap didn't hurt his fist. And let's be clear: The pain that young woman felt was nothing, nothing, by comparison with the pain felt by millions of blacks on hearing that some frat boys had sung a song about lynching while riding a bus.
Let the healing process begin!
06 — What's a university for? I'm just going to make a short editorial interpolation here, if I may be excused for doing so.
Attentive listeners will have noticed that all four of the malefactors in the previous segment, as well as being black, were college football players. Here's my question: When we compare the leniency shown to them with the severe and summary punishment inflicted on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon men, how much of that leniency was motivated by their being black, how much by the fact of their being football players? 70-30 is my guess, but it is just a guess, as I don't really understand some of the mentality here.
I confess in fact that I've never understood the whole college-sports fever. In my naive and literal-minded way I assume that a university is a place of higher education. If the students want to have a little fun in their spare time doing organized sports, good luck to them — that's a healthy thing. College sport has somehow grown far, far beyond that, though; into a vast commercial enterprise that consumes the fevered attention of millions of citizens.
I know, it's an old American thing. I've had the finances of it explained to me. I've heard the joke about the college President — I don't think it was David Boren — who said on taking up his post that he would build an academic program the football team could be proud of. Still I think America would be in a better place if our colleges would drop their bloated sports programs — concentrate on academics, and leave sports to the professional franchises.
That's just a wee editorial interpolation. Now on with the fuming.
07 — Ferguson delenda est. Just to repeat myself: We're reviewing some evidence for the proposition that the people who hold power in this country regard our black population as spoiled children to be pampered, indulged, and appeased, but never corrected. The University of Oklahoma was Exhibit A.
Exhibit B is of course the city of Ferguson; more precisely, Eric Holder's jihad against that city for having made a fool of him … as if that were something that needed making.
Last week we told you about the two reports out of Eric Holder's Justice for His People Department: one out of the Criminal Division exonerating police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of crazy thug shoplifter Michael Brown, the other from the Civil Rights Division painting Ferguson as an egregious hell-hole of racism and corruption.
Various sane and numerate observers — people who can do basic arithmetic and statistics, I mean — have since had the opportunity to scrutinize that second report and compare Ferguson to other places. Bottom line: In all the statistical measures the Justice Department gasped and sputtered over, Ferguson is perfectly normal. It looks just like any other municipality of its size and demographics.
John Lott gave a nice summary in the New York Post on Tuesday. He quotes, for instance, the Justice report's observation that blacks account for 85 percent of vehicle stops but are only 67 percent of Ferguson's population. Then he brings out the government's own statistics that nationwide, blacks are 31 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over. Apply that overage to Ferguson, and at the national rate, you'd expect 87.5 percent of Ferguson traffic stops to be blacks. Since the number's only 85 percent, Ferguson cops are pulling over blacks at less than the national rate.
Is the national rate itself a racist scandal? No, says Lott. Quote:
Blacks die in car accidents at a rate about twice their share of car owners.
End quote. The whole report is, as Lott says, bogus: a hatchet job cooked up by race hustlers in the Justice Department out of spite, because Ferguson made Holder look bad.
It seems to me a very shocking thing that the federal Department of Justice can target a perfectly ordinary American town and drive it to destruction like this. Is there no accountability here?
The federal Department of Justice puts out a report that would have failed a high school statistics course, quoting numbers with no attempt to place them in context, even making elementary arithmetical errors — a really disgracefully innumerate report — with the obvious purpose of slandering an entire community and imposing crippling costs on them.
Can they get away with this? Is there no accountability? Will Congress call for testimony from the Justice Department personnel who compiled this disgraceful document? They are public employees, after all, with salaries paid by you and me.
And what about the people who live in Ferguson — most of whom, black and white, are decent working people just trying to get on with their lives? Well, the hell with them. Eric Holder's embarrassed, and for that, someone has to pay.
08 — Cop lives matter. Yes, the Department of Justice is going to wreak its vengeance upon Ferguson … because they can. They're the government, they can do what they like.
To understand how bogus that Civil Rights Division report is, you have to think through the statistics. Holder knows that not many people will bother to do that; certainly not many mainstream journalists, most of whom are liberal-arts graduates who use their fingers for counting.
So the destruction of Ferguson proceeds unhindered. Last week two police supervisors resigned. This week it was the city manager, the municipal judge, and police chief Tom Jackson.
Jackson had been a particular target of Holder's spite. It had been Jackson who authorized release of the security camera footage showing Michael Brown roughing up a convenience store employee and stealing a box of cigars, demolishing the whole "Gentle Giant" narrative the media had been so busily constructing. I bet Eric Holder whooped with glee and cracked a bottle of Colt 45 when he heard about Jackson resigning.
Jackson resigned Wednesday afternoon. A rabble of protestors had gathered outside the police department to demand his resignation; but when it came, they didn't go home. Why would they? You feed the sharks, they just get hungrier. It's not like they had jobs to go to next day. So they stayed on to demand the resignation of the Mayor.
Then, in the small hours of Thursday morning, someone fired shots at the line of 20 or so police protecting the building. Two officers were hit, one in the shoulder and one in the face. Both are going to survive.
This is a repeat of the pattern we saw last fall in New York City. In that case a black man died while resisting arrest. New York's communist Mayor did all he could to whip up hatred against the police, with assists of course from Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all the city's professional race hustlers.
That all ended December 20th when a black lunatic shot dead two New York City police officers, after posting on Instagram that, quote: "They take 1 Of Ours … Lets Take 2 of Theirs," end quote.
Again, where is the accountability? These powerful politicians, white-hating blacks and their Cultural Marxist white camp followers, whip up the lowest elements of their race to homicidal frenzy. Then, when the shots are fired and the blood flows, they put on their sad faces for a couple of hours and pretend to give a damn. Then they mute down the anti-white rhetoric for a few weeks until the next hysteria bandwagon comes along.
Can they really get away with this? Is there no accountability, no justice, for those who urge on the wreckers and killers from the safety of air-conditioned offices in Washington, DC? Where is Congress? Where is Congress?
09 — Miscellany. Sorry, I've been getting a little heated there. The lies and the phoniness just get to me somehow.
Let's cool off here with … a closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: This one I like: State legislators in Utah have voted to to bring back executions by firing squad.
Excellent! The current fad for lethal injections is an attempt to pretend that capital punishment is not an act of violence by the state against a citizen. But that's what it is, and that's what is ought to be: let's see it done, open and plain.
A firing squad composed of citizen volunteers is ideal, although Utah seems to favor volunteers from the police forces. Either way is pretty democratic. In the words of the late un-lamented Gary Gilmore: "Let's do it!"
Item: Sarcasm, I was taught as a child, is the lowest form of wit. Oh yeah? Tell that to the Third World. In some places out there, sarcasm will get you out of the slums and into a nice comfortable job answering phones in a call center.
There are call centers all over in the Third World. We associate them with India; but the Philippines is a fast-rising power in the business of dealing with rich-world queries about lost computer files or complaints about phone billing. One Filipino exec in this story I'm reading claims his country is now ahead of India.
What's their edge? Well, they speak excellent English, is one thing. And … they get sarcasm. This is a British newspaper story I'm reading, and it says that the Brits are a sarcastic people. The Filipino call-center workers get that, and it gives them the edge over Indians.
Well, that's the story. I have my doubts. I've mixed a fair amount with Indians, and never found them short on sarcasm.
And then, we Brits are really an ironic people; and irony is merely a subset of sarcasm. The bits of sarcasm that are not ironic, the wounding with bitter but non-ironic words, is more continental than British.
As if a bunch of Third World cube jockeys would be able to grasp a fine distinction like that!
Item: And finally — yes, you knew I wouldn't pass up this one — the Akron, Ohio car pooper.
This is a fellow, so far unidentified, who for three years now has been wandering around the sleepy little burg of Akron dumping on, and in, people's automobiles — at least 19 of them so far.
Tuesday this week there was a breakthrough in the case. A citizen managed to snap a picture of the man voiding his bowels on the hood of a Nissan Versa, with a full view of his hind-quarters. This should come in handy when the police hold an identification parade.
I've never been to Akron but it sounds like a pretty nice place. A reporter on the local newspaper, trying to make Akron sound like Weird City, tells us that in 1919 — that's 96 years ago, for you arithmetic-challenged staffers at the Justice Department — in 1919 there was a spate of incidents where some guy was going round putting chewing gum in girls' hair.
So that's two disgusting weirdos in 96 years. Akronites — Akronians, whatever you call yourselves — count your blessings. And hope you never get the attention of the Justice Department city-wreckers.
10 — Signoff. That's all I have time for, ladies and gents. Was I a little intemperate back there? I'm not going to apologize. Lies, sanctimony, and governmental vindictiveness justify intemperance. The hell with Obama and Holder and Boren and all the rest of the lying, thieving, preaching phonies.
Plainly we need something soothing to play us out. Here's the most soothing piece of music I know: Ketèlbey's "In a Monastery Garden," here from the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Robertson.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: BBC Symphony Orchestra, "In a Monastery Garden."]