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Burt Prelutsky / Jul. 18, 2020

Pandering Instead of Principles

Even decades ago, when I was still at UCLA, there were a lot of white people who wore their race guilt on their sleeve. They would condone behavior from minorities that would have provoked outrage if their fellow whites had done the same thing.

Even decades ago, when I was still at UCLA, there were a lot of white people who wore their race guilt on their sleeve. They would condone behavior from minorities that would have provoked outrage if their fellow whites had done the same thing.

It wasn’t limited to blacks, as is so often the case today. I still recall arguing with Harry Shearer (he of “Spinal Tap” and “The Simpsons”) about graffiti. He defended it as native art, an expression of the Mexican culture. It’s art, I patiently — okay, not so patiently — pointed out, when it’s on their own walls and fences; it’s vandalism when sprayed on other people’s.

Like many others, I can trace the decline of black Americans to the policies of Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey and others of their ilk in the 60s. Before the days of The Great Society, blacks tended to be traditional in their life styles. They tended to attend church, hold jobs and get married before having children. But in order to tie up their votes, Johnson came up with a piece of legislation that had Satan’s fingerprints all over it.

When the Democrats decided that they wouldn’t grant welfare to homes in which husbands and fathers resided, far too many black males made the devil’s bargain and moved out. So you can blame the Democrats for the role they played, but the blacks don’t come off scot free. I don’t know any white men who would desert their families and leave their survival entirely up to the government. Or, rather, I should say I certainly hope I don’t.

So, here we are half a century later, and well over 75% of black pregnancies either end up in an abortion or with babies who will be raised by young, single, semi-literate, women living on the dole. The future for those children will more likely than not end with gang membership for the males and a repetition of their mothers’ wasted lives for the females.

I am not trying to absolve white people of their guilt because I happen to be white, but because I don’t see how 150 years after the end of slavery and half a century after the abolition of Jim Crow laws, whites have anything to be guilty about. It’s certainly not white folks who keep electing the race card-playing likes of Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Val Demings, Lori Lightfoot, James Clyburn, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Ayanna Pressley, Al Green, Sheila Jackson-Lee, John Lewis and Muriel Bowser.

And it’s certainly not white folks who keep inviting America’s number one race pimp, Al Sharpton, to hog the stage at every high-profile black funeral.

It’s a matter of values and behavior.

I still recall several decades ago when crack cocaine suddenly became the drug of choice in the black community. Apparently, it was cheap and easily available.

A few black politicians tried to advance the conspiracy that the CIA had dropped large quantities in black neighborhoods, hoping, for some inexplicable reason, to get black people hooked.

It seemed far-fetched even for a conspiracy theory. But what struck me at the time is that even if it were true, what other large group of people would become drug addicts just because suddenly crack was readily available on the street corner?


After I wrote about baseball, one reader called my attention to the fact that before the days of free agency, most major leaguers had to hold down jobs during the off-season to make ends meet.

Back in those days, there was no players union and the athletes didn’t have agents. Some team owners were known to be more generous than others. In fact, when asked why the New York Yankees nearly always beat out the Boston Red Sox for the league pennant, a Yankee player candidly replied: “Because we needed the World Series money more than they did.”

He wasn’t kidding. The way it worked with the Yankees was that the owner gave the general manager only so much money with which to negotiate contracts. Whatever he didn’t spend, he got to keep.

Was it any wonder that a player could win the batting title and the guy across the table would point out that he’d hit three fewer homeruns than in the previous year and would offer a pay cut. After all, so far as he was concerned, that was his money they were fighting over.


One of my readers, when responding to my poll regarding employment, said she had prepared taxes in a small CPA office. The sign on her door had her name on it followed by the word Slave. After a while, she changed it to Executive Slave.

That’s how she felt when clients would show up the week prior to April 15th, demanding to have their taxes done by the deadline. She would warn them not to try to take advantage of her the following year. To drive home the warning, she hung a noose from the ceiling fan, letting them know their fate if they ever let it happen again. It worked.

“We had several black clients, including lawyers and doctors, and none of them ever took it personally.”


Patrick Miano and I were having an exchange about Russia and the possibility they would ever engage us in a nuclear war.

I said it was unlikely that any of the nuclear nations, which include the U.S., Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, the United Kingdom, France and even North Korea, would want to get involved in such insanity. So far, it’s been a Mexican standoff, with no country willing to risk nuclear retaliation. Iran is a wild card because when a nation is being run by religious zealots, they cannot be counted on to be rational even about their own personal survival.

But, all in all, I like our chances best of any of them. That’s because a first-strike on a nation’s capital would pretty much take the fight out of them. With their leaders dead, their people would likely wave a white flag and get started re-building.

But if someone was stupid enough to take out Washington, D.C., they’d be doing us a favor. Only then would the fight really begin.


Midori Uyeda sent me a sample of lines that sum up the eternal battle of the sexes.

“Behind every angry woman stands a man who has absolutely no idea what he did wrong.”

“Every time you talk to your wife, you should keep in mind that this conversation will be recorded for training and quality purposes.”

“If a woman says, ‘First of all’ during an argument, run away because she has prepared research, data and charts, and will destroy you.”

“Never make a woman angry. They can remember stuff that hasn’t even happened yet.”

On the other hand, British novelist William Golding stated: “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges whatever is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.”


Buz Chertok reports that Saint Peter was sitting at the Pearly Gates when two guys from Minneapolis arrived wearing dark hoodies and sagging pants, demanding to be let in.

Saint Peter gave them the once-over and then told them to wait there. “I’ll be right back.”

Saint Peter ran over to God’s office and filled him in on the two suspicious-looking characters at the entrance.

God sighed and said: “How many times do I have to tell you, Peter? You can’t be so judgmental. This is Heaven. All are loved here. All are brothers. Now go back and let them in.”

Saint Peter did as he was told but returned to God’s office a few minutes later to report “They’re gone.”

“The two guys in the hoodies?”

“No, the Pearly Gates!”

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