The right’s favorite new race guru: Why you should know Jason Riley –

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The right’s favorite new race guru: Why you should know Jason Riley

WSJ’s Jason Riley blames liberalism for brainwashing black America. Here’s why it’s so wrong — and dangerous

The right's favorite new race guru: Why you should know Jason RileyJason Riley (Credit: Fox News)

The American left should start paying attention to the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley. His name is on the rise. An editorial board member of one of the nation’s most well-known publications, a paper that boasts an average weekday circulation of 2.4 million and falls under the umbrella of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News empire, Riley has a new book out, “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed,” which is beginning to pick up steam. This weekend, he’ll be featured on C-SPAN to talk about it. A few days ago, he sat down with Lou Dobbs. Before that, Bill O’Reilly. Now, his name is being praised by the National Journal (who called him an author who “annihilates nonsense”) and circulating throughout the Twittersphere as a man who has written “a great primer on race.”

As an African-American columnist, Riley has built his brand by diverging from the “black liberal” moniker. In fact, his career has been predicated on maintaining a conspicuous level of skepticism toward the “Lean Forward” stylings of MSNBC and the left’s alleged coziness with black America. He once said: “I think there’s a pattern at MSNBC of them hiring black mediocrities like Melissa Harris-Perry, Michael Eric Dyson, Touré and, of course — the granddaddy of them all — Al Sharpton, simply to race-bait.” Quite often he goes “against the grain” (much like ESPN’s Jason Whitlock). Perhaps this explains why a friend and former colleague of his at the WSJ lauded Riley for being an “affable” editorialist “who came to his views as a college student reading writers such as George Will and Charles Krauthammer in the otherwise liberal Buffalo News,” an independent thinker whose mind was heavily influenced by the works of “economist Tom Sowell and historian Shelby Steele, black thinkers who rejected the liberal pieties about race.”

Riley’s recent New York Post column“Why Liberals Should Stop Trying to ‘Help’ Black Americans” (much like his book) is undoubtedly a continuation of these teachings and his latest effort to invalidate liberal ideas. In it, he attempts to disentangle liberal rhetoric from the actual effects of liberal policies on black Americans. He wants to show how liberal ideology holds black success in the Lex Luger torture rack. But behind his fundamental question — “At what point does helping start hurting?” — also lies a troubling and familiar query, one that has historically proven resilient in American political discussion despite the best efforts to lay it to rest: Do black Americans actually need to be saved?

Riley thinks this to be the case. And it’s liberalism that black Americans need to be saved from. The crux of his claim, it seems, is that liberalism’s coercive powers cause more harm to black advancement than the painful enduring legacies of American slavery and Jim Crow era racism. These legacies, Riley writes, “are not holding down blacks half as much as the legacy of efforts to help them ‘overcome.’” To attach a sense of urgency to his words he then cites a few obvious statistics to show how the plight of the black community has worsened in the last 50 years. “The black-white poverty gap has widened over the last decade,” he writes, adding that the “black-white disparity in incarceration rates today is larger than it was in 1960” and that “the black unemployment rate has, on average, been twice as high as the white rate for five decades.” These grim statistics Riley puts forth demonstrate what we supposedly should have been skeptical of all along, liberalism’s ability to save black America.


Central to Riley’s rebuke of liberal politics is the presumption that black Americans have somehow been brainwashed into thinking of themselves as victims. “Today,” Riley writes, “there is no greater impediment to black advancement than the self-pitying mindset that permeates black culture.” This condition, Riley argues, is evidence of the triumphs(?) of liberalism, which “has also succeeded, tragically, in convincing blacks to see themselves first and foremost as victims.” Black Americans, so the story goes, have been duped by the liberal conspiracy. What’s more, they are as much to blame for conferring the status of victim as the grifting liberals who bequeathed that status upon them.

The problem with this logic is that it is unprovable and only exists in the minds of those who rely on myth to explain their own shallow assumptions. There is no evidence that blacks see themselves as victims any more than any other demographic, whether they be white, Latino, Asian-American or whatever. Black people don’t carry with them, in the words of New York’s Jonathan Chait, a “cultural residue” of oppression that they remain entangled in any more than the next race. If Riley bothered to survey actual black Americans he might realize this much. That blacks see themselves (like I hope Riley sees himself) not as victims, but as human beings, operating from unique experiences and disparate backgrounds while all tied to a larger complicated history. While, undoubtedly, self-pity may exist for some black individuals, it has not infiltrated the masses.

This is not to say that blacks have not been injured. The plundering of black people is as old as the country itself and still exists today. But it is not a result of the failures of liberalism; rather, it is a triumph of white supremacism. Liberalism did not deny opportunity and prosperity to black Americans; instead, racism attached itself to liberal policies. As the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates eloquently articulates in his June cover story, “The Case for Reparations,” the liberal holy grail, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, was crafted specifically to include the racist traditions of the Jim Crow South. “The omnibus programs passed under the Social Security Act in 1935 were crafted in such a way as to protect the southern way of life,” Coates explains. “Old-age insurance (Social Security proper) and unemployment insurance excluded farmworkers and domestics—jobs heavily occupied by blacks. When President Roosevelt signed Social Security into law in 1935, 65 percent of African Americans nationally and between 70 and 80 percent in the South were ineligible.” Coates also recounts how troves of black soldiers were denied access to low-interest home loans under Title III of the G.I. Bill due to racist local V.A. officials and racist lending practices by banks. Liberalism was overpowered by America’s most time-honored tradition.

Of course, despite evidence to the contrary, Riley is quick to remind us that this all happened in the distant past. And to be fair, his critique supposedly is limited to the last 50 years. Perhaps that is why he calls the spoils of the civil rights movement — “the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed racial discrimination in employment and education and ensured the ability of blacks to register and vote” — the shining example of “liberalism at its best.” This statement is not difficult to dispute, even if you only think (mistakenly) of liberalism within the confines of curbing racial discrimination. Other landmark achievements include legalizing interracial marriage and constitutional amendments banning slavery, giving blacks the right to vote, and bestowing full-personhood — rectifying the three-fifths clause — to blacks. “Liberalism at its best” was a set of laws guaranteeing black people what they supposedly were legally entitled to 100 years prior. The reoccurring theme was that “liberalism” (Riley’s definition) had to reassert its will against white supremacism.

Ironically, Riley’s beacon of “liberalism at its best” — the Voting Rights Act — is currently under threat, not by liberals but by conservatives. Yet, he makes no mention of this whatsoever in his column. Instead of standing up for what he says he believes, he chooses to stand with the very man, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who voted to effectively destroy it. Last year, Thomas was part of 5-4 split decision that ruled the VRA was unconstitutional. The court’s reasoning was that essentially, things have changed and gotten better; racism is a relic of the past. Riley’s complaint against liberals echoes the dangerous logic used by the court (what’s in the past is in the past!). Liberals “continue to blame the past,” he writes, inferring that times have changed. Liberals, black and white, seem drunk off their “obsession with racial slights real or imagined.” Essentially, this means that we talk too much about race. He then quotes Thomas who said to a crowd, oddly enough, despite what he wrote in his memoir, that America is more color sensitive now than during his time as a black child integrating into white schools in the deep South before the legal abolition of Jim Crow. “My sadness is that we are probably today more race-and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school … Everybody is sensitive,” Thomas said. Doubling down, Riley claims that we live “in an era when public policy bends over backward to accommodate blacks” and that even “King and his contemporaries demanded black self-improvement despite the abundant and overt racism of his day.” Once again liberalism’s best efforts to save black America have had a deleterious effect on the black psyche. We can’t even help ourselves.

According to Riley, the key offender of liberalism’s stranglehold over the black community is none other than America’s first black president, Barack Obama. Citing a sliver of the president’s remarks following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin — “They understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history” — Riley misconstrues the president’s empathy for liberal brainwashing. He writes: “Obama was doing exactly what liberals have been conditioning blacks to do since the 1960s, which is to blame black pathology on the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. And the president is conditioning the next generation of blacks to do the same.” Riley calls the president’s words a “dodge” for his policy failures, a representation of the “left’s sentimental support [that] has turned underprivileged blacks into playthings for liberal intellectuals and politicians who care more about clearing their conscience or winning votes than advocating behaviors and attitudes that have allowed other groups to get ahead.” Another example of the left’s indoctrination of black minds.

If this all seems like déjà vu, it should. Many of Riley’s criticisms echo the oft-cited talking points of the right wing. Which makes his polemic, one that excoriates liberals for “more of the same,” particularly laughable. It is not new ideas he yearns for, but old ones that conform with his limited pre-established political leanings. But on a deeper level, Riley’s invective sheds light on the twisted logic that continues to pervade Republican circles. He thinks that once the liberal spell is lifted, black liberation will be realized. That when blacks no longer drink the liberal Kool-Aid, believing in their status as victims, they will be made whole. Republicans, desperately trying to convince blacks to abandon the Democratic Party, have imparted the same messaging (evidence be damned): Liberals have made your lives worse; but we can save you. Rid yourselves of liberalism, and follow us down the road to salvation.

But the truth is no political ideology can save black people from the tireless forces of racism. White supremacy knows no party or clique. American history has proven how resilient the virus of racism can be; even when blacks have been made equal in the eyes of the law, racism resurrects itself and spreads through the veins that gives life to the American ideals of freedom and liberty.

This is history. And the Jason Rileys of the world can try to ignore it all they want. But they can only obfuscate what we feel all around us, that which we cannot separate ourselves from, that which we carry with us each day. As James Baldwin reminds us, “The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” To tell ourselves otherwise is to subscribe to a much more troubling pathology than victimhood, which is to detach ourselves from who we are.

Strangely, this is the path Jason Riley has chosen. And the sad part is none of us can save him.

Ian Blair is a writer living in New York City. Follow him on Twitter: @i2theb.

The Clash of Cultures

Posted 06/19/2017

Oncoming Racial Doom: The Clash of Cultures

Curiously, what made me give up all interest in the problems of blacks was not their virulent racism, the horrendous rates of crime, or the parasitism. Instead it was the assaults by blacks and their fellow travelers on Confederate monuments, particularly in New Orleans. Similarly, the banning of the Confederate battle flag at Gettysburg, for God’s sake. For reasons doubtless opaque to the historically ignorant, this annoys me.  Why should the least productive, most criminal, most dependent of the population rewrite history that in any event they don’t know? The erasure of the South and the Confederacy by people most of whom couldn’t spell it, of Washington and Jefferson and Lee by grifters, race hustlers,  wanton illiterates and the Brownshirts of Black Lives Matter…enough.

How many think this but won’t say it?

Now I find the black mayoress of Baltimore–a city lovely and livable in the time of Mencken before being made a decayed war zone by blacks–threatening monuments in that city. Enough. Too much.

I was not always sick of the misbehavior of blacks. In the now infinitely remote early Sixties, when I was a student in the last all-white class in Virginia’s rural King George High–graduated ‘64–integration was just beginning.  To the  extent that I thought about race, the question was abstract, a matter of moral principles, of  ideals and fairness, unrelated to an actual people with actual characteristics who might not integrate well. Blacks had been mistreated. If given the opportunity they would rise and join American civilization. That they might not occurred only to those with experience, which did not include me.

When my parents, wiser than I–if it is possible to be wiser than a seventeen-year-old–said that integration would not work. I didn’t believe them.

Time went by, and it didn’t work. Trouble began. Blacks became hostile, .demanding this and demanding that. Neighborhoods became dangerous. Schools, newly mixed, encountered The Gap, intractable and immortal,  that is the heart and cause of our racial disaster.  The riots arrived. Racial attacks on whites became common, covered up by the media. This censorship possible in the days before the internet.

The country began, though I didn’t recognize it at the time, as n.either did the country, treating blacks as a different category of humanity who could not be expected to obey the laws and rules or the expectations of civility.

For a while my sympathy held.  I was very young. Further, I had no experience of a school with a large black population. I justified the behavior of blacks as consequent to former privation. Surely it would change.

It didn’t. Years passed. We saw  corrupted schools, lowered standards, white flight, and journalistic dishonesty. More cities burned.

For decades white America made a desperate attempt to raise blacks to the level of the First World. It didn’t work. Instead saw a dragging down  of society to the culture of the ghetto. Blacks were behaving as usual as spoiled brats. Anything that upset them, as everything did, any expectation that they behave, led to cries of racism and depredations by such as Black Lives Matter.

As I  mentioned, my parents had said that blacks were could not function in the First World. It seemed that they were right. Desegregation had not worked, nor integration, nor quotas nor affirmative action nor Head Start.  What didn’t work was turning blacks into members of a European civilization in which they had no interest. It would have worked no better had blacks lived in China, Japan, or Russia.

Nothing worked and nothing is going to work. There is clarity in this realization, a clarity to admitting what is actually happening. It avoids tortured reasoning to show  that the dysfunction of blacks is due to anything and everything but blacks themselves. One need not make endless excuses for endless bad behavior, for the crime and dependency, the racial attacks, and the degradation of society.

The culture of the ghetto opposes everything usually believed proper in an advanced  society: high academic standards, equality of opportunity, good English, minimal obscenity, equality under the law, low rates of crime, reasonable self-reliance, freedom of speech. Black culture, intensely racist, encourages none of these and opposes most. It is tribal, based on identity, instead of principle.

For many, this is a difficult realization. Decades of unrelenting propaganda have trained us that blacks bear no responsibility for anything. Are they gunning each other down in city after city? It is because of guns, though whites have guns and do not kill each other. Do they perform abysmally in schools that they themselves control? It’s because of slavery, though there hasn’t been a slave in the country for 150 years. Are they irresponsible in their reproductive habits? It’s because of poverty, although they are not poor.

In this they differ from the rest of humanity as I have known it. I have lived in China, Thailand, Mexico, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and have traveled in some fifty other countries. All shared what might be called the core values of civilization. Blacks seem not to. Yes, many exceptions, varied degrees, but as a culture, they were, are, different. Would that it were not true, but it is.

Look at the foundations:

Education is the keystone of any modern civilization. Blacks alone care nothing for it. Exceptions, yes, but again, overall? No. The countless schools entirely controlled by blacks are the worst in America. They do  not improve.

Fox News:  “6 Baltimore schools, no students proficient in state tests” (of reading and arithmetic.)

Maybe the mayoress of Baltimore should pay more attention to this and less to statues she doesn’t like. She will not. If she were going to, she would have.

Accounts like the foregoing are routine, normal, expected. We have heard them for fifty years. Usually they include boilerplate about terrible obstacles, murdered relatives, addicted mothers, incarcerated youth, etc. These accounts invite pity and try to blame everything on whites. There is mandatory wonderment: What can be the cause of the academic gap? Doubtless white privilege, slavery, invisible discrimination, microaggressions, something, anything but blacks themselves. But whites can’t make black children do their homework, their daughters of thirteen avoid reproduction, their young males refrain from  killing each other. Whites are not their mother.

75% of black California boys don’t meet state reading standards

What is going on here? Learning to read is not difficult. Elsewhere poor people, people of color–I loathe that phrase–and poor people of color do it routinely. According to the CIA Factbook, literacy in Thailand is at  97%; Malaysia 95%; Mexico, 95%; and Colombia, 95%. The possible reasons for not learning in twelve years what white and brown kids do in three are low intelligence and lack of interest. Take your pick. The failure to learn imposes a heavy burden on society. Wild thought: Make welfare dependent on literacy.

Ask yourself, “Now what?”

Whether academic failure is cultural or genetic makes no difference, since neither is subject to change. Instead of requesting more rigorous textbooks and disciplining their children to study, blacks insist that courses be enstupidated for their benefit, that they be admitted to schools and courses for which they cannot qualify, that they get grades they did not earn. This is now normal. Nobody, black or white, liberal or conservative, expects blacks ever to do anything for themselves.

Of course one might ask why blacks would have any interest in most of what has been taught in American schools.  Europeans trace their intellectual  lineage from the invention of writing in Sumeria in the mid-Fourth Millennium BC through Greece, Rome, the Renaissance, their  literary heritage from  the Gilgamesh Epic through Tolkien. Blacks had no connection with this and did none of these things. It isn’t of their culture.

Cities have been the heart of the intellectual and artistic in all civilizations, as for example  Athens, Rome, Florence, Vienna, New York. By contrast, blacks have destroyed city after American city after American city. Trenton, Camden, Newark, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Gary, Flint, St. Louis, New Orleans, Milwaukee. At one time in all of these one could live, walk at will, send one’s children to the schools. Now, no. Violence, crime, racial attacks,and  illiteracy drive the civilized to remote suburbs. This is  not my culture and I see no reason to apologize for it.

Manners have been part of all civilizations. Civil societies everywhere impose a degree of control over obscenity. Everyone knows about sex and excretory functions. We leave them out of conversation. We can speak a sentence of three words without saying “motherfucker” five times.

Some perfectly ordinary rap “lyrics”:

“Then you roll your tongue, from the crack back to the front

Then suck it off ’til I shake and cum nigga

Make sure I keep bustin nuts nigga

All over your face and stuff”


This offal is excused because “it is their culture.” Exactly. When you cannot control abominable behavior by one group, you cannot control it for any group. Here is perhaps America’s gravest problem.

Virulent racial hostility–i.e., racismis deeply ingrained in black culture. Blacks hate whites, Asians, Hispanics, and Jews. Not all blacks of course, or to the same degree, but it is the centerline of black culture. It is what counts and shapes the future.

Anyone doubting the universal racial hostility of blacks might read White Girl Bleed a Lot, or Chinese Girl in the Ghetto by Ying Ma. She arrived in Oakland with her family, dirt poor, speaking no English.  She recounts–as do many white kids in black schools–endless racial abuse, taunting, stealing of food by blacks. (All on her own, incidentally,  she worked her way up and ended with a law degree from Stanford.  Apparently she found no lack of opportunity.)


One may see the depth of the hostility in the regular practice of making heroes and martyrs of blacks, usually criminals, killed by white police while utterly ignoring the many hundred of blacks killed every year by other blacks. This is a memorial to Freddie Gray of the Baltimore riots.

Headline: “Trayvon Martin’s parents accept posthumous aeronautical science degree”

A measure of the fairyland world of American politics is hat a criminal, killed attempting to beat a security officer to death, should solemnly be awarded a posthumous degree in something he probably could not spell. It is amusing–why not quantum chromodynamics?–but pathetic. The canonization reveals the separation from reality of, apparently, most of an entire race.  It is of one cloth with affirmative action and racial quotas. No substance, much pretense.



Dependence on whites is the backbone of black culture. Free breakfast for their children, free lunches, subsidized housing, free housing, AFDC, affirmative action, racial quotas, waivers. Nobody, not blacks, not whites, not the most dewy-eyed liberal expects blacks ever to live without charity from whites. Don’t believe me? Ask an ardent civil-libertarian when he expects blacks to have caught up and not need affirmative action. Never. It is just another entitlement. Whah mah free stuff?

Political correctness ensures that we cannot even talk about the problem. If  you suggest that blacks stop shooting each other, you are a racist. If you suggest that they study, you are a racist. If you suggest they get married before reproducing, you are a racist. It will continue until either America slowly deflates or hell breaks loose.


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Memorial Day Remembrance 2017

Am Flag Waving05292017

Remembrance for those from The John Tyler Class of 1967
That Gave All

For The Fallen:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them


is honored on Panel 54E, Row 28 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.


is honored on Panel 24W, Row 101 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.


My Fathers WWII Experiences
Compiled by my Mother

Rolling Thunder & The Run for the Wall

Ariana Grande Concert Bombing

170522-manchester-map-jhc-1040_88dab9bf931e0ce42c5a9e8aa2028cae.nbcnews-ux-2880-100005232017Ariana Grande Terrorist Bombing

May 22 2017

Manchester England

As the news broke last night of the terrorist bombing at the concert it became painfully obvious that this was a terrorist bombing.  The explosion was designed to kill and maim as many concert attendees as possible.  According to news reports from the scene as I  write this)  The Manchester bombing claimed 59 people, including 22 fatalities , many of whom were children.  Sadly, the bomber was known to British terrorist experts. The bomb was detonated in the foyer of the venue where the concert was held-an ideal location to injure/kill as many people as possible.  Considering Britain’s experience with terrorist bombings why wasn’t the area secured and those wanting entry when the concert attendees were leaving not searched?  This same location was bombed by the IRA years back

To me is seems that the Brits are hesitant to be aggressive in their willingness to expel those immigrants that are of Mideastern descent.  The U.S as well as Western Europe are leaving themselves wide open for worse.

More Insanity from the left:





Curly Bill is Gone!

Powers Boothe, ‘Deadwood,’ ‘Sin City’ Actor, Dies at 68

Powers Boothe Sin City


MAY 14, 2017 | 08:04PM PT

Powers Boothe, a prolific character actor on the small and big screen, died Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 68.

According to his rep, Boothe died in his sleep Sunday morning of natural causes.

The veteran actor was best known for playing snarling villains like Curly Bill Brocious in the 1993 Western “Tombstone” and saloon owner Cy Tolliver in HBO’s “Deadwood.”


Powers Boothe death Twitter reactions

Celebrities Pay Tribute to Prolific Actor Powers Boothe

He also appeared in several comic book shows and movies, portraying Senator Roark in “Sin City” and it’s sequel “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” (pictured above). He also had a small role in “The Avengers” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”


His talents weren’t only limited to genre material. Boothe played former mayor Lamar Wyatt on 26 episodes of the country drama “Nashville,” as well as Judge “Wall” Hatflied on “Hatfields & McCoys.” Prior to that, he played Vice President Daniels on “24.”Actor Beau Bridges tweeted news of Boothe’s passing on Sunday.

It’s with great sadness that I mourn the passing of my friend Powers Boothe. A dear friend, great actor, devoted father & husband.

“It’s with great sadness that I mourn the passing of my friend Powers Boothe. A dear friend, great actor, devoted father & husband.”

In 1980, Boothe took home the Emmy for lead actor in a limited series or special for playing infamous cult leader Jim Jones in “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.”


Celebrities Who Died in 2017

His other notable film roles included “Southern Comfort,” “Red Dawn,” “The Emerald Forest,” and Oliver Stone’s “Nixon,” in which he played Alexander Haig.

Born in Snyder, Texas, Boothe joined the Oregon Shakespeare Festival after graduating from college and worked in theater before moving to film and television.

According to reps, there will be a private service held in Texas where he was from. A memorial celebration in his honor is being considered for a future date. Donations can be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which honors the nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

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