Home / General / Old man shouts at Clinton. And people of color who are doing it wrong. (Avec brief anti-tRump interlude.)

Old man shouts at Clinton. And people of color who are doing it wrong. (Avec brief anti-tRump interlude.)


I’ve finally forced my way through Sullivan’s article that starts out being about Chelsea Clinton but ends with him abusing the Bell Curve gallus gallus domesticus for perhaps the 11 zillionth time in his life. The headline of the piece is Why do Democrats feel sorry for Clinton? But a more accurate headline would be Do you want to watch this over-paid, over-hyped and unoriginal Limey throw dried poo for several paragraphs?

I’ve done what I could in this space to avoid the subject of Hillary Clinton. I don’t want to be the perennial turd in the punchbowl.

Another tally mark under the Failure column.

I’d hoped we’d finally seen the last of that name in public life — it’s been a long quarter of a century — and that we could all move on. Alas, no. Her daughter (angels and ministers of grace defend us) seems to be positioning herself for a political career.

There’s a word for the sort of person who’d hang and article on his hatred of Hillary Clinton and an unsubstantiated rumor that her daughter might enter politics.

And Clinton herself duly emerged last week for a fawning, rapturous reception at the Women in the World conference in New York City.

A quick search indicates Clinton has been a regular speaker, but Sullivan seems to be infuriated by the fact that she dares show her face in public and that people don’t throw things when she does.

And so I find myself wondering at odd times of the day and night: Why is Trump in the White House? And then I remember. Hillary Clinton put him there.

And the wind, cries, Cool story bro.

He has no strategy beyond the next 24 hours, no guiding philosophy, no politics, no consistency at all — just whatever makes him feel good about himself this second. He therefore believes whatever bizarre nonfact he can instantly cook up in his addled head, or whatever the last person who spoke to him said. He makes Chauncey Gardiner look like Abraham Lincoln. Occam’s razor points us to the obvious: He has absolutely no idea what he’s doing.

Self-awareness, thy name is not Andrew Sullivan.

Do you know the real reason Dr. Dao was so brutally tackled and thrown off that United flight? It was all about white supremacy. I mean, what isn’t these days?

White supremacy, the fatuous chucklehead chuckles fatuously. White supremacy couldn’t have possibly influenced how the authorities treated Dr. Dao because he was selected at random for involuntary de-boarding by a computer program.

And everyone knows that the law and computer programs in thair majesty forbid men of color and white men alike from being knocked around by the police.

It’s easy to mock this reductionism, I know, but it reflects something a little deeper.

As deep as a bell curve.

Asian-Americans, like Jews, are indeed a problem for the “social-justice” brigade.

I have no idea who makes up the “social justice” brigade in the fever room inside his skull. Possibly he envisions a horde of people who look like Hillary Clinton. One can only speculate about what Sullivan would do if confronted with the fact that Jewish people or Asian-Americans form and take part in their own social justice organizations, but that might involve the difficult – perhaps impossible – task of getting him to understand that they are actually people.

As an aside, I’m not sure about how meaningful the term Asian-American truly is considering the huge and diverse number of cultures encompassed by the six syllables. It seems as informative as saying someone is from Africa. At any rate, Sullivan finishes the article – that started out as another anti-Clinton rant – with a rapid fire JAQ off session.

I mean, how on earth have both ethnic groups done so well in such a profoundly racist society? How have bigoted white people allowed these minorities to do so well — even to the point of earning more, on average, than whites? Asian-Americans, for example, have been subject to some of the most brutal oppression, racial hatred, and open discrimination over the years. In the late 19th century, as most worked in hard labor, they were subject to lynchings and violence across the American West and laws that prohibited their employment. They were banned from immigrating to the U.S. in 1924. Japanese-American citizens were forced into internment camps during the Second World War, and subjected to hideous, racist propaganda after Pearl Harbor. Yet, today, Asian-Americans are among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America. What gives? It couldn’t possibly be that they maintained solid two-parent family structures, had social networks that looked after one another, placed enormous emphasis on education and hard work, and thereby turned false, negative stereotypes into true, positive ones, could it? It couldn’t be that all whites are not racists or that the American dream still lives?

It couldn’t be that discussing racism as though it is a specific set of behaviors that doesn’t change based on the victims and the attitudes of their oppressors is exactly the sort of intellectual slobbery that goes hand-in-hand with bigotry, could it?


But there’s a lot that’s conspicuously missing from this argument. Sullivan declines to mention that black people still face high rates of hiring discrimination because of their race; that black children continue to languish in segregated neighborhoods, where decades of racist economic and education policy have robbed their schools of resources and stripped their communities of the infrastructure to cope with the fallout; and that black fathers, on average, still manage to be among the most consistently involved in their children’s lives — despite that 1.5 million black men, including countless dads, are “missing” from daily life due to high rates of incarceration and early death.

But where Sullivan appears to be merely lazy, he is also boring. Blaming black pathology for racial disparities is one of the most tired tropes in American life. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the “Asians and Jews versus blacks” question back in 1966 — more than 50 years ago. The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates debated the topic at length with New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait in 2014. Coates explained how, after slavery ended in the mid-19th century, white northerners who came to teach in Southern schools had a similarly low opinion of black culture.


But perhaps the most remarkable thing about Sullivan’s argument is how these notions of black deficiency keep getting resurrected as if they are new and revelatory. Some of this explains the resurgent popularity of Charles Murray. More than two decades after Murray co-wrote The Bell Curve — a widely disputed book of social science that argued that black people are less intelligent than whites — he continues to get invited by conservative groups to speak at college campuses across the country.

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