|America as defined by the modern Left
Furthermore, the more you can claim victimhood of racial oppression, the more off the hook you are. And since we can tell racists by their skin color - owing to only one ethnic group capable of being racist in the first place - you had best find ways to redeem yourself of your inherent, genetic racism, which can't be forgiven if you are that skin color.
Because of this, there is no more reason not to see racism in all things and in all places than there was to see witchcraft everywhere in the 17th Century American colonies. In fact, it's likely we see racism more than they saw witches. And we all know about their obsession with witches back then.
Which brings me to something I may or may not have written about. I looked in the archive but couldn't find it. It was sensitive at the time, and for a long time I thought of writing on what happened, but chose not to. I do think I finally blogged about it but since I didn't use actual names, I can't find a way of going back and locating it. So because much has changed since then, I thought I'd bring it up again.
This will be an abridged version, just in case. It came about around 2016 that an old high school classmate of mine, two years my junior, posted on Facebook of the unbridled horror he went through in our racist, all white village in Ohio. Turns out he was hated by everyone: teachers, students, cops, dogs, cats, you name it. He and his brother were pulled over by cops, spat on by kids, completely alone and discriminated against.
His Facebook post drew out dozens of other classmates wailing with great tears and repentance, begging forgiveness, and saying how brave he was for calling us out for the racists we were. Now I must say something here. By today's standards were we racist? Yes. By standards back then were we racists? Depends. Sometimes maybe. At least in terms of humor and jokes. It was a cool thing to do in a mostly white community.
And trashing people for a laundry list of things - including ethnic differences - was all the rage back then, even if one or two particular cases were becoming verboten (blacks and gays). Respect was for old timers. Being cutting edge and racy was the cool thing to be. Of course there were other things we talked trash about too: weight, height, being an outsider, being poor. The results of a fallen world I suppose. But it wasn't something we dwelt on. It isn't as if we woke up everyday thinking how racist we could be. I'm actually sure entire months went by when we didn't give ethnic minorities a second thought. And if we knew them personally, we were as likely to be friends as not.
Including with this kid who, by my and other classmates' recollections, was not hated. In fact, he was an excellent student, a good athlete, and he was one of two students in my school who could breakdance. In the early 80s, that was worth its weight in gold. He was extremely popular with the girls, and even dated some of the more popular ones. If he had a hard time nabbing a permanent relationship it could have been due to the fickleness of females in that he was rather diminutive of height - barely about 5' tall in high school.
But he was popular with the teachers, was on several sports teams, often varsity and first team. He did well in school. His older brother, on the other hand, was a hellion. He was a bully, too. Unlike his younger brother, he was big. Tall, lanky but strong. And he and several others terrorized us younger classmen. Did we pop off the odd racial slur when he was coming after us? Yeah. It was about all we had in our arsenal. If it didn't do much, it did something, and that meant quite a bit right before getting the hell beat out of us.
His older brother was also a trouble maker. In a small town like that, trouble makers are watched by the cops. It is entirely possible that the younger brother may have at times been mistaken by the police for his more troublesome older brother, especially while driving. And it isn't because 'they all look alike'. Truth be told, I have four boys who look as different as night and day to my wife and me. But time and again people will say 'Gee, they look like those Russian dolls, just bigger and smaller versions of the same kid.' So if the cops thought the same thing, it might not have been racism at all.
That was about all I could remember of him. I'm not saying he encountered no racism. But I remember he could also be loud mouthed and rather caustic too. And he wouldn't have been the only one to be on the receiving end of cruel barbs, and he may have delivered a few of his own. As I said, ugly kids, fat kids, poor kids (we were a relatively wealthy little town), outsider kids, lanky kids, non-athletic kids, dumb kids, kids that play on rocks - you name it, everyone had something that could make them targets if they weren't in that rather elite upper Varsity and Cheerleader club in the school. And oddly enough, he was closer to that club than most.
So I was taken by not only his recollection of things, but how many others practically groveled at his feet and begged forgiveness. Again, unless there was some big part of his life I missed, he was generally liked, overall popular, ran with some of the more popular kids, got on well with the teachers and the school administration in general, and that was that. The Jim Crow horror story he wrote of was something I don't recall.
I thought of that when I saw a quickly circulating story in which Alex Van Halen, brother of the late Eddie Van Halen, laments the unbridled evil and racism they endured when they were in school - something I never heard mentioned all the years I was a fan. And I thought of a couple years ago when some Hollywood leading lady spoke of the horror of her days in school, outcast, hated, mocked because of racism. Only in her case, her classmates came forward with yearbooks (boy are those becoming important), showing her as a member of the homecoming court, cheerleader, among most popular and in all the cool clubs and organizations, hanging with friends and classmates, at the top of the school's popularity ladder. In short, she was wrong. Perhaps even lying.
And I wonder then, are the Van Halen brothers telling the truth? Are they right? Is this a case of some form of social hypnosis or suggestion, planting memories in people's minds? That actress (whose name I can't remember) was obviously wrong. My former classmate wove a story completely opposite of what I and other classmates I know remembered.
And if that is the case, how about the millions of others now out marching, screaming discrimination, howling about racism here and racism there. Are they right? Are they telling the truth? Were they bullies and while beating someone up, the only thing that someone could think to do was toss a racial slur in retaliation? Are they just lying?
It makes you wonder. Don't think I don't. We know from Salem that people are quite prepared to believe whatever. We know from cases of false accusations of child abuse back in the 80s and 90s that memories can be implanted. We know from the Nick Sandmann debacle that ethnic minorities can seize upon the current mentality and make false accusations against white Americans (in the case of Sandmann the American Indian activists was actually guilty of what he accused Sandmann of doing, yet the press, pundits and even Catholic leaders believed the activist based purely on ethnic grounds). Given that our society has all but said if you can claim discriminated-against-minority status you are exonerated of all responsibility, are a hero and martyr and can enjoy almost carte blanche, with no proof necessary but your claim, is it too difficult to think there could be recollections that are a bit wide of the reality?
This isn't to say there was never racism. Or that there isn't racism. It isn't even to challenge the modern notion of racism as the only all defining unforgivable sin. But just because it exists, does that mean some can't invent it? After all, if you asked almost any German in the 1930s who was to blame for their problems, they would have told you, whether it was true or not. I'm sure for many of them, they would have believed it.
UPDATE: Apparently DL Roth has jumped in and said the same. Again, do I doubt it happened? No. School can be cruel and kids can do and say all manner of nasty things. That the Left has declared racially tainted behavior to be the only one that matters doesn't change that. It does make us remember that perhaps Eddie and the gang were just as cruel to other kids for other reasons. Maybe not. Eddie and Alex were known to be rather brutal at times in their dealings, but that could be a factor of being rich and famous. As kids they may have been angels. Or not. But just like gays in the gay marriage debate, or women in #MeToo, racism is simply the only thing that matters now. It isn't really. Nor was it fifty years ago. But the purpose is, again, to divide people and strip away the idea that equality is a thing worth caring about, if not worth keeping.