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Jewish World Review July 2, 2001/ 11 Tamuz, 5761

Norah Vincent

Norah Vincent
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On reparations and mental slavery -- IN that twisted, idiotic world where Clarence Thomas is the Anti-Christ, Jesse Jackson must be God. And in that same nasty irreality, where Thomas is known as Hitler, I guess Al Sharpton is FDR. Sounds like a board game, doesn’t it? The puerile, thwarted liberal’s game of LIFE—though to call such people liberals is to insult the very word. But that, in fact, is the inverted world within world wherein the Hawaii chapter of the ACLU is laboring for the cause of civil liberty.

Preposterous invective—some of which is unprintable—spewed from the unashamed mouths of three members of that local chapter’s board—all of them African-American (as if that somehow acquitted them). Daphne Barbee-Wooten, Eric Ferer, and Faye Kennedy—clearly, judicious thinkers all.

According to the Honolulu Weekly, Justice Thomas had been invited to Hawaii to debate national ACLU president Nadine Strossen at the annual David Levin First Amendment Conference. The invitation was rescinded, however, when Ferrer called Thomas "an anti-Christ," and "a Hitler," and said that having Thomas speak was "like having a serial murderer debate the value of life." Barbee-Wooten was quoted as saying: "Brining Clarence Thomas sends a message that the Hawaii ACLU promotes and honors black Uncle Toms who turn their back on civil rights."

I wonder. Can this be the same mentality that objected so roundly to David Horowitz’s recent advertisement against reparations for slavery—a well considered, point by point refutation that he placed this spring in the few college newspapers that would print it? Could it be the foul sound of the same contingent speaking from the other side of its mouth?

Justice Thomas

Might it be the demon voice of that same incumbent talented tenth, the ones who claimed that mere disagreements on race matters—not, mind you, name-calling (for there was none in Horowitz’s ad)—created a "hostile atmosphere" for blacks on campus?

Alas, it would seem so. The orthocrats have spoken.

And, perhaps this is not entirely a bad thing, since it effectively hoists the liberal hegemony with its own petard, and does so far more completely than could any bomb-thrower on the other side. Indeed, irksome as they are, we’d be fools to try and cork these mindless outbursts, for a true libertarian should never stand between a person and his First Amendment right to make a perfect jackass of himself. Speak, by all means, and let the world hear what you’re made of, because such sticks and stones do no lasting damage to the hearer. They do, however, banish the speaker, and everything he says thereafter, from all serious consideration by anyone with even a spark of critical intelligence.

Meanwhile, the mainstream black caucus’ beloved, and properly "colored" totems remain unscathed by scandal. The revered Reverends exchange mad insults and tactful disavowals from their separate exiles. Slippery Jesse in disgrace, and hungry Al in jail. One an apparent swindler, the other a convicted defamer, yet somehow still the saving grace of black folk because they support affirmative action. And thus, their virtue miraculously prevails, through all the storms of bad character to which such puffed up demagogues are prone.

Thomas, though, is not a man of the cloth, not ordained unimpeachable by the clergy of liberal opinion. He’s not black, but only in blackface. The minstrel of white conceit, an enemy thus vilified, and named so rudely—can it be?—after a cookie.

University of California regent Ward Connerly has suffered the same fate. Endured the gross epithets of his foregone detractors and all for the grave sin of thinking for himself, for opposing a system of racial preferences that, if it weren’t so conveniently self-serving, all minority advocates would likewise be against.

But no. The song remains the same. If you are not one of us, then you are the devil. There is no debate. There is no exchange. There is only conformity and heresy, impunity and name-calling, and both are polar absolutes. The retrograde dichotomy of black and white perseverates in the name of liberalism—but at its expense.

JWR contributor Norah Vincent is a New York writer and co-author of The Instant Intellectual: The Quick & Easy Guide to Sounding Smart & Cultured. Comment by clicking here.

06/27/01: I left the Left behind --- and the Politics of Victimhood
06/21/01: Spoiled Americans Here; Big Bad World Out There
06/13/01: 'Gotcha!' guidelines
06/06/01: Tit for tat, David Brock is a turncoat's tale

© 2001, Norah Vincent