“If individuals be not influenced by moral principles; it is in vain to look for public virtue; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as the necessity of a strict adherence to the rules of distributive justice.” —James Madison (1789)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Slave-Trader Garb and Juneteenth Flap Reveal Democrat Hypocrisy
- Ignoring Black-on-Black Victimization — Remember When…
- Merriam-Webster Tries to Redefine Racism
- Of Course COVID-19 Cases Will Rise — Chill Out
- Corporations Have Appropriated ‘Pride Month’
- Kristi Noem: Standing Alone for Her People
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Politicians of all stripes specialize in opportunistic photo-ops. But Democrats really blew it earlier this week with their display of Kente cloth shawls, which they donned while kneeling for nearly nine minutes to show “solidarity” with black people in the midst of race riots plaguing the nation. For one thing, George Floyd died because a cop kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, so this was, to quote the movie “Animal House,” a “really futile and stupid gesture … on somebody’s part.” Worse, the Kente cloth they wore was the garb of the Ashanti tribe — a tribe that was known for owning and trading slaves. Oops!
If leftists weren’t so busy learning their “history” from the revisionist and race-baiting 1619 Project, they might know that black Africans captured and sold other black Africans to white Westerners, and that there is still an active slave trade in Africa.
Undeterred by such inconvenient facts, Democrats know that their allies in the Leftmedia won’t ever call them on this hypocrisy. Instead, the media’s busy screaming about how President Donald Trump would dare to hold his first 2020 campaign rally since BC (Before Coronavirus) next Friday, June 19. It’s known as “Juneteenth,” the date when the last American slaves in Texas were truly freed in 1865.
Juneteenth is a recognized holiday in 47 states. What are the odds that congressional Democrats use this year to push for it to be a federal holiday?
Never mind that the Republican Party freed the slaves, or that the modern party, currently led by Trump, is doing more to actually help blacks on meaningful policy issues than its Democrat counterparts. Democrats think they own black votes.
It’s true that Tulsa was the site of arguably the most horrific racial violence in our nation’s history, though the truth about those events remains murky. On May 31 and June 1, 1921, whites (most likely KKK Democrats) rioted, attacked and looted black-owned businesses, and killed at least two dozen and perhaps as many as 300 blacks (between 10 and 50 whites were also killed). But Trump’s M.O. is to tweak the Left like this. If anyone argues that he blew it, we’d simply note the irony that, as we’ve said before, in this respect he actually behaves like Democrats.
Apparently, none of them noticed that their kneeling charade was to show solidarity with blacks who rioted, attacked and looted black-owned businesses, and killed 17 blacks — not counting the murders in inner cities that occur nearly every day.
So what’s their message? Rioting, looting, and murder is okay when black Democrats do it?
Keep all this in mind as well when you read about the raging kerfuffle over military bases named after Confederate officers, toppling Confederate monuments, or NASCAR banning the flying of Confederate flags at its races.
In other words, which party benefits more from revising history and fomenting racial division? Your first clue would be how political strategists and media pundits keep churning these controversies.
In my column Wednesday, “Talking With a Democrat About ‘Systemic Racism,’” regarding the cognitive/emotive breakdown when discussing contentious issues, I also highlighted the gross racial disparity regarding interracial and intraracial crimes. I noted, “Don’t expect to hear a single objection about either of those issues from Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, or Chuck Schumer.”
A friend and career federal agent recalled our post regarding a racially charged incident in Milwaukee in 2014 that’s worth revisiting.
In November of that year, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, a liberal Democrat, participated in a contentious meeting with black community leaders and residents after a Milwaukee PD officer shot and killed a schizophrenic black man. After the meeting, a reporter confronted Chief Flynn, asserting he had been rudely disrespectful because he was texting during the meeting.
Flynn responded: “This is a tragedy for the family. It’s a tragedy for the community. … But there are a lot of people lining up to take advantage of this tragedy to promote their own agendas. … If some of the [protesters] here gave a good G-d damn about the victimization of people in this community … I would take some of their invective more seriously. The greatest racial disparity in Milwaukee is getting shot and killed. Eighty percent of my homicide victims are African American. Eighty percent of our aggravated assault victims are African American. Now [the protesters] know all about the last three people who have been killed by the Milwaukee Police Department in the last few years, but there is not one of them who can name one of the last three homicide victims we’ve had in this city. There is room for everybody in fixing this police department and … we’re not without sin. But this community is at risk alright. And it is not because men and women in blue risk their lives protecting it. … The [protesters] are absolutely MIA when it comes to the true threats facing this community.”
Today, those protesters and rioters, and the Democrat Party race hustlers and their Leftmedia propagandists who incite them in the name of “George Floyd,” maintain a deafening silence about the thousands of black citizens murdered by other black citizens. That does not fit their political narrative.
As a long-time Patriot Post supporter concurred: “As a black American male who was raised in the inner city, I am angry at the reaction of the hypocrites in Congress, corporate America, and their media outlets. If ‘black lives (really) mattered,’ they would stop ignoring the pandemic of black on black crime that has been raging through their cities for years. Hypocrisy won’t solve the real problems in our urban centers, but changing the policies that keep poor black Americans enslaved on what amount to ‘poverty plantations’ will.”
Barack Obama demonized cops with deadly results — for cops. Today’s leftist Democrats have taken that rhetoric to a dangerous new level, manipulating data to support their false narrative, and absurdly promoting efforts to “defund the police.” A quick look at the results in Seattle reveals where that will lead.
Crack open your copy of Noah Webster’s first dictionary, and you won’t find the word “racism.” You won’t even find the word “race,” for that matter, except as a verb in the sense of “to run or contend in a race.”
And yet from its “nonexistence” in 1806 to its colossal status today, the concept of racism now dominates both our politics and our culture. It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that venerable old Merriam-Webster announced this week that its definition of racism will soon be broadened.
What might surprise us, though, is that Merriam-Webster didn’t arrive at its decision after an exhaustive debate among its usage panel and its editorial board. No, all it took was an email exchange with Kennedy Mitchum, a 22-year-old Drake University graduate who thought the dictionary’s definition of racism — a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race — was just too doggone “simple.”
“This is the last argument I’m going to have about this,” Mitchum warned. “I know what racism is, I’ve experienced it time and time and time again in a lot of different ways, so enough is enough.”
Got that, you wordy word people? “I know what racism is.”
Clearly shaken by the sheer force of Mitchum’s argument, Merriam-Webster thanked her for her “persistence” and then fell into line. “While our focus will always be on faithfully reflecting the real-world usage of a word, not on promoting any particular viewpoint,” said Editor Alex Chambers, “we have concluded that omitting any mention of the systemic aspects of racism promotes a certain viewpoint in itself.”
Thus, they’re adding a dubious “systemic” aspect to their definition of racism, but they’re not “promoting any particular viewpoint.”
Mitchum says she’s now “super happy,” and why not? She’ll soon have a customized cudgel with which to wallop folks who don’t buy into the Left’s “systemic” and “institutional” views of racism.
All this, of course, is just the latest salvo in The War Over Words — a war in which the Left has been busy gobbling up ground.
In his brief but highly influential 2004 book Don’t Think of an Elephant, former Cal-Berkeley professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics George Lakoff stressed the importance of framing the debate. “Do not use their language,” he said, referring to those of us on the Right. “Their language picks out a frame — and it won’t be the frame you want.”
In other words, don’t use language like “abortion,” “illegal alien,” “semiautomatic rifle,” “terrorist,” and “rioter.” Instead, use words like “choice,” “undocumented immigrant,” “assault weapon,” “freedom fighter,” and “protester.” The list goes on and on, and it grows each time we allow leftists and their media enablers to choose the words we use in our daily lives.
Lakoff knew it well: Those who control the words also control the culture. And the narrative.
As more states reopen following the China Virus lockdowns, unsurprisingly, the number of coronavirus infections has increased. Just how much of this rise is directly related to wider testing rates or increased transmissions rate will continue to be debated, though it’s obvious that increased testing will reveal more infections. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “More testing, especially in vulnerable communities, is naturally turning up more cases. Cases in Texas have increased by about a third in the last two weeks, but so have tests. About a quarter of the new cases are in counties with large prisons and meatpacking plants that were never forced to shut down.”
A better metric to follow is the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations, which have for the most part remained flat even a month after the early states reopened. This is important and good news given the entire premise for the lockdown was to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Furthermore, the daily number of COVID-19 deaths has been steadily decreasing across the country as well. The Journal reports, “Fatalities are a lagging epidemic indicator since most people who die have been in the hospital for two to three weeks. But deaths also aren’t surging. Texas has recorded 151 deaths this past week versus 221 in the last week of April. Florida has reported 239 deaths, 72 fewer than in the last week of April.” There is also the reality that medical professionals are gaining knowledge for treating the novel coronavirus.
The talk of a second wave, as if this pandemic ever left, does little other than provide fodder for the mainstream media and leftist politicians to stoke fears for ad revenue and political ambitions. Notice how little concern was paid to the pandemic over the last couple weeks while MSM coverage obsessed over Black Lives Matter protests and rioting following the unjust death of George Floyd. We noted the egregious hypocrisy of the MSM calling the truly peaceful and lawful protests of the lockdowns “dangerous” while excusing the violence and rioting associated with many of the BLM protests as “mostly peaceful” and showing little concern for the threat of spreading the virus.
Just watch — as soon as President Donald Trump begins his massive campaign rallies, MSM talkingheads will run to their fainting couches, blasting him for holding these rallies where the virus is certain to be spread. The Leftmedia will predictably charge Trump with aiding if not outright causing a “second wave” of COVID-19. Pundits will blame Trump for literally killing people.
Finally, the message that all Americans should accept is that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, but it’s also not a death sentence for the vast majority of Americans. Take precautions, protect the most vulnerable, and ride it out. And maybe the best advice is to just chill out. Handwringing and worrying over this won’t do a thing to stop its spread or create a vaccine. As Andy Dufresne, the main character in the movie “Shawshank Redemption,” states, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really: Get busy living or get busy dying.” It’s time to get busy living, America.
Brian Mark Weber
We’ve been witnessing an all-out assault on Western culture, including our system of free-market capitalism. But some on the Left are using that same “oppressive” system to push their agenda. Case in point: The “LGBTQ” movement, which is raking in the riches.
NBC’s Dain Evans writes about “how LGBTQ Pride Month went from movement to marketing.” For example, he notes last summer’s World Pride event in New York City saturated the city’s hotel space and generated profits “estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.” That’s just the beginning.
The LGBTQ community and Corporate America are odd bedfellows indeed. Or at least they used to be. Yet, to many leftists, it really doesn’t matter if you support them in principle as long as you pay lip service to their cause and put money in their coffers.
Mere acceptance of the movement is clearly not enough. Instead, American businesses are now expected to fund the cause in much the same way they began doing for Je$$e Jackson’s Rainbow/Push Coalition more than a decade ago. (Black Lives Matter has taken note of this shakedown approach.)
Evans adds that “organizations like the Reclaim Pride Coalition are trying to make sure these corporations are really walking the walk for the LGBTQ community.”
John Paul Brammer of The Washington Post writes, “Every year, debate erupts anew over the corporatization of Pride. It’s become its own tradition, in a way. That debate tends to center the battle over the soul of Pride: Should it be a protest, or a party? Should we really let a weapons manufacturer slap a rainbow over their logo and march in the parade? We question whether it’s ethical, and we wonder what the criteria ought to be for corporate allyship.”
For some in the Rainbow Mafia, the money will never be enough.
Another issue is whether some businesses hang pride flags and cater to the gender-disoriented simply because they feel the immense social pressure to do so. The “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mantra weighs heavily on individuals, organizations, and businesses as a way to avoid the backlash.
Imagine being the lone ice-cream shop on Main Street without a pride sticker in the window or without a specially crafted Pride Month flavor. That’s where we’re heading.
The enforcement arm of the Rainbow Mafia is also involved. For example, the Human Rights Campaign publishes an annual Corporate Equality Index. The index rates companies on a range of factors and further shows how corporate America, often the bane of the Left, has now become a champion of LGBTQ causes. As the list grows, businesses not on the list will certainly feel pressure to join in.
Nice business ya got there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.
But this isn’t as simple as it appears.
Vox’s Alex Abad-Santos wrote two years ago that Adidas, a big supporter of LGBTQ causes, “is also one of the major sponsors for [the 2018] World Cup, which takes place in Russia, a country with anti-LGBTQ laws that make it unsafe for fans and athletes.” Abad-Santos argues, “That contradiction throws into sharp relief the emptiness that can lie at the center of corporate gestures of ‘support’ for the LGBTQ community.”
It can also place businesses in a difficult situation. For example, just this week we learned that Starbucks has banned employees from wearing any pro-Black Lives Matter merchandise, yet the company allows employees to show support for LGBTQ causes.
Once the business world dives into the murky waters of politics, contradictions and controversies are bound to emerge. But as long as the money keeps coming in, small businesses and corporations seem willing to walk a political tightrope.
Still, it’s a little ironic when left-wing movements that frequently attack our capitalist system for its oppression gladly take its money. Suddenly, Big Business is the Left’s best friend.
One key aspect of the whole Wuhan coronavirus crisis has been the reaction of federal and state governments. On the federal side, the last few months have made household names out of Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, two of the doctors placed on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. As for the states, we all know how much the media has secretly longed for an iron-fisted ruler like Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer while cheering the efforts of New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom. On the other hand, Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Georgia’s Brian Kemp drew condemnation for opening their states up too soon for the liking of media-anointed experts who seemed to believe our economic lockdown should extend until a vaccine is available — or, at the very least, until President Donald Trump is defeated in November.
One governor who decided not to order a lockdown for her state was South Dakota’s Kristi Noem. “The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety,” Noem quaintly insisted. It’s one of the beauties of our federalist system that South Dakota’s circumstances and mindset need not be like those of urban-dominated New York, California, and Michigan, and her governor is being noticed by those who admire her trust in the state’s people.
South Dakota’s response can serve as a template for states with mostly rural populations. Its one viral hotspot — the Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls — had more than 800 cases and two fatalities by itself, but that essential facility was the exception in a state where the people took it upon themselves to be cautious and practice social distancing. (Despite what readers may think, the state did close schools and ask those over 65 to refrain from going out. “We do follow Centers for Disease Control guidance,” said Noem.)
As the number of states resisting a complete lockdown dwindled to a precious few in April, Noem stood strong. “I believe in our freedoms and liberties. What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security and they don’t have to do that,” she said. “If a leader will take too much power in a time of crisis, that is how we lose our country.” One wonders how many residents of New York and Michigan wistfully agree with Noem.
In appreciation for her lonely but trusting stance, citizens in the state capital of Pierre held a mobile parade past her house in late April. And while naysayers keep waiting — indeed, hoping — for South Dakota to blow up with an outbreak, the state ranks in the bottom third in per capita deaths. Meanwhile, the Mount Rushmore State remains in the top 10 in lowest unemployment rate, checking in at just over 10% in April compared to 13.3% for the nation as a whole.
Noem’s state is succeeding as best it can despite a significant headwind affecting its economy. The agricultural sector was already feeling a pinch before the coronavirus hit, but supply-chain issues and low prices for cattle have really put a damper on South Dakota’s ranching industry. Yet the people appreciate Governor Noem’s leadership, and they didn’t resist when they were advised what to do: “As soon as the president said, ‘We all need you to stay home for 15 days,’ people in South Dakota did,” said Noem. “We didn’t tell them they had to. We didn’t close any businesses. But people here just said, ‘Our president’s asking us to stay home — we’re going to stay at home.’ And so we still saw a decline of people out and about doing things. Personal responsibility.”
“Personal responsibility.” It’s a refreshing approach to governance — one quite fitting for a state whose motto is, “Under God the people rule.” And while it’s way, way too early to think about the 2024 election, something tells us that Kristi Noem, by way of her resolute leadership, may have put herself on that map.
More Great Analysis
Thomas Gallatin recounts how Democrats incite violence to help Black Lives Matter raise money, which BLM then gives to Democrats.
Willie Richardson ponders the “five pillars of authority” that build a functioning society.
Above the Fold
“The Republican National Committee has chosen Jacksonville, Fla., to host part of this summer’s party convention, after largely abandoning the city of Charlotte, N.C., over disagreements on coronavirus-related crowd restrictions,” according to Fox News. The report adds, “Business aspects of the convention will still take place in North Carolina, but Jacksonville will host the celebratory aspects of the election-year affair.” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel explained, “Not only does Florida hold a special place in President Trump’s heart as his home state, but it is crucial in the path to victory in 2020. We look forward to bringing this great celebration and economic boon to the Sunshine State in just a few short months.”
Fox News also reports: “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved subpoenas for documents and testimony from top Obama administration officials as part of the panel’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe during the 2016 presidential election. The committee voted Thursday to approve a measure giving broad authority to Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to subpoena more than 50 mostly former Obama administration officials as part of its investigation. The subpoenas apply to former FBI Director James Comey, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others.”
Government & Politics
Critics assert that Trump’s Juneteenth rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is “overt racism” (Forbes)
Joe Biden spent $1.6 million in one day on Facebook ads condemning Trump for fanning the “flames of white supremacy” (The Daily Caller)
Meanwhile, Biden calls for Facebook to fact-check and remove political ads (The Washington Free Beacon)
Fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick sent confidential info to his personal email accounts (The Washington Free Beacon)
Twitter admits China used nearly 200,000 fake accounts to influence politics, 150x more than Russia (The National Pulse)
The Latest on COVID-19
Florida breaks record for new coronavirus cases recorded in a single day (New York Post)
Houston-area officials are “getting close” to reimposing stay-at-home orders (Bloomberg)
Laughably, Beijing reports its “first” new case since April (The Daily Caller)
With virus all but eliminated, Australia lifts nearly all restrictions (The Washington Post)
Business & Economy
On Thursday, the Dow plunged 1,861 points, or 7%, for worst day since mid-March (Yahoo Finance)
Starbucks bans employees from wearing anything in support of Black Lives Matter (The Hill)
Culture & Heartland
Man who claimed George Floyd and Derek Chauvin “bumped heads” changes story (CBS News)
“He was BLM before there was a slogan”: Park volunteer outraged over vandalism of Philadelphia abolitionist statue (National Review)
Seattle mayor and police chief deny making call to abandon police precinct (Fox News)
“I haven’t seen s—t like this before”: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said rioters are “f—ing lawless” in meeting with panicked officials (UK Daily Mail)
San Francisco police won’t respond to non-criminal calls (AP)
“I don’t believe it’s the time or place to be doing that”: Chicago officers who kneel with protesters could be kicked out of police union (FOX 32 Chicago)
Louisville Metro Council votes to ban no-knock raids three months after death of Breonna Taylor (Washington Examiner)
Can the Minneapolis City Council actually defund the police? No. (Hot Air)
Country group Lady Antebellum changes name to “Lady A” over racism concerns (The Daily Wire)
Policy: George Floyd unrest and 1968 Riots — what we can learn, how we move forward (The Heritage Foundation)
Policy: Academia fans the flames of social disorder (Issues & Insights)
Humor: Biden flattered his 1994 crime bill suddenly starting to receive so much attention (The Onion)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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Video: ‘Stop Treating Us Like Animals and Thugs’ — Police Benevolent Association President Mike O'Meara entreats charlatans to “start treating us with some respect.”
Video: Ben Shapiro on Why Conservatives Criticize ‘Black Lives Matter’ — The phrase itself is kosher, but the implication that we’re uncaring is a big turnoff.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Upright: “The underlying fear of economic instability cannot be overcome without listening to one another and working toward peace. Peace produces prosperity, and destructive force results in poverty. We need more than sympathy; we need empathy. This will lead to peace and prosperity.” —Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Nailed it: “I give you Bernie Sanders, the #WalkAway movement, #Blexit and #Brexit. All of these — as well as the protests (not the looting or violence) we’ve seen over the past two weeks — are grounded in similar sentiments: What is happening is wrong. We’ve been telling you this for years. And you’re not listening. It’s true. They’re not. But here’s what the ‘elites’ don’t know — or don’t want us to know: We can get ourselves out of this mess if we stop listening to them. It’s time we stop believing what they tell us about ourselves and start talking to one another. We’ll not only get something done; we’ll make them irrelevant.” —Laura Hollis
The BIG Lie: “The president isn’t responsible for the virus. But he is responsible for a completely bungled response that not only cost thousands of lives, but millions more jobs than should have been lost. The ‘unprecedented magnitude’ of the economic hit, and the ‘broad reach’ of it — that’s on Donald Trump.” —Joe Biden
Non compos mentis: “Even Dr. King’s assassination did not have the worldwide impact the George Floyd’s death did.” —Joe Biden
Braying jackass: “Even if people loot, so what? Burn it to the ground, you know, if that’s what it’s going to take to fix our nation.” —Texas 24th Congressional District candidate Kim Olson
Grand delusions: “Lawfully gathering and expressing first amendment rights, demanding we do better as a society, and providing true equity for communities of color is not terrorism. It’s patriotism.” —Mayor Jenny Durkan regarding Seattle’s caliphate
Dezinformatsiya: “One of the active debates we had over the past week was about the use of the word ‘looting’ to describe the destruction of property. The feeling among the black journalists at The Los Angeles Times … [was that] looting had a pejorative racist connotation and that comparing it to the kind of behavior of the police and the kind of behavior that we witnessed really was a false equivalency and yet it was one that we were making as journalists if you picked up a copy of our paper.” —Los Angeles Times executive editor Norman Pearlstine
And last… “Planned Parenthood has killed more black babies than the KKK could ever have dreamed of.” —Gary Bauer
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
Join us in prayer for our Patriots in uniform and their families — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way, and for our nation’s First Responders. We also ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the Spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis