Thursday, November 18, 2004


In all 10 emails appeared on the announcement list and 11 on the discussion list to charge, countercharge, wonder and worry over the apology within a 24-hour period. (There's probably some overlap there, but there were 15 separate posters by my count.) In none did anyone say specifically what was wrong with the picture. In this lies a tale...

The fellow who posted the picture is not a Scholar (though certainly a scholar); I don't think he'd shirk the label of a tried-and-true DFLer. He is also member of a minority group. When he posted the picture, nothing was posted that indicated a problem existed until he posted an apology. Yet when others posted suggestions that the offended were making a mountain out of a molehill, we got expressions of anger and what I like to call "competitive self-loathing", in which a series of hinged-knee white guys genuflect to the bitch-goddess PC and proclaim that they are more sensitive than previous posters. One guy (he's the fellow who didn't shake hands at mandatory diversity training) tells us "such concerned individuals are trying to educate the campus community, I would think" -- and yet had the purveyor of the picture not apologized, nobody would have known anything was wrong. Why? Because, as Mr. Anger noted, "I chose to make it a private response so as to avoid a man I respect any further awkwardness" because "I often think of Dr. X as one of the good people on this campus." (Of course, later he tells us of his actions.) So had I posted the picture, as one of the bad people on this campus, what would Mr. Anger have done?

There is a stark parallel between this behavior and the silence of the left, including our own campus radicals, to the portrayal of Condoleezza Rice in cartoons. Why is it OK for all these cartoons to show her to be an ebonics-speaking moron with buck teeth or as Prissy from Gone With the Wind? Because, as one cartoon says, she's "a warmonger", the label liberals applies to neo-conservatives in order to not take them seriously. So because the original poster of the picture is a known liberal, he simply needed some private reminder about the picture, but when someone known to be conservative says he doesn't see what the big deal is he's told he needs more (re-)education. I agree with James Taranto not to make a big deal out of this, but their hypocrisy is plain.
These expressions of racial prejudice don't actually diminish Rice's accomplishments, and they are not going to prevent her from becoming one of the most powerful people in the world. These cartoonists have merely proved to the world that they are prejudiced against blacks who don't share their views--and that's good to know.

The absence of outrage from the liberal sensitivity police, who would be up in arms if a conservative cartoonist committed a similar offense (cf the reaction to National Review's 1997 cover depicting the Clintons as Asians, second item), shows that liberals are hypocrites when it comes to race--and that, too, is useful to know.

Perhaps useful to know, but on a college campus it's dangerous. The "bewildered" post by the woman mentioned in the blog entry just below had to start her letter with this plea for leniency:
This is meant to be an honest question, not an attempt to insult anyone. That said, I apologize in advance if I stick my foot in it!
Therein lies the chilled discussion that results from their hypocrisy. It has no business on a college campus.