"When You Say Nothing At All" (opens in separate window)

among the elect

friday, september 9th, 2022

If the United States manages to put down the woke revolution, it will be because a critical mass of liberals chooses to reject it. Conservatives, opposed to wokeness from the start, can make arguments and stand up for their principles individually. But they can’t stop the liberal-to-woke conversion process that turns mildly left-of-center Americans into cosplay Black Panthers overnight. The liberals themselves are the gatekeepers of their own movement and its institutions. Given that these institutions—news media, social media, entertainment, academia, and the current majority party in Washington—shape so many aspects of American life, it’s mostly up to liberals to halt and reverse the transformation of the country.

Among the dozen or so prominent liberals who have answered this call, John McWhorter has taken on an invaluable role. McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia University, is less consumed with particular woke-inspired outrages than with getting at the substance of wokeness itself and the threat it poses to his fellow black Americans. On those matters, his new book, Woke Racism, makes several major contributions.

First, it’s not pitched at the woke. McWhorter is done with them. “Our current conversations waste massive amounts of energy by missing the futility of ‘dialogue’ with them,” he writes. No one can be argued out of wokeness and, just as crucially, McWhorter wants to get to liberals—black and white—before they’re irretrievably lost to the impenetrable mob: “I want to reach those on the fence, guilted into attention by these ideologues’ passion and rhetoric but unable to disregard their true inner compass.”

The beatings will continue, until morale improves.

McWhorter also argues that wokeness is insulting to and catastrophic for black Americans. By the lights of the woke, he says, “white people calling themselves our saviors make black people look like the dumbest, weakest, most self-indulgent human beings in the history of our species, and teach black people to revel in that status and cherish it as making us special.”

Despite the book’s title, McWhorter dispenses with the term woke altogether. Borrowing, with acknowledgment, from the conservative writer Joseph Bottum, he deems the woke “the Elect.” The term evokes the social-justice warrior’s smugness in his sense of having come to higher moral knowledge. The Elect also has a helpfully medieval resonance to it: “This is apt, in that the view they think of as, indeed, sacrosanct is directly equivalent to views people centuries before us were as fervently devoted to as today’s Elect are.” The Elect are, to some degree, inquisitors.

From there, McWhorter makes his most convincing argument—that Electism is not a political persuasion at all but a religion. “I do not mean that these people’s ideology is ‘like’ a religion,” he writes. “I seek no rhetorical snap in the comparison. I mean that it actually is a religion. An anthropologist would see no difference in type between Pentecostalism and this new form of antiracism.”

Understanding Electism as a real, not metaphorical, religion, requires some explication. McWhorter details the new faith’s tenets and motivations at length. Like any religion, Electism involves “certain suspensions of disbelief.” This means, for example, one is not to question the Elect’s boundless outrage over the police killing of George Floyd compared with its more muted response to thousands of black-on-black murders committed the same year. “Does that mean ‘It’s not as bad if we do it to ourselves?’” McWhorter asks. Moreover, “to suspend disbelief,” he writes, “is a kind of submission.” And the Elect evince this submission when they refuse to question a host of policies—from an extreme version of affirmative action to defunding police—that show no benefit for the black Americans the Elect want to help.

The Elect also have a very influential clergy. Figures such as Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and Ta-Nehisi Coates make up a priestly class, and their writings are scripture. This explains, for example, the ecstatic response to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s 2014 essay “The Case for Reparations.” “People loved Coates’s article not as politics,” McWhorter writes. It was taken, instead, “as a sermon.” The clergy must continue to pump out such sermons lest the “superstitious, non-empirical wing” of the movement become distracted by earthly matters.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s opened a Web browser in the past two years that the Elect’s original sin is “white privilege.” Like the Christian concept of original sin, McWhorter cleverly notes, this one comes “complete with ineradicability.” Confess, by all means. Self-flagellate, too. But you can never truly atone for whiteness.

McWhorter says that Electism is apocalyptic, in the sense that its adherents speak constantly of a day of racial reckoning for America. He could have gone a bit further here and made his point even sharper. Since the killing of George Floyd, the Elect (McWhorter makes it hard to resist the term) have spoken time and time again of tearing down the entire American political and financial system and replacing it with a social-justice paradise. He’s right when he says that Electism adheres to an Abrahamic narrative of a perfect past, a broken present, and a heavenly future. “Under the Elect, black people’s noble past is Africa,” he writes. “The glorious future is about those terms that we will come to; while the present, if the religion is to make any kind of sense, must always be a cesspool.”

The beatings will continue, until morale improves.

It should be self-evident that Electism is an evangelical faith. If it weren’t, there would be little need for this book. It’s similarly plain to see that the Elect go after heretics.

Finally, Electism, like other successful faiths, is supplanting older religions. McWhorter offers the example of a pastor at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York City who “led vows addressing white privilege and racial justice, melding Catholicism and Electism on the level of personal testimony in a fashion much more reminiscent of White Fragility than Dorothy Day,” the Catholic activist who practically invented the idea of “social justice.” (The repurposing of an ancient religion for the same ends has been such a notable feature of Jewish worship over the past few years that one suspects McWhorter left it out of his book only because he didn’t know where to begin.)

The cords of logic that connect McWhorter’s insights throughout the book all spring from his air-tight case for Electism as a religion. Because of this, Woke Racism is an outstanding, paradigm-shifting success. What this makes clear is that when you know you’re dealing with a religious believer and not a political activist, many things fall into place. You’re unlikely to get anywhere arguing with the Elect because you can’t argue a believer out of his faith. Similarly, fence-sitting liberals are made uneasy by the claims of Electism because such claims make sense only within a specific religious paradigm. Getting a professor fired for saying “All Lives Matter” has zero practical benefit for any African American. But if you launch a successful witch hunt of that sort, you satisfy Electism’s religious requirement to keep America’s original sin, 'white privilege', ever prominent in your mind.

And that—ruminating on the evil of white privilege—is the goal of all Electism’s work. It’s not about policies that would correct racial injustices. We know from years of hard data that the policies the Elect propose do great harm to African Americans. Defunding police means more murdered black people. Extreme affirmative action means fewer black students making the honor roll. Easing up on conduct standards in public schools means fewer black children getting an education.

And it’s not about broadcasting an understanding of race relations that makes people of color feel safer. First off, no one is made unsafe by the thoughts in your head. Second, behaviors that make people unsafe—harassment and workplace discrimination—are already crimes. Third, by the logic of Electism, people of color can never feel safe around whites because white privilege is a permanent phenomenon. More critical still, the worldview that Electism fosters is plainly racist and directly harmful to blacks. McWhorter writes of the Elect who give the New York Times’ Nikole Hannah-Jones a pass on her faulty history: “They are condescending to a black woman who deserves better, even if the zeitgeist she has been minted in prevents her from knowing it herself.”

But the well-being of Hannah-Jones or of African Americans in general isn’t really what matters to the Elect. What matters is fulfilling a religious obligation to expose at all turns a phantasmagoric force called white privilege. They are, as McWhorter calls them, “medievals with lattes.”

The beatings will continue, until morale improves.

What would genuinely help those black Americans who suffer from the destructive and complicated modern-day consequences of slavery and Jim Crow? McWhorter offers a short list of policy ideas: 1) end the war on drugs; 2) teach kids from homes where little reading is done to read with phonics; and 3) boost vocational training and stop promoting college for everyone. There’s very good sense in some of this and there’s also much to quibble with. But it’s not theology posing as politics. And we will have a full airing of real-world policy arguments only when the superstitious mob loses its grip on liberal America.

© 12/21 by Abe Greenwald, "Politics & Ideas".

A Day In The Life.

Up at 9:00a on Friday, I went thru my finger stick to check my BSL (Blood Sugar Level) and recorded it on my Diabetes 2 chart, made coffee and breakfast, used CBD Ointment Level 4 on my sore right shoulder, took a Tylenol Extra Strength for various pains, had a couple smokes in the cool garage and checked the leftover errands list. It was already 65°, and forecast to hit 85° with just mild humidity. A nice Labor Day Weekend ahead.

I tuned into the "Chris Plante Show" while trying to wake-up, with a couple mugs of delicious Kona Hawaiian Volcanic Estate Coffee, and some smokes out on the back patio, right-off my office-sunroom. I opened the front a rear storm doors' screen sections, to get some fresh, cool air thru. Nice.

Did you watch Pedophile Joey Bidet&Co's dark, delusional, hateful, divisive, hate-filled, demon "speech" at Independence Hall in Philly, bathed in red satan or porn light, at "aatanic Hall"? Me neither; I knew what was coming. Total mentally-ill leftists' bullshit. Here's the speech, translated.

Does this short video make you nostalgic?

I had lunch, took a short snooze, and got a call from Sherry at around 3p, that her eye dr's exam went well, but her eyes were still dilated and it'd be a while until she arrived. She finally did and we had a great time. She left after 6p, I had a light dinner, took the usual evening's 16-pill regimen, watched Fox' "Tucker" and some other show until 10:30, and bagged it for the night.

Awake at 8a on Saturday, Labor Day Weekend, I did the routines, had coffee and smokes on the back patio, checked the weather and news on the computer, and took a 50mg Tramadol for the right shoulder and lower left back pain. It was a cool 72° but with a high 70% humidity, already. The forecast was for for 90° and higher humidity. I had nopthing on my day's "to-do list", so I'd stay in and do some paperwork and filing, and try to finish-up the last of the pile.I waiting an hour for breakfast, until the Tramadol took effect.

I went out and cut back some spent Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia Goldsturm) until the heat arrived, getting about 1/3 of the large patch done. I'll try later this evening, or maybe tomorrow. Just too hot and humid right now. My Sister stopped-by and brought some of her stuff over, since she'll be moving in here, temporarily, for 4-5 months, while her condo's being seriously rehabbed. I made lunch for her, and we watched some IndyCar racing from Detroit, until the clownish TrashCar race came on at 3p. She left, with errands to do. They had some rain at the oval Darlington (SC) track, which caused a ridiculous 2½ hour delay, until they dried-off the track. Those morons have *Rain Tires*, but are afraid to use them. They're wimps, clowns and punks.

During the delay, I watched History's "American Pickers" until 11p, and gave-up on the TrashCar xfinity Series 2nd tier clowns for the day. By 11p, I packed it in for the night, since I'm getting up at 6a to see the F-1 Netherlands Grand Prix.

My alarm went-off at 6a on Sunday, already a sunny, 67°, 80% humidity morning. High dew point. I had breakfast, my usual morning shower, dsid a load of laundry, and the F-1 GP of the Netherlands (Zandwort) was on at 9a. Good race. I had lunch; too hot and humid to water, and fight any bees/wasps in my garden, so I watched the IndyCar Race, from Portland Int'l Raceway, until 6p, and took a 2hr snooze on the LR couch. After a light dinner, I watched Fox News shows until 10:30p, and quit for the night.

I slept-in until 9a on Monday, made coffee, tuned into the Chris Plante Show. It was a cloudy, 67° with t-storms coming for the day and night; we can sure use it. I was groggy, but had no appetite just yet, so held-off on breakfast. I did a final load of laundry, had a few nearby errands to run, got home, had a light lunch, caught 3hrs on the LR couch, and did some condo chores after getting back-up. The rain started around 7p, and t-storms moved thru all evening. After a late dinner, I watched Discovery's "Gold Rush" reruns, since I'm not paying an extra $6.99/mo+ for Discovery+. Screw them. I unplugged around 10:30p. It rained all night and morning.

Up at 8:30a, my front lamppost light and basement breaker had tripped-off -- my rain gauge overfloweth -- so I reset the breaker. After a smoke and coffee in the garage, I checked the weather station: 70°, 2" of rain and 85% humidity. I took a 50mg Tramadol for back pain -- the Tylenol is working anymore -- and waiting to have a buttery Croissant for breakfast. I tuned into the "CP Show" and looked at the day's "to do list". Nothing critical until Thursday, when I'll need to do some food shopping. The rain continued. I did some condo chores, and kept getting the 2nd BR ready for Becky to move-in on Friday. I saw this posted:

***Flood Watch***
•Issued By State College (Penn State) -- PA, US, National Weather Service.
• WHAT: Flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall continues to be possible.
• WHERE: A portion of central Pennsylvania, including the following counties, Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill and York.
• WHEN: From 04:47am EDT, Sep 06 2022, until 12:00pm EDT, Sep 07 2022.
• IMPACTS: Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.
• ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Numerous showers and scattered thunderstorms will develop this afternoon, and continue overnight into Tuesday morning. Some of these showers and storms will move slowly and produce heavy downpours. Many areas will have multiple showers and thunderstorms late today into tonight, leading to the possibility of flash flooding.
You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

Time to bail if you live in a flood prone area. The rain finally stopped around 11:30a, but more heavy t-storms were forecast for this afternoon and evening.

My WF Broker, Jay, called at 1p, and we discussed moving money in the multiple bvrokerage accounts around, to safeguard everything in this terrible "Bear Market", until perhaps things turn around after 2 more years of the Bidet&Co socialists, communists, Marxists, anarchists, liberals and other lowlife filth, who have ruined our economy. WE ARE IN A MAJOR RECESSION, AND IT'S GOING TO WORSEN INTO A DEPRESSION. IMO. Take the necessary steps NOW, to protect yourselves and loved ones.

Have you read about our serial liar, plagiariast and scumbag pResident Bidet&Co? Not surprising, is it?

Do you remember this Day of Infamy on 9-11-01? I sure as hell do, 21 years ago, and the worldwide shitstorm that followed for 20 years? With the wide-open southern border and millions of unvetted criminal aliens -- 55 terrorists caught so far -- pouring thru, I'm surprised it hasn't happened again.

Here in PA, we're plagued by Spotted Lantern Fly Moths, but I've killed quite a few now, since Sherry gave me a Special Fly Swatter. Those damned things are quick.

After dinner, I watched more of Discovery Go Channel's "Gold Rush"/ "Jesse Turin's Lost Mine", and unplugged at 11p.

Up at 7a on Wednesday, it was a cloudy, rainy 68° morning. I did the usual BSL routine, had coffee and a smoke in the cool garage, checked the news and weather on the computer. I grabbed my usual morning shower, tuned into the "CP Show", and relaxed after getting back from 2 errands. I had lower left back pain, and took a 500mg Tylenol Extra Strength (OTC) to help assuage it. Sherry called to reschedule our 1p walk at the York Galleria Mall, as she wasn't feeling well.

DAMMIT, MY ENTIRE EMAIL SYSTEM -- COMCAST & GMAIL -- ARE BOTH DEAD on the Thunderbird Email app! I can't send or receive anything. I have to go to xfinity's website to get my email now. Shit. I've tried to fix them, been at Google's website for 3 hours but have gotten nowhere. I'll try later and, if that doesn't fix itself, call Nick or Matt at Spartan Computer or Doug at Modern Tymes -- my former ISP Admin -- for help.

My new temporary email is now:
-- DO NOT USE the old js@gdnctr.com until further notice.

Since 9a, it's been a terrible day for me, being on the phone with Comcast and at Google's website, trying to reach a live human, for almost 5 hours. I'm worn out, and will make it an early night. I was so upset, I couldn't eat much. Nick will be here at 12-1p on Friday, to try to resurrect gMail's "js@gdnctr.com" from a Corporate (Ol' GC&N) Workspace Account, to a Personal (JS) Workspace Account and, if that doesn't work, I'm stuck using my Comcast eMail Account, forever. We'll see what he can do.

I had a light dinner, took my evening's 16-pill regimen -- there's 19 pills in the morning -- watched Fox News and some more Discovery Go Channel's "Gold Rush"/ "Jesse Turin's Lost Mine", and quit at 11p. I needed some sleep, after today's mess, and not think about it anymore, until tomorrow and Friday.

Awake at 9a on Thursday, I could havwe slept until much later. I did the uaul BSL routines, made coffee, had some smokes, and tuned into the "CP Show". Mmmmmmmmmm, good coffee. I had Frosted Flakes®, mixed with Cap'n Crunch® and Blueberries, for breakfast, after 2-3 mugs of coffee. It was a sunny, cool 67° start to the morning. I'm still getting that same damned message -- "Your organization's Google Workspace account has been suspended. Please contact your Google Workspace Organization Administrator to re-activate your organization." -- that I got yesterday morning, and caused my untold consternation and boiling BP, all day.

RIP, Queen Elizabeth II.

I'd taken a Lasix (diuretic) with my 19 morning pills, so I had to stay near the "porcelain throne" for a few hours, but needed to get to Weis Market around 3p, for a few things. I'll get down south to the cleaners tomorrow, since they're closed today. I took a nice 3hr snooze on the LR couch, had a great dinner when I woke-up at 6. I watched "American Pickers" episodes until 8p, when "Tucker" came on, and swichted to more missed episodes of "Gold Rush"/ "Jesse Turin's Lost Mine". I called it Yankee Doodle at 11p.

Tomorrow starts a new week here in the "Journal", and with Nick here all afternoon to help me to straighten out and reconfigure this ongoing, since Wednesday, email disaster, I hope the week improves over this past week.

PSALM 2022

Biden is the shepherd I did not want.
He leadeth me beside the still factories.
He restoreth my faith in the Republican party.
He guideth me in the path of unemployment for his party's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the bread line,
I shall fear no hunger, for his bailouts are with me.
He has anointed my income with taxes,
My expenses runneth over.
Surely, poverty and hard living will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will live in a mortgaged home forever...
I am glad I am American,
I am glad that I am free.
But I wish I was a dog...
And Biden was a tree.

[H/T ppc]

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