Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The essential role of false presmise for the modern Left

Is demonstrated nowhere better than the latest piece by the good deacon and Catholic film critic Steven Greydanus:

Here's the entire piece.  Note the premise.  There can't be legitimate criticisms of anything done to combat racism, that's how we know how wrong conservatives are for being bothered.  Kudos for his use of Selma; a subtle tactic of the Left to suggest that not a fraction of an inch of progress has happened between Selma and today.  Nonetheless, this sort of claim is one I hear bantered about whenever anyone does anything for any leftist cause.  Any criticism of the methods or tactics is met with the above rebuttal of flawed priorities. 

The same was said last year when conservatives were a bit miffed at the thousands of peaceful protesters who left in their wake destruction, arson, desecration of churches, assaults on government buildings, attacks on innocent bystanders and the odd dead body.  Oh yeah?  Well you just keep parsing all these little terms about fighting racism when fighting racism is all that matters (read: the end justifies the means)!  That was a frequent response, just like the one above. 

Of course most conservatives I know say that racism is bad, and we don't support it.  And that includes the latest anti-white racism that is has more similarities to a Jim Crow mentality redux than anything close to antiracism.  Conservatives merely object to certain means or methods, often times the very same methods or tactics that the Left will condemn in other occurrences. 

The good deacon might be interested to know that what set most people off about Kaepernick was how this followed fast on the evisceration of Tim Tebow for daring to bring politics into the hallowed and sacred world of non-political sports.  The assault on Tebow itself was problematic since many remembered the Left's celebration of such great moments of politicizing sports as the 1968 Olympics black power salute, or the celebrated anti-war protests of Muhammad Ali.  So that it was suddenly bad for Tebow to do the same thing sounded much more like liberals were only upset because it was non-Leftist politics, not politics in general, that was the problem.  The sudden praise and adoration for Kaepernick's leftwing protests supported that suspicion and exposed the naked hypcrisy and double standards. 

Likewise, most conservatives I know uphold the right to peacefully gather and lawfully protest. They're not fans of radical protesters who speak ill of America or Americans or wish death on people like police, but they'll usually stop short of saying such protests should be banned.  They will, however, object to riots, to unlawful assaults on innocent people, on vandalizing and destroying and killing, or the naked hypocrisy and double standards applied to non-leftists and ignored for leftists.  

That's something they don't like.  Likewise, they found themselves a bit miffed by the number of leftwing advocates - including Catholics - saying that while it's a damn shame innocents died during the BLM riots peaceful protests, their deaths didst glorify the Left, so it's OK. Especially after post-war liberals spend decades preaching that violence is never, ever the answer. 

That's what they object to, oh dear deacon.  Not protesting racism. Or parsing trivial terminology. But they do object to how it might be done, as well as hypocrisy in how standards are applied.  I keep hammering Deacon Greydanus because his fall into the leftwing mire of duplicity and subterfuge is one of the more flagrant, because of the good reputation as a mature and fair analyst of current events he used to have.  While I was never a big fan of his post-modern approach to film criticism (anything with leotards and CGI superhero graphics boosts a movie by one letter grade), I found him a man of good faith willing to debate fairly and openly, even when we disagreed. 

That's why it came as a shock as he joined the growing number of left aligned believers and accused me of racism for my views on immigration before banning me from his sites.  That has become an all too common tactic for those aligning with this increasingly destructive and anti-American/anti-Christian revolution we're witnessing. Assume the inability to be a non-leftist of good will, make the accusation of grave sin demonstrated by the unwillingness to conform to the Left, and then ban before any defense can be provided.  Perhaps it's necessary.  Goodness knows, many things like false premises and denial of reality seem to be necessary to maintain any semblance of allegiance with the Left.  That is especially true for those trying desperately to keep one foot in the gathering darkness of the Left with the other foot in the light of the Gospel. 


  1. "Systemic racism" is sociological phlogiston. It does not exist. There are off-the-books inter-cultural antagonisms, but they're not an important determinant of household income flows except in eccentric segments of the economy. There's also official discrimination enforced by courts, politicians and administrative agencies. It is consequential in the public sector, higher education, and in corporate and philanthropic professional-managerial employments. The people injured that are not people about whom cretins like Greydanus pretend to care. What a shallow poseur the man is. Buddy, you're late to the party by about 60 years.

    The black population suffers to a peculiar degree from some social problems. They are of two sorts: (1) things common-and-garden public policy cannot do jack about and should not attempt to do much about and (2) matters which can be addressed, but only with the use of policy instruments people like Greydanus have deemed unacceptable a priori.

    Black lives actually matter only to people to which Greydanus is indifferent or hostile.

    1. In my experience, nobody has ever pushed back against Jane the Actuary's rule of thumb definition, that systemic racism exists anywhere disparities in outcome can be observed along racial lines.

      That this completely ignores confounding factors and alternate explanations makes the intellectual bankruptcy inherent in the concept.

    2. ... patently obvious.

      I really hate the way captcha images are formatted on this site; one can never see both the bit you're looking for, and the "submit" button, without grabbing a frame-only scroll bar.

    3. I'm familiar with Jane the Actuary and I think she used to blog herself. I would wager she was being ironic.

    4. It's been years since we were assured that the Left/Press would look into the disastrous levels of black on black violence in America. Back in Ferguson, we were told that would be dealt with down the road, in two weeks. Years later, I have yet to see any serious national debate about it. That suggests, to my amateur mind, that black lives matter insofar as they can be exploited for greater agendas and narratives.

  2. Steven Greydanus is a second-rate film critic masquerading as a political commentator. He thinks he can succeed by kowtowing to the Catholic Left by parroting their pieties a la The Illustrious Mr. Shea. Neither of those "august" personalities realize that to be a *good* political commentator, you actually need to think instead of spew rhetorical excrement.

    Then again, if you're lazy or unintelligent, rhetorical excrement is all you have. Right, Mark?

    1. I'll be honest, I never cared for him as a film critic, though sometimes he had good points about movies. He was too post-modern for me. I used to find him a person who debated in good faith, even when we disagreed. Like so many who swing left, however, he became more and more intolerable, resorting to rhetorical doge and parry and even accusation rather than debating in good faith. It's hardly unique to the Left, but it seems almost a requirement for those on the Left.

    2. I submit it's all part and parcel of the "strong delusion" St. Paul talked about in 2 Thessalonians. If Satan governs the "spirit of the age," then he could well delude those who follow it. Being a Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, etc. per se is no defense, in and and by itself.


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