Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
C.A.L.W.W.N.T.Y. is what we call it, here at The Blog That Nobody Reads, when you purport to be engaged in an effort to equalize one class with another but you don’t want anyone to go questioning what it means to “equalize,” you don’t want anyone to dissect what it is you are specifically doing to achieve this equality, and most of all, you really don’t want anybody to measure the progress made against the length of time your efforts have been going on. C.A.L.W.W.N.T.Y. is an eight-letter acronym that stands for “Come A Long Way, We’re Not There Yet.” I wrote about it in January and again in February.
It is a tactic of evasion. The proclamation, “we’ve come a long way” naturally inspires logical questions: What have we done? Is it consistent with what we had committed to doing? Does any of it fall outside the expectations of those who joined our fight in good faith? What options have we closed off to make this progress come about? And the other half, “We’re not there yet” inspires other questions an irresponsible leader would find to be intrusive, a more responsible leader finding them to be far less so: What is there left to be done? How do we ensure that all the stakeholders agree these are the things we want to do? What are we going to leave undone, after we have declared complete success? What are we willing to sacrifice for the things we still want to do? What help do we need from outside interests to make these things happen? Are we relying on altruistic motives in these outside interests, or have we made sure the outside interests are dissatisfied in their own enterprises until our own goals are realized?
Those who support the feminist movement, have done an abysmal job of seeking further details behind CALWWNTY. In so doing, they’ve done severe injury to men, and haven’t done right by women either. Their leaders throw the sentiment around all the time, and nobody I can see ever calls them on it. Look how far we come! Oh dear, what a terribly long way we still have to go!
Long way to go? What do we need to do? Many will agree amongst themselves that yes, indeed, there still is a lot to be done — but how often do they collaborate on what, exactly, that is?
Sometimes, men are accused of raping women, and are subsequently acquitted. The case may fall apart for procedural reasons, perhaps there is exculpatory evidence, or maybe it’s just a matter of you can’t honor the accused’s constitutional guarantees, and still sustain a conviction. Is that part of the long way we still have to go? That rape suspects have the same constitutional protections that murder suspects do? Some would say yes; some would say no. My question is, where is the effort to reconcile these sides? If there’s still a long way to go, should a strong leader not emerge, and articulate what exactly this long way is?
And the black civil rights movement has done a still-worse job. What’s the list of things still left yet-undone? It’s one thing to say there are some things; it’s quite another to assert that some pressing need exists to get them achieved, while at the same time, no similarly pressing need exists to articulate what those things are.
And that’s where my friend at “Left Behinds” comes in. I seem to have bothered this person…which I’m not terribly happy about, I certainly don’t like to go out of my way to bother people. But the thing of it is, whoever this person is, he or she seems to be hopelessly entangled in an endless mess of CALWWNTY.
Here’s the crux of it: mkfreeberg seems to think there’s something controversial in saying that we’ve made enormous progress in racial equality since the 1960s, yet racial tensions remain. He writes about it here at length. Now, I grant him that in some ways it’s a platitude. But it is nevertheless true on its face. Races are more equal now than they were fifty years ago. Yet all is not healed and perfect. Instead, mkfreeberg says:
I’ll believe racial division is healed when whites let blacks represent them, and vice-versa. It does not appear to me that those who direct the course of these movements, even have a plan for such a thing, let alone can point to any progress toward it.
False choice in the first sentence: either we heal all divisions or we haven’t made any progress. The implication is that we must ignore all messy, real-world problems that don’t have neat solutions.
As to the second sentence, I don’t know how to communicate with someone who argues that racial divisions in this country have not lessened since the 1960s. Not any progress? What?
PS: After I turned off the computer last night I finally identified why this argument bothers me quite so much. Its natural conclusion is for government at all levels to stop trying doing anything to address any inequalities (since they are simultaneously unimportant and intractible). Based on what I can confirm cursorily, mkfreeberg is definitely male, not Jewish or black. I’m about 95% sure he’s a white guy (I’m pretty sure only a white person would so blithely identify race as a problem for other people to fix). In other words, while it’s very sad, all the unfairness and ugliness and all, we can’t ever make any progress toward fixing it, we just have to leave things as they are–which only happens to leave him on top.
I’m not entirely sure who this person is talking to. He, or she, does single me out by name — I am “mkfreeberg” — but the discourse I remember, was quite different from what’s represented here. I don’t recall saying that nothing has been accomplished, although for reasons explained above it would be a good exercise to put this to some question. Nor do I recall lamenting the controversial nature of saying that something has, indeed, been accomplished. And I do recall a lot of talk about how much racial tension has lessened since the 1960s — not very much of it on my end, since this isn’t a very meaningful metric to me in measuring racial harmony or lack thereof. To me, simmering resentments, people of one skin color agitated into voting against candidates of a different skin color, these are just as bad as race riots even if they may result in less property damage or human injury.
Most pointedly, I don’t recall posing the premise that either we have accomplished everything, or else we have accomplished nothing. I would like to see the leaders of the civil rights movement held to account, if what’s been accomplished is somewhere between those two extremes. Answering the questions I posed above, would be a dandy start.
To summarize, the discussion was one in which I was insisting not upon absolutes, but simply on goals. And the goal upon which I insist, if we’re all about healing racial division, is simply this — to heal the racial division. That seems only sensible, right?
Well, therein lies the problem: There is a significant weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, on the prospect of having Congressional Candidate David Yassky representing the 13th district of New York, which is what’s called a “Voting Rights” district. Why is there weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth? Because a “Voting Rights” district is a euphemism — it means black people live here, and only a black guy can represent a black district. Yassky is a white jewish city councilman.
There’s some kind of “rule,” which lots of people want to make some noise about, but nobody seems to have the balls to put in writing, that a white guy can’t represent a “Voting Rights” district.
So according to my premise — which has not been directly challenged, I note — the last four letters of CALWWNTY are off the table. We’re not there yet? Where exactly, I must ask rhretorically, are we going?
In a world where all blacks are too savage to represent white guys in Congress, and no white guy is pristine enough to represent blacks in Congress, what kind of “equality” are you gonna get that you don’t already have? I submit that with this premise left standing, further progress is impossible. Progress…towards what?
We have a black country and a white country, haphazardly thrown together, unable to mix with one another. That’s not the situation I want and that’s not the situation I brought about — that’s the way the civil rights “leaders” want it, so long as they’re protesting against Yassky’s candidacy on the basis of his skin color. Yassky appears to be a left-wing liberal democrat. Nobody has articulated any concerns, none that I’m aware of, that his actual voting record would be out of kilter with the desires of the 13th district voters-at-large. He just happens to be jewish, and to have a different tint.
Should the “rule” that nobody has the balls to write down, remain in force, there isn’t an awful lot that can be done. You could get 218 or more black congressmen elected to Congress…you could…I don’t see anyone working toward that goal. And if it came to pass, then what? We go a few years with the “black country” getting everything it wants, to have these achievements reversed when the “white country” takes control of the House again? Excuse me, this is exactly the situation we have now with Republicans and Democrats. They go, two years at a time, with one party or the other having 218+ representatives under the dome.
You see a lot of “equality” and “harmony” among donkeys and elephants?
So, no, I don’t think much of the “rule” that nobody has the testicular fortitude to actually write down. I think it’s stupid. I think that’s why nobody’s written it down — it makes no sense. “Antid Oto” is 95% certain I’m a white guy, which means there is 5% uncertainty about the issue. I’ll settle that — I’m a white guy, not jewish, but I’ll tell you this. If some black jewish guy wants to represent me in Congress, and I think he’s an okay guy, you’d better tell me something more compelling than “but he’s a black jewish guy” if you don’t want me voting for him. Because if he’s got the right positions on the issues and he’s got balls of steel, I don’t care. I’m voting for him.
And it cuts the other way, too. If I’m running for Congress, don’t bother coming up to me and saying “Hey, you can’t do that. This district is full of jews! This district is full of black people! You can’t represent them!” Don’t even bother voicing the concern to me. Nuts to you. I come from a weird planet in a far-off part of the galaxy — I guess — where white guys can represent black guys, and black guys represent white guys.
If that isn’t what we have going on here…then trust me on this. Forget CALWWNTY. Forget all about “We’re Not There Yet.” Forget all about it…because you’re there. You’re all the way there, the way your car is all the way there after the engine has exploded. Break out a tent. Build a fire. Car no go. You’re “there.”
How, in the world, can you have any sort of “equality” when we aren’t fit to live together just because of the color of our skin? Especially when the people who say we shouldn’t be intermingling in this way, don’t even have the balls to write down the rules, and have no cojones at all over & above what it takes to get the masses stirred up, more-or-less anonymously?
It’s called “identity politics.” It’s a thoroughly reprehensible practice, and it reflects poorly on all of us when we let the charlatans get away with this for just a year or two, let alone fifty of them.
I don’t blame Antid Oto for the “reprehensible” part. This person has fallen for a scam, not, so far as I know, indulged in the evil of perpetuating it. And yet it says something…his/her/it’s point depends on the premise that I’m a white guy, I’m not jewish, and I’m male. These things are all correct. The “Antid” entity has established itself as being of the jewish faith. I don’t know if it’s male or female. I don’t know if it’s black or white. Don’t know, don’t care, it’s not relevant to my point…although, curiously, my own race and gender have some vital ramifications to the point the other party is trying to make.
Yet if my faith was different or my skin color was different or my gender was different, all my points would remain standing. All my unanswered questions, would remain unanswered. And the silence on the part of those who ought to be engaged in trying to answer them, would be just as deafening.
M. Oto has inscribed his/her/it’s remarks on the Left Behinds website, not notifying me about them, leaving it up to me to find them during a routine search. For the next day or two, I plan to return the favor.
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