The New York Times, the Gray Lady, the former bastion of proper journalism, where legendary editor Abe Rosenthal maintained an iron wall between news and opinion, has become a full-on apparatus of the Democratic Party machine and leftist politics.

In other news, water is wet.

The erstwhile “paper of record” has given itself over to the dominance of Twitter’s chittering mob, as most obviously demonstrated by the lunacy that ensued after the paper published an op-ed by a sitting US Senator of the wrong political stripe. The Twitter horde was so incensed that the paper published a grotesquely self-serving retraction, and led to the defenestration of the editorial page editor and subsequent resignation of one of its more centrist writers.

That chittering mob, per a Pew Research survey, amounts to about 10% of Twitter’s adult populace, but produces 80% of that group’s tweets. To no one’s surprise, it leans substantially leftward.

On several occasions since its publication, I’ve cited the results of a survey by The Atlantic that showed that the percentage of the US electorate that considers itself “progressive activist” stands at 8%. That 8% is overwhelmingly six-figure earning, college educated, and white.

The very people we are told are the architects and perpetuators of systemic racism. Told by them. Economist Glenn C. Loury had something to say about that:

The tone of the conversation here in the U.S. in the last ten years has shifted to notions of systemic racism, white supremacy, and so on, as if those facts alone determine the outcomes in the schools and neighborhoods and prisons of America in the year 2020. I think that is a bogus argument, an argument of surrender, and it leaves one, oddly, petitioning the putative oppressor to save you from the consequences of his oppression.

Somewhere in the turbulent nascence of the Civil Rights Movement there emerged an attitude of “white-knight-ism” amongst the intelligentsia. An intelligentsia that, just 40 years earlier, was overtly racist and spawned the eugenics movement. Rather than seeking to equalize treatment of the oppressed, they engaged in a paternalistic exploitation of the movement for their own edification (and cynical political gain). This has not served the black community well, with poverty and dependence on government assistance virtually institutionalized for many, and the upward economic mobility that blacks were increasingly experiencing dampened, rather than assisted, by LBJ’s “Great Society” programs. As Ronald Reagan observed,

We waged a war on poverty, and poverty won.

Unsatisfied with the damage they did to minorities’ economic prospects, the intelligentsia started churning the “systemic racism” narrative, stoking increases in cultural strife these past few years. Strife that’s been egged on by today’s social justice warriors and progressive journalists, with reckless rhetoric, gross historical revisionism, and head-in-the-sand attitudes when it comes to the racist origins of some of their policies. Opportunities for real and positive reform, such as during the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, were washed away by the rush to white-knight every slight and perceived injustice with broad-brush virtue signaling such as “Defund The Police,” and the changes that would reduce the likelihood of future incidents (I’ve blogged about them and this matter here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) are not even on most people’s radar any more. Meanwhile, conservatives, embracing a blanket “we stand with the police” rejection of reform, are gleefully calling out politicians and activists who voiced “Defund The Police” but who now find themselves calling 911 in response to crimes against themselves or their property. The broad-brush treatment prompts a broad-brush antipode, and nothing gets done.

None of these behaviors should be surprising, because they’re common. Lessons from past iterations should inform people’s behaviors, but they don’t because there’s no gravy in altering those behaviors. Well-to-do white liberals want to be saviors, they want the satisfaction that they derive from being so. Thomas Sowell sub-titled his book The Vision of the Anointed, “Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy,” and that sub-title succinctly summarizes the governing philosophy of the savior class. It also explains how this crowd simultaneously engage in self-flagellation for sins they have assigned to all who look like them and self-aggrandizement for remediating behaviors that serve their egos more than the people on whose behalf they are white-knighting.

As always, the libertarian answer would put us on a better path: Treat everyone as an individual with rights equal to your own, with respect, and on merits. Chief Justice John Roberts echoed that path, back in 2009:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

In today’s upside down, topsy-turvy, Bizarro-world, newspeak, doublethink society, we are told that this notion is itself racist. Guess by whom?

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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