Those charging that General Flynn’s criticism of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is racist aren’t entirely wrong.
I don’t take racism as it’s defined seriously, and I don’t imagine the general is personally “racist” or motivated by racial animus. But in adding to his criticism of her behavior towards Trump the charge of an earlier graceless public act, and calling her a mediocre fraud (“empty barrel”), there is, just as the opposition sees it, an implied criticism of black America from a non-apologetically white perspective.
The congresswoman is a familiar stereotype that Must Not Be Named, the Black Buffoon. Public figures have had to be careful in criticizing such people, to steer clear of implication that they are noticing the type. Naming the Fool outright is out of the question of course for the time being.
Indulging blacks in this fashion has been bad for whites and is a steady, ongoing degradation of our national character. This grows along with black cultural power. Black culture and style is inseparable from the violence and hatred of the ghetto and emanates from the same deep well of true identity. I no longer accept the argument that a “black culture of violence” harms
Black America chooses its more violent culture, despite all the wailing. When attacking the presumed injustice of the legal system and incarceration rates–seeking the release of as many of their own as they can manage by whatever political means–they act as a separate nation demanding autonomy. Arguments invoking civil rights now are all attempts to rationalize black norms as dysfunction imposed from without. Black civil rights are a racial supremacy movement disguised as an appeal to our own values.
Citing the statistics for such as wealth, parental involvement, education, crime, is applying white criteria to black culture. In the absence of whites, as in the ghetto, black norms default to a harsher order. This is autonomy. Black America is asserting itself, asserting its particular culture, liberated (“free at last”) from more restrictive white norms and even displacing them in the broader shared culture, with considerable help from without, of course.
This is not to say black American culture is achieving some natural stasis in the absence of control. Black America still exists in a broader white order. Black culture can’t help being deformed by white influence and technology. Black Americans assert a black culture deformed by the vastly different and more advanced white Western culture of liberalism and rights. It’s kind of a monstrosity.
Damage isn’t limited to the degradation of black-white relations, or to standards of behavior generally (a profound effect no one beyond the hard right mentions); it’s also become a proven demagogic template for a growing list of grievance identities. The seeds of our destruction were sown in the noble ground of civil rights.
A more prosperous and well-adjusted black America would not have inspired the host of similarly modeled grievance identities (people always tryna be black!).Who knows? Diversity might have had a chance.Proponents of diversity should be the first to discourage our disastrous indulgence of black dysfunction.
All of this bears on this latest cultural skirmish.
When Trump engaged the NFL controversy he engaged the same explicitly racial movement the league has caved to, if only implicitly on the side of whites. This is just not done. Whites are getting uppity.
This asymmetrical (explicit v implicit narratives) civil war began with Trump’s candidacy (or his challenging Obama’s citizenship). He was an affront and remains intensely that to the constituent groups of the Narrative. He’s a special affront to blacks, due to his “birther” roots, but more significantly due to his threat to the present order. Being the primary beneficiary of that order and its highest moral caste tends to quicken the mind when it’s suddenly challenged. And despite all the bellyaching, rather because of it, blacks draw the most benefit for effort put in from the present social and political order.
Trump has evinced all the traits of the typically non-racist boomer over a lifetime in the public eye and he tends toward socially liberal. But he has an interlocutor problem: he doesn’t know he’s not supposed to say certain things. This is taken for obtuseness. There’s a cynical aspect obscured by all the conspicuous outrage: the dope doesn’t know to keep his mouth shut! What they’re really criticizing is a curious lack of guile that must indicate a moron. Yet they keep losing these little fights. This is driving people insane.
But what you see is usually what you’ve got. And what I see is that Trump just didn’t care if attacking Obama looked racist, he, Donald Trump in his considerable self-regard, knew it wasn’t. He knows he isn’t racist because he doesn’t feel it. He reflects his generation in that regard. Where he differs–shockingly, to his stunned peers–is that he wants his due credit. Like a naif, he wants to behave as if race is just a social construct. The fact his fellow boomers view this sensible view with horror reveals a tragedy: an entire generation going to see God clinging to a humiliating and disastrous myth.
The general is a boomer too. They trusted black America, they’ve been faithful to equality, they’ve endured bitterness and violence–they’ve been patient. Now they’re being ridiculed. They look to their children, better not to talk about the children, the children are being peeled away from them. White baby boomers were double-crossed. Do they know it? Young rightists hate the boomers for good reason. But if anyone should be mad it’s the boomers: they are the great betrayed generation.
I like to think the general has developed some awareness of this vast con. And here comes this typically buffoonish black character. Sure, she’s wielding the most powerful narrative weapon of all, the Numinous Negro, but she’s inept, she’s not even holding it right, and he’s got what is maybe the only firepower to match it, Our Troops.
Bumbling into the fight he was cut down, she never had a chance. All she could manage were some potshots fired in retreat.
What is she saying when charging the general with racism? She’s invoking the black premium which is added like affirmative action points added to minority college applications.
There’s a standard invocation, in this case Lawrence O’Donnell applied it: “General Kelly called a black woman an empty barrel!”
He called her stupid. One might call anyone stupid, of course. But not black people. Black people are not allowed to be stupid. That’s exactly what O’Donnell is saying, it’s exactly how his ilk thinks, and they behave as if utterly unaware of its implications or contradictions.
Also black people are really not allowed to be ignoble. The congresswoman is tacky and buffoonish, in a characteristically black way.
So when Kelly thought to get in an extra dig, calling out Wilson’s showboating at a previous event that too involved the deaths of public servants, and the mortified reactions of the whites (I’m assuming) that day to it, is what struck me. The Narrative normally comes round to collect you if you dare such even oblique notice of black silliness and lack of decorum. It didn’t this time.
That is a very good thing.