Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oath Keepers shooting themselves in the foot. Or, SPLC and leftism 1 -- Oath Keepers 0

(Note: The entry has undergone some minor revisions since first posted.)

(Note: Robert Gomez has posted a thoughtful response to my critical comments under the Oklahoma Oath Keepers discussion thread mentioned below. And I reply.)

While browsing the Oklahoma Oath Keepers message forum last night, I ran across this discussion started by Oklahoma State Director Robert Gomez.

Mr. Gomez writes:

Since I joined the group I have not seen nor gotten the impression from any writings on our group’s forum to suggest that any of the Oklahoma group members have any feelings other than a deep love of our Republic and its foundation the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

With that said.

The media and former President Carter’s comments along with Speaker Pelosi’s innuendos are stirring up the notion that anyone opposed to the current administration and its policies are racist.

The Oath Keepers as an organization cannot nor will not be linked to anything other than the truth.

We are a group of concerned citizens that took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and we vow to continue to uphold or reaffirm that oath.

We must stay focused on the real issues that threaten the Republic and not be distracted or fall into the traps they are setting for opposition groups. Racism or any type of discrimination will not be tolerated by the Oath Keepers.

Later in the thread Mr. Gomez mentions the SPLC and its depiction of the Oath Keepers as a "racist" organization. Other commenters quickly join in to the "Racism or any type of discrimination will not be tolerated by Oath Keepers" solo began by Robert Gomez in his initial entry. And the thread accordingly deteriorates into a leftier-than-thou chorus of commentators singing the worshipful praises of the ruling principles of modern American society -- absolute equality and non-discriminationism. One commenter in particular declares that she not only supports and celebrates racial and cultural diversity (and the more the better!), but that she cannot possibly function well without it, nor can this society presumably by her reasoning, or by inference. She follows up on the point, saying that she cannot understand why anyone would want to surround themselves with people ethnically, culturally, religiously like themselves, adding "yuck!" Of course, she's probably not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on this point, but whatever. After all, she isn't under oath here. Or is she?

After reading the comments in the thread last night and sleeping on it, I returned to the thread this morning and posted the following "racist" comment:

TM writes:

Well, first of all, the hate-obsessed leftist SPLC wouldn't garner to itself the slightest attention, positive or negative, in a healthy, self-confident (as opposed to self-loathing) society not dominated by the destructive influence of liberalism. Second, the race-baiters and hate-baiters at organizations like the SPLC et al, are always going to deem such organizations as this one as inherently racist, homophobic, xenophobic, ad infinitum. That is their job.

Since there aren't enough real racist haters out there for the SPLC and others to concentrate their efforts on, they accordingly go after groups like this. But the onus is on them to prove their charges, not on the Oath Keepers to prove its innocence. Speaking of which, some of you seem to be convinced that the latter is the case, not the former. Hence, you expend all kinds of effort trying to prove your non-racism and the non-racism of the Oath Keeper organization by extension, showing why you can't possibly be a racist and etcetera ("I love diversity," "I don't have a racist bone in my body," "I have a lot of friends who are black," and the like.). This approach of yours, which gets repeated over and over and over again in a variety of ways tends to place severe restrictions on the ability of such organizations to tackle the tough issues.

Personally, I ain't real sure what the term "racism" means anymore, or whether it has a fixed meaning that we can all rely on at any given moment under any given set of circumstances. It can't possibly mean the hatred of a fellow human being based entirely on the color of his skin because the term is constantly applied to people who are anything but. But speaking for myself, and only for myself, being realistic about and speaking candidly about racial and cultural differences, about the destructiveness of mass immigration and multiculturalism and etc., cannot be said to be "racist." If it can, then at least 80% of Oklahoma's population is "racist" by definition, since it supports the provisions of H.B. 1804 by that very margin.

But anyway...

I'm beginning to understand now why the Oath Keepers chose, from the great abundance of far stronger examples of their supposed point, to include the footage from the aftermath of Katrina in N.O. in their promotional video that I posted the other day. They're trying to show how non-racist they are, which seems to be a main, if not THE main focus of the group as it stands now. (Actually, I realized this several days ago, so it's technically not accurate to say that "I'm beginning to realize...," but that's beside the point)

But my overarching point is really very simple -- if "racism" and if "discrimination of any kind" (I ain't real sure whose definition of these terms we're applying, but I have my suspicions) will not be tolerated by the Oath Keepers, which is to say that open and candid discussion of racial and cultural differences, of mass third-world immigration to the U.S., of the comparative dependency of one group of people vs. the comparative independency of another group of people, of one group's relative dedication to the principles of the constitution and our form of government vs. another group's relative hatred for those principles, and etc., will not be tolerated by the Oath Keepers, then what purpose can they possibly serve more than being enablers for the SPLC and its destructive, America-hating agenda?

I could say a lot more on the subject, but I'll save it for the comment section.

11 comments:

chiu_chunling said...

I have to make a distinction between institutional and personal racism at this point. Human beings are, by virtue of the instincts which confer natural affection for genetic relatives, inherently disposed to racial prejudice. To subject this inherent prejudice to the rational faculty of the individual, a reasoned understanding of racial distinctions is essential. Even if you go no further than "my people are better at synthesizing vitamin D during cold weather" or "my people resist the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation better", you have to admit that you perceive race in order to have any chance at making rational rather than irrational judgments of others who are clearly genetically distinct from your relatives.

Institutions, however, do not have instincts except for the prevailing social conformity instincts of the majority of their influential decision-makers. Institutions really can be color-blind. And, given how unreliable racial heritage is in assessing most of the important particulars of individual cases, color-blindness is a useful characteristic to foster for those entities to which it is not inherently impossible.

In other words, impartiality is good. Individual humans can never be truly impartial (or they would cease to be human), but institutions should be.

Now, what does racial impartiality require of an institution? First, there should be no institutionalized preferences for any particular racial group. If a group is statistically underrepresented in the institution, there is no logical reason to assume that this is because the institution isn't impartial. If martians are statistically underrepresented in the ranks of the Oath Keepers, it might have something to do with the fact that it's a rather long walk on the best days and Mars is long past its best days.

It would be silly to go to great effort to try and redress the relative lack of martian membership in the organization...it would be pointless to even try to figure out what the statistically correct percentage or martians would be and actively intrusive and rude to root through the personal information of members to determine the current level of martian membership.

Logically, there can be no rational difference in the way an institution treats non-martian races if the institution is truly be impartial with respect to race. Thus, any effort towards 'diversity' which doesn't seriously address the specific question of martians is overtly racist. The institutionalization of such an effort makes the institution overtly racist.

The Framers of the Constitution went to pains to avoid referring to race. Even the references to Indians are specific to their status as citizens of nations independent of the United States (an Original Intent argument applying the term to cover all citizens of other nations residing within the boundaries of the United States is certainly possible, but I do not favor it, as the ratified language specifies Indian tribes).

By contrast, modern institutions are obsessed with details of racial composition and individual racial heritage. Whatever anyone may wish to say about this being "corrective" racism, it is still racism and needs to be identified as such.

The Oath Keepers should boldly take the offensive on this issue. They hold the logically unassailable position based on real institutional indifference towards race.

Terry Morris said...

I have a theory...

I think this extreme application of the principle of non-discriminationism all got started when the Hollywood movie "No Time for Sergeants" was released for public viewing. Recall the scene in the movie when Andy Griffith's character is stunned into silence and absolute motionlessness at the mere sight of an approaching female U.S. military officer.

Incidentally, I had a somewhat similar experience while in AF basic training. Apparently I was being, well, less than respectful towards this officer in that I was answering "yes" and "no" to her questions instead of "yes ma'am, no ma'am." At some point she rebukingly asked whether I had some problem with female military officers or of referring to them as "ma'am." I lied, answering "no ma'am," er, NO MA'AAAMM! LOL But I can assure you that it wasn't me, but she who initiated the whole let's-drop-the-formalities style of conversation that transpired between us in her office ... until that fateful moment.

Later in the movie aforementioned, Griffith's character is given a chance to redeem himself before a couple of young, vibrant female officers (in today's terms "hotties"). Having by then adopted his friend's gender-blind perspective and internalized his instructions on the subject, he announces to the others present, to their great astonishment, that he sees nothing but bars, nothing but officers.

No Time for Sergeants is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Those two scenes in particular never fail to crack me up.

But, of course, I tease when I feign to establish a cause-effect relationship between modern application of the non-discrimination principle and the release of the movie. At least I think I'm teasing. Then again, I could have been reading the female officer I encountered entirely wrong when I determined that she intended for us to temporarily drop the formalities stuff. I still ain't figured out what kind of game we were actually playing during that episode. But she was a young officer fresh out of the Academy (kinda cute too), so I imagine that she realized her initial mistake and sought to correct it. If they don't teach 'em at the Academy to never give an enlisted man an inch for fear he'll take a mile, they damn sure ought to. ;-)

Seriously though, and since your post does address the issue seriously, what do you suggest should be the approach of the Oath Keepers to addressing the charge of racism, gender discrimination and all of that? You're saying that they should boldly announce that as an institution Oath Keepers makes no racial, gender, religious, etc., distinctions? And leave it at that?

chiu_chunling said...

They should boldly announce that it is the SPLC which is making overtly racist judgments as a matter of institutionalized policy. The SPLC is the group that decides whether a group is 'dangerous' based on the predominant racial composition of its membership rather than the content of its charter, which seeks to implement racial preference as a matter of federal law, which goes around demanding to know everyone's race before deciding on the legitimacy of their complaints.

They are overtly, undeniably racist, and anyone who cares about stamping out institutional racism should be quick to point that out the moment SPLC tries to enter the equation.

Terry Morris said...

Thanks, Chiu, for that clarification. I can be a little daft at times, so I might occasionally ask you to cut more to the chase in a follow-up post.

But yes. Your's, I think, is the correct approach. As opposed to the one they've apparently (informally) adopted at the Oath Keepers. I'm submitting your name for consideration for the post of "racism czar" under Stewart Rhodes's administration. Not only will I point out your superior (though I'll probably choose a less ... offensive word than "superior" since a word like that would likely create an instant sense of discomfort within the group's leadership circle) reasoned qualifications for the job -- your two posts in this thread should more than suffice for that -- but I'll also be pointing out that you're of Asian descent, thus you can't possibly be a racist. You should be a shoe-in. That is, if I don't muck it up with the wrong terminology. ;-)

Terry Morris said...

Update Nov. 2nd: I've added a new note at the top of the entry.

chiu_chunling said...

Uh...Asians are the most racist large racial group, generally speaking. I'm atypical in that I'm congenitally blind to genetic relationships--including 'natural affection' for close family--but I make a specific effort to be aware of race and other degrees of genetic similarity, even though I'm not much good at it. I don't really regard this as a tragic disability or anything, but it has occasionally led to embarrassment or misunderstanding in the past.

Terry Morris said...

DOH!!!

What I should have said is that you're a member of a racial minority in America, thus you can't be racist. Following, of course, the generally applicable understanding that racial minorities can't possibly be racist. The Asian exception had apparently momentarily eluded me earlier. But I'm back to my senses now.

By the way, why is it that there is an Asian exception? Is it because of the higher IQs of Asians?

rFlJC8kopv.OeDhK.xEDWa77INZHbmZ8BXA- said...

Probably has more to do with the clannish tendencies of Asian cultures. Which does relate to higher levels of academic and economic achievement.

Also, Asians have a harder time understanding the whole "racism is a terrible crime" stance. They are hesitant to try and exploit white guilt and usually do it rather badly because they basically understand that the "blame whitey" game is itself racist. So even though Asian groups have just as much ammunition as anyone else, they're less adept at using it.

The third, and most telling factor, is that Asians have much better cultural memory (clannish tendencies again) and thus better understand just how dangerous it can be to back the people who have all the real power into a corner. You don't angle for a game of cowboys and Indians when the other guys are the cowboys. It just isn't smart.

For all of these reasons, Asians tend to lag several steps behind other racial groups in exploiting white guilt tactics, and they don't readily adopt any solidarity with the racial groups which take the lead.

chiu_chunling said...

Ack, Yahoo strikes again.

Also, one final point. Asians were very slow to unify as a single group due to greater identification with particular nationalities. Up until very recently if you used some derogatory term for 'Asians' you would be more likely to offend an Asian by mistaking them for another nationality than by expressing contempt for that nationality. The idea of 'contempt applied to all Asians' is just that foreign to most Asian cultures.

Indeed, it is still far from certain that any given Asian you meet will feel a sense of solidarity with all Asians rather than a specific ethnicity or nation. The typical Chinese or Korean is going to feel just as uncomfortable around a bunch of Vietnamese kids as any white person might. Shuffle the terms around as you like. Conversely, a Thai isn't going to automatically celebrate when someone with a Japanese name gains high office.

jamey said...

It has been my experience, that playing the "racist card" is the quickest way to really pucker up some a**holes (and by that, I mean scare people in to a panic)and/or taint a person or organization with a stench that only gets worse the harder they work to remove it.
The mear mention of racism, in the work place, will send the whole corporation in to recovery mode. Regardless, of the validaty of the claim. Nobody wants to be tainted by that stain.
Same goes for political circles. The mear implication that a candidate is a racist or in any way affiliated with a racist group will knock him/her right out of the race. If they aren't knocked out of the race, they will spend the next several month etc.. defending themselves.
It is no different than asking a man.. "do you still beat your wife?" Either response labels him as a wife beater.
You are better off not responding to such nonsensical blather.

jamey said...

One more thought.... It is fear mongering at its most basic form.