The Forbidden Subject

It seems that no matter who you are, how innocent your deeds, or how ethically you treat your fellow man, you are absolutely forbidden to speak on certain subjects, on pain of ostracism, being abandoned to the mercies of the State, or worse. The premier such subject, eclipsing all others, is the correlation between certain socioeconomic conditions and race.

Cliven Bundy, the rancher whose cause animated hundreds of freedom lovers to rally personally, bearing arms, to his defense against an overbearing federal government, has dared to touch on that forbidden subject:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the stupid one. Even a genius can be topically or contextually stupid. But for the life of me, I can’t see the smallest thing wrong with what Bundy said. I can’t spot any inaccuracies in it. Quite a lot of black welfare-ridden families match Bundy’s description. It might upset us to hear it, but those who’ve seen it at close range, or have lived close enough to it to be touched by its consequences, can’t sincerely deny it.

Bundy’s rhetorical question:

“I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?”

…surely wasn’t intended as an endorsement of chattel slavery. It was his way of highlighting the unique squalor that comes from the acceptance of government dependency as a way of existence.

There are more varieties of slavery than chattel slavery, in which one is deemed the property of another. A slavery that leads one to the passive acceptance of idleness and despair is one of the worst kinds. Ask any prison inmate who’s been denied the privilege of working at something during his confinement.

But race! Daring to cite the particular effects a government policy has had upon a particular race is unthinkable! The speaker shall be anathematized, banished to the outer darkness, where there is the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Nevermore shall we ponder the offenses done to him by others — not even others with guns and dogs and sniper rifles — for his words, regardless of their veracity, have rendered him untouchable!

Maybe it’s not me. Maybe we really are a nation of cowards. Not in the odious Eric Holder’s sense, though.

It seems so clear to me. The Left is desperate to “keep ’em on the plantation” of government dependency. There’s no physical barrier around the Left’s prison for poor American blacks. The emotional and financial walls are quite high enough. Nor is it necessarily because those folks are black, except in one sense: poor black Americans, especially those concentrated in Northeastern cities, were the target population for the Sixties campaign to expand the welfare state.

There’s an important lesson here for anyone with the stomach to accept and digest it.

It’s been a staple of Leftist political strategy to create what Thomas Sowell has called mascot groups: populations united by some common characteristic, to which leftist panderers can offer some seeming benefit with addictive properties in exchange for political allegiance. The most obvious such benefit is financial: welfare payments, subsidies, and preferential treatment in government hiring and contracting. The Left has had extraordinary success seducing American blacks in that fashion. If you doubt this, consider the distribution of black votes in presidential elections since World War II.

It’s not enough simply to offer money for votes, though. Even the most downtrodden, hangdog victim of fate is likely to recoil indignantly from such an offer. Few Americans lack sufficient personal pride to react another way – white, black, brown, yellow, or red.

The pitch had to be accompanied by a justification. Black Americans in marginal economic circumstances had to be told that “the Man owes you.” They had to be persuaded that what they were being offered was only what was due them. Unless that barrier could be conquered, their pride would enable the overwhelming majority of them to resist the appeal of the welfare state.

Hundreds of thousands of them bought into it.
They accepted that they were still in thrall to white America.
They accepted that the unemployed among them were jobless because of racism.
They accepted that black entrepreneurs were slighted by white-owned companies because of racism.
And all the rest, including all the social and political consequences, followed as the night follows the day: inevitably.

It might be the greatest single crime ever perpetrated against a race.

Cliven Bundy’s sin has been to make open, unembarrassed note of the above. That leftists should pillory him for it is unsurprising; that’s just what they do. That conservatives should do so is saddening and wrong.

We in the Right like to think of ourselves as persons of intelligence and dispassionate judgment. Admittedly, everyone wants to think of himself that way, but for us it’s a pillar of our self-image. Yet it seems that on this subject, the Left, with the help of its media annex, has cowed us so thoroughly that we can’t even hear a string of oral observations about the reality before us all — a reality that’s objectively verifiable ! — without cringing and begging forgiveness, when the subject is “racially sensitive.”

Glory be to God, people! Where is your pride? Where is your regard for the truth? Where is your love of justice, that you should reflexively kowtow to the Panjandrums of Political Correctness and retreat from the defense of a decent man who’s merely trying to defend a business his family has operated for more than a century? Would you be so quick to back away from him if he and his family were black?

Find your spines and get them straightened out before it’s too late for us all.