Joseph Kay, Robert Spencer, and the trap of criticism without opposition
is a comment
I’ve posted in the entry containing Joseph Kay’s article on Henry Louis Gates which I otherwise agree with, “Empty Suits Enjoy Intellectual Diplomatic Immunity”:
Let me add a further point. A writer who identifies a problem that threatens the very nature of our society, such as racial preferences, and then says that it’s better to accept it and not do anything about it, has consigned himself to moving forever in orbit around that problem.
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It’s like Robert Spencer and Islam. As discussed in a recent entry, Spencer has two contradictory impulses when it comes to Islam: his belief that Islam is bad and can’t be reformed; and his lack of desire decisively to oppose Islam. The latter leads him blatantly to contradict his argument that Islam can’t be reformed, by saying, over and over, “Ok, where are the imams who are going to reform Islam and make Islam something we can get along with? I’m still waiting, still waiting…” Just as a satellite around the earth is affected by two opposing forces, its momentum away from the earth, and the earth’s gravity pulling it toward the earth, and the balance between those two forces puts the satellite into a circular orbit around the earth, in the same way the two contradictory impulses that control Robert Spencer’s thought process leave him moving in a circle around Islam, endlessly repeating the same contradiction. The only way to escape the endless contradiction, the only way to free oneself from the trap of criticizing a deadly threat without opposing it, is to increase one’s speed and break free of the orbit that has one in thrall.
And I would say the same about Joseph Kay. When he describes the deadly race preferences system that has been imposed on us, and then adds that fighting it or getting rid of it would be worse, he is influencing readers to accept the unacceptable. He imagines that the race preference system is a viable compromise with which we can live. He doesn’t see that the demand that drives race preferences has not been pacified by this compromise, but that it will continue to demand more and more and more. All of which explains why Mr. Berman objected so strongly to the ending of Mr. Kay’s article.
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To continue with the orbit analogy. The orbiting intellectual such as Kay or Spencer imagines that he can remain in his orbit forever. He imagines that the planet around which he is orbiting is in a condition of stasis. But it’s not. That planet is expanding. Islam is expanding. The demand for group equality of outcomes is expanding. The gravity of these expanding planets is steadily increasing. The orbit in which the Kays and Spencers imagine themselves to be safely established will not last. If they remain in that orbit, and we with them, then they—and all of us—will be pulled to the earth and destroyed.
Mike Berman writes:
The analogy which Mr. Kay is fond of is how one treats a disease. To his mind there are diseases which can be cured but there are also those which can best be handled by properly managing them (arthritis, some forms of cancer, etc.). This is a term which is very appealing to Mr. Kay. He likes to manage those problems which he feels don’t present practical solutions.
Yes, and the analogy is not correct. As I said before, Mr. Kay is imagining a situation of stasis. He is ignoring the dynamic, spiritually greedy, ever-expansive nature of the left. He’s also ignoring the ongoing dynamics of the racial transformation of the country, which (perhaps he has not noticed this) has not stopped. It may be that his view of the racial problem is colored by his focus on blacks. Since the black population is not expanding in relation to whites, or at least not that much, he doesn’t notice the society-altering expansion of the nonwhite population as a whole.
Joseph Kay writes:
First, racial preferences are not “deadly” let alone destructive of U.S. society. While black on white violence continues on, none of it is organized. This is a far cry from the 1960s when black violent anti-white groups abounded. Stupid “random” shootings have replaced “revolution” and I honestly believe that affirmative action played a role here.
Second. the parade of inept black affirmative action doctors, lawyers, professors and all the rest have only a slight impact on the well-being of whites. So long as whites can avoid these impostors—and most can—there is little personal damage. Let Michael Jackson be treated by a black doctor.
Keep in mind that nearly all black crime in the U.S. is black-on-black, especially homicides. By contrast, Muslims want to kill non-Muslims.
The racial spoils system is profoundly different from Muslim efforts to capture American society. Blacks just want to gorge themselves on consumption and affirmative action supplies the loot. Radical Muslims, by contract, tend to be ascetic and seek totalitarian conquest. Life would be simple if they could be seduced by trinkets. I personally take the Muslim threat far more seriously than what occurs with racial preferences.I am an absolute hard liner when it comes to dealing with Islam—guilty until proven innocent.
Third, a degree of corruption is essential for society to function. Colleges depend on donors and their children do get special treatment in admissions. It is only a matter of degree, not kind.The last figures I saw was that legacy admits scored nine points lower on the SAT; the figure for black affirmative action admits was 200. If you really want to see educational corruption just look at Division I-A football and basketball (and this includes whites). Ridding society of these preferences is a cure worse than the disease—people want dumb jocks at Harvard if this brings a championship.
Overall, I view racial preferences more as a tax than a threat. And like all taxes, it has both benefits and costs. Those of us who recall the racial riots of the 1960s (there were over 350 of them) can well appreciate these benefits though we often complain (justifiably) that the “tax rate” is just too high.
I would certainly abolish racial preferences if I had the slightest opportunity. But there are other things I worry about much more.
Cornelius J. Troost writes:
Joseph Kay’s original essay is a masterpiece of honest analysis that we must honor regardless of his more muted “cure” for the cancer of racial preferences. Surely we all see how deeply entrenched is the liberal bias generally and the diversity hierarchy particularly across academia. This tidal wave was assessed brilliantly by none other than Richard Bernstein in his book called The Dictatorship of Virtue in 1995. Bernstein already saw the dangers of this sweeping distortion of education’s once revered meritocratic system.
I agree with Kay that our society can absorb much of this new wave of affirmative action products but I predict a general decline in the quality of life because of “the Kay Effect” which is the increasing array of inferior but “educated” minorities who have delusions of grandeur and skills far below their self images. I visited my son in a major Florida hospital and was stunned to find the lobby unguarded and homeless types hanging around the entrance. Many people looked disheveled throughout my trip to the seventh floor. Black nurses dominated the hospital personnel and one could readily sense an air of disorganized activity that had replaced the order and quiet of the old days. When my son was ready to leave his personal effects could not be found! Hospitals have a strict protocol as regards personal property, but these people managed to lose his property. As they randomly searched different cabinets, I felt that the quality of hospitals must suffer with this new guard with weaker skills and a poor sense of order. Now imagine our elementary schools with vast numbers of black teachers who somehow got college degrees majoring in education and African American Studies. Many will pay for quietly implemented new social order.
I agree with Kay that we cannot fight the left and their dictatorship any one way. We have to nibble at the edges and support the likes of LA, Steve Sailer, David Horowitz, and more mainstream writers and academics who see the damaging effects of this grand charade. It is ironic that we have a schizophrenic right with mainstream Hannitys fighting for social issues but ignoring the painfully obvious injustices attached to racial preferences. Only Pat Buchanan seems to survive in the limelight despite occasional forays into forbidden topics. However, we need all of these variegated forms of conservative artillery to fight this ideological contagion.
Hats off to Dr. Kay for an eloquent essay on a taboo topic.
I just want to repeat what Mr. Troost said:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 09, 2009 03:58 PM | Send
“It is ironic that we have a schizophrenic right with mainstream Hannitys fighting for social issues but ignoring the painfully obvious injustices attached to racial preferences.”
This is so true. The conservatives oppose AA for various reasons—but one reason for which they will never oppose it is that it has the effect of drastically lowering the quality of institutions and professions, lowering schools, lowering hospitals, lowering police departments, lowering everything. Why don’t they want to mention this? Obviously because that touches on the reality of racial differences in ability. How can Mr. Kay imagine that this ongoing lowering of the quality of our society to the African level is something we ought to accept?