Monday, October 24, 2016
Obama Attacks 'Violent Ideologies' — Meaning Conservatives
The usual Leftist projection: It is the Left who are violent
Does attending a Tea Party rally mean you’re part of a “violent ideology” and thus in need of an intervention? Are Muslim terrorists “right-wing” extremists, as they’re often referred to in Europe? And, closer to home, are conservatives anti-government goons seeking to march on Washington? It should concern us all that the government may soon attempt to conflate two very different ideologies — that of a peaceful movement bent on reducing the size of government with that of a violent movement bent on murderous jihad. That’s not explicitly stated, of course, but neither was the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.
Reuters reports on the proposition: “A White House plan aims to convene teachers and mental health professionals to intervene and help prevent Americans from turning to violent ideologies, work that is currently done mostly by federal law enforcement. … The policy aims to prevent conversions to all violent ideologies, including the white supremacist beliefs held by a gunman who killed nine black church members inside a historic African-American church in Charleston and the other shootings and bombs [sic] were inspired by Islamist militants.”
The obvious problem is that the definition of “violent ideologies” is highly adaptable in the minds of leftists, many of whom are sympathetic to the religion whose adherents commit nearly all deadly terrorist attacks. At what point are conservatives in general — or “right-wing extremists,” as they might be called — tossed into the same category? In some cases, they already are. Just look at the number of times Democrats have used the word “terrorist” when vilifying Republican “obstructionists.”
Preposterous, you say? Rush Limbaugh notes, “We know that the Department of Homeland Security in Obama’s first term released internal documents warning of the dangers posed by violent right-wing groups.” Limbaugh believes “there’s no question that an ongoing effort to stamp out or intimidate anybody who happens to lean in any direction to the right is going to be undertaken.”
Conservatives are already being unlawfully victimized by the IRS as the agency continues to stall tax exemptions for conservative groups even years after initially being exposed. It’s little wonder no major reforms have been implemented — the agency’s behavior only exemplifies the Left’s growing hostility toward the Right. And make no mistake, it is a war — a war in which one ideology will do anything to crush the other.
A warped feminist view of masculinity
The Mask You Live In
A college professor and close friend teaches a course called "Masculinities," which claims to explore the topic in depth. Since the subject of challenges facing modern men is a favorite of mine, nothing could stop me from diving deep into the material. I began with the teaching aid developed by leading-edge researchers: a slick and tightly edited documentary, The Mask You Live In. It catalogued the experiences of boys and young men as they struggled to remain true to themselves while negotiating American societies narrowly defined notions of masculinity.
For us males, discovering our masculine selves when we are young can be challenging. When I was a boy, I experienced humiliation, teasing and bloody fights on my uninformed journey to manhood. Hence, the prospect of a new curriculum excites me; after four decades of supporting the women's and gay liberation movements, it seems like educators may finally be taking the need to address male issues seriously. By doing that, they can help destroy the inhumane school-to-prison pipeline-promulgated by public school systems-that many boys fall into. "The Mask You Live In" seemed to hold great promise and offer hope for our future.
Sadly, that is not the case. The documentary written by Jennifer Siebel Newsom begins with images and news reports, interwoven in a video collage of mass shootings, young boys committing suicide, gang rapes of college girls, and individuals being violently targeted for fun. After only a few moments, it is made clear that these acts reflect toxic masculinity.
Warning: Unlike many college students whose minds have not been trained to see through such propaganda, I recognize it for what it is: an extension of the unfair lens associated with most popular social theories. It is a biased stew emanating from the process-oriented minds of feminists, incorporating such notions as rape culture and the white male privileged patriarchy as seen from a non-male perspective.
The perspective of the documentary sets me immediately on edge. Based on my own research and analysis, it is not patriarchal males who control the levers of domination and control; rather, the culprits are the wealthy oligarchy, of no particular gender or race. This group of one-percenters employs the vast resources at their disposal to further enrich themselves and exert their will through ownership of whatever matters, relentless political influence and their ability to corrupt the system by spreading money around.
Admittedly, I saw some hopeful glimmers after watching the film four times, but they were never fully developed into tools or methods that might help boys and men. The warm embers are never given the oxygen they need for high octane combustion. Talking about a boy's pain or anger "behind the mask" is a good starting point, but it only scratches the surface. And while I absolutely loved the man who taught himself to coach the individuals he came to know-a skill all of us should learn to use-the documentary clearly falls short.
Warning: In many ways, the movie simply does not connect with the essence of genuine masculinity. Among other things, it fails to establish an adequate link between what boys do and why. Below are six unsafe assumptions about males it seems to rest on that are worth mentioning:
1. Boys suppressing emotions is a social construct. In showcasing stereotypes about negative male behavior-that they are defective, unemotional, dominating and violent-the film helps to perpetuate them. While it seems to come across as a grand attempt at understanding masculinity, the message is lacking at its core. It does not balance the so-called destructive elements against a multitude of masculine virtues and their contributions to society.
It also makes incomplete and false assertions. Warning: The documentary maintains that males don't share feelings as an outlet like girls do, without noting that many reduce emotional stress through physical workouts. It doesn't make reference to the fact that men and women process emotions differently, or that the former tend to be results-oriented while the latter are people-interaction-oriented. There's a timeless narrative about a couple lost in the city, where a male is studying a map while the female asks somebody on the street for directions.
Warning: In truth, these sorts of dangerously inaccurate misstatements about emotional expression can instill anxiety, anger, depression and suicidal thoughts into young boy's minds.
2. Masculinity is a social construct. The audio track focuses on what most of us already know from personal experience: society's fixation on hyper-masculinity, whether in sports, the military, music and the arts, and the canyons of Wall Street, and the way in which they allegedly inspire a quest for power, dominance and control. We are told that these represent false goals for mastering or investing in masculinity; boys find it hard to choose wisely because of peer pressure or the wolf pack power hierarchy.
However, the film fails to take things one step further and explain how boys can be coached to navigate childhood bullying or the treacherous realities of surviving up to and throughout adulthood. In many cases, especially in some more disadvantaged locales, they are left on their own to navigate a survival-of-the-fittest ladder with nothing more than their wits and abilities. Warning: Without fully addressing both the concerns and the solutions, the film offers little in the way of assisting boys in discovering genuine masculinity.
3. Violence is a social construct. One the film's biggest distortions stems from its exploitation of violence as the definition of who we are. We see a multitude of images of men and boys-the male patriarchy-being explosive, and a cavalcade of white heterosexual men exerting dominance throughout our culture. Worse yet, it implies that violent video games, action movies, superheroes and thugs encourage males to accept a domestic violence culture.
Warning: In reality, such perspectives can leave viewers with the false and dangerous notion that dominant men cause domestic violence and that the victims are invariably women. While most of us will probably agree that our society as a whole is much too violent, evidence suggests that the problem is different than many think. Women in same-sex relationships experience more than twice the extent of physical and sexual abuse than heterosexual couples do. If women's studies programs, for example, were serious about reducing violence, they might want to study the petri dish in their own backyards.
Sexual assault and rape are a social construct. Warning: When it comes to rape, I question why the documentary did not leverage that fact that men are raped, physically assaulted, attacked and killed at much higher rates, but masculinity protects them from seeking safe spaces or turning into traumatized victims. Women can learn this male specific virtue and live more courageously.
4. The documentary also discusses pornography, sexual attraction and the fact that male and female interaction could not be more out of sync. This is "proof" that the sexes are nowhere near "equal." Warning: Conflating the word "equality" to imply that men and women have the same emotional drives, instincts and behavioral reactions is wrong and perilously harmful. The feelings that men have and express toward women-appreciation, adoration, desire, lust and objectification-are seen as harassment and misogyny. Warning: Somehow, natural male interest in the opposite sex has been transformed into an ideology where men believe they are superior, entitled, privileged and deserves sex.
Many women don't seem to understand our instinctual behavior, preferring instead to reprimand us for glorifying sexual conquests, or for being pick-up artists or womanizers. Many are quick to toss the male sex drive into the misogyny bucket, simply because it is not like their own. Some also demand that those they date follow a strict set of rules, in an effort to harness the wild stallion of innate male nature. The rules of monogamy are often enforced with power, dominance and violence by women.
But such notions are wholly misguided. In fact, by studying gay men-many of whom, ironically enough, have been ardent female rights supporters-women might realize that their understanding is at odds with reality. In some parts of gay culture, for instance, young males experiment with exhibitionism, cruising pickups, multi-racial lovers, fetish affairs, anonymous encounters, kink and role-playing, and multi-partner intimacy. Through sexual physicality, men can discover inner boundaries, self-esteem and love.
Moreover, in some situations, gay men grope, catcall, make lewd comments and touch one another using behavioral consent on a regular basis, which doesn't sound at all like they are seeking to dominate and demean each other. Warning: Again, the notion that male sexual behavior is bad because it is different from that of a female is another example of how the film's message is like a woman publicly spanking and scolding boys for natural masculine urges.
5. Dropping out of school is a social construct. The film delves deep into the male failure to adjust to the educational system from pre-kindergarten on up. But once again, it misses facts well understood by others. Hegemonic masculinity is not holding boys back or leading them to drop out. The blame goes to the public schools, which do not devote the time or have the know-how necessary to engage with boys. The Federal common core one-size-fits-all directive, which mandates that everyone receives an identical serving of education, is failing young males because it does not recognize that they learn at different rates and times, and through dissimilar methodologies, than girls.
However, when young males are placed in private or charter schools for boys, they tend to thrive, readily engage with others in conversation, and take to such activities as singing in the choir, playing in the band and investigating their feminine sides, largely because they are not being shamed in front of females or don't feel obligated to "peacock" for the girls.
Simply put, the public school system's politically correct but misguided implementation of mindless diversity and a white-washed curriculum, as well as a lack of resources tailored to the needs of each child, is the root cause why many boys, especially those of color, fall by the wayside and experiment with alcohol, substance abuse, gang affiliation and criminal activity. But by rethinking the obsolete approach and considering the needs of young males in their formative-and most vulnerable-years, helping them to express their inner virtues, we can tackle what appears to be an intractable problem.
6. Fear of masculinity is a social construct. Finally, by spiking an already exaggerated fear in girls and women, a great many of whom experience virtually continuous anxiety about male violence and rape, the documentary producers only make matters worse. A recent BuzzFeed article, for example, outlined 29 everyday activities that ordinary women avoid because they are frozen and apprehensive about being attacked or abused by a male.
By focusing on constructive solutions rather than self-serving propaganda and destructive recriminations, the now wasted efforts of women's studies programs and so-called equal opportunity initiatives could be focused instead on developing programs that could help women work through these and other unhealthy emotions. These females could then be free of the tension that is holding them back from enjoying a more fearless, strong and independent life.
Expand the Lens
As I've gotten older, I've used what I've learned to amplify my old one-way feminist lens and see what I believe is a far more diverse and inclusively humanist view of our world. While I applaud the film's attempts to explore what has become an urgently important issue, as well as its seemingly well-intentioned portrayal of the struggles of boys-whose needs have largely been ignored and unaddressed-I am disenchanted.
Warning: In truth, the film ends up validating the women's studies perspective about the masculinity they fear. Rather than leading to the kinds of reforms that will actually help our young people to better themselves, this creative effort will likely serve as a framework for introducing more laws and policies designed to protect women by giving them greater dominance and control over men.
Most likely, the divisive fallout we have already seen will grow much worse. In Nottinghamshire, England, for example, authorities are beginning to record misogyny, which includes everything from verbal comments and wolf whistling to unwanted physical approaches, as a hate crime. On college campuses in the U.S. and elsewhere, there are growing efforts to censor speech, individuals and events, often at the expense of white heterosexual males. While bigotry, sexism and racism are supposedly frowned upon, that is not the case with what has become a despised group.
I am saddened that men do not have the same treatment and opportunities that are available to others. Why aren't there male studies programs, for instance, that can research and evaluate relevant issues and leverage genuine masculinity to lift up those of our gender. We are gifted machines, bestowed with attributes and abilities that can help us move mountains. Just as men built the pyramids of Egypt and other great wonders, we hope to continue to harness the world around us in a diverse and inclusive way.
I know my professor friend is an open-minded individual and he will not hate me for my views. Unlike many of those who have been dominating the conversation on campuses, in the media and elsewhere, we respectfully share each other's insights in an effort to move all our lives forward.
Former Black Lives Matter Leader Says Movement Is ‘on the Wrong Side of History’
An active community member and a cultural liaison in his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota, it was only natural for Rashad Turner to take on a leadership position with Black Lives Matter.
So when the opportunity came to organize a local chapter, he took it.
But even Turner will admit that some of the tactics he employed while heading Black Lives Matter St. Paul were controversial. His chapter caused disruption, blocked trains, and almost shut down a marathon. His actions fueled resentment among police, with some accusing him of inciting violence.
The tipping point occurred in August, when outside the Minnesota State Fair, Turner and his St. Paul Black Lives Matter chapter were caught on video chanting, “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon,” referring to police.
The video caused a national controversy, and at the time, Turner defended it. Today, looking back, Turner expressed a sense of regret. “I stand by every human being’s right to free speech,” Turner said, “but of course there are times when we all wish things had been said differently.”
When he joined Black Lives Matter, Turner thought he had found his calling. A criminal justice major at Hamline University, it felt like a perfect fit. But in a turn of events, just days after that controversial protest, Turner, 31, abruptly stepped away from the movement.
The reason? Turner said he caught wind that Black Lives Matter national was calling for a moratorium on charter schools. The platform was released earlier in the summer, but at the time, Turner said he “wasn’t aware of Black Lives Matter’s quietly dished out vision.”
“When I heard,” he said, “I decided to run as fast as I could the other way.”
‘The Wrong Side of History’
This summer, both Black Lives Matter and the NAACP quietly released education platforms calling for an immediate moratorium on charter school growth. Charter schools are run with public funds and are tuition-free for students, but its operators are given freedom with decisions involving curriculum, culture, budget, hiring, and firing.
Nationally, charter schools have shown a remarkable ability to outperform traditional public schools and close the achievement gap between white and black students in urban areas such as Boston, the District of Columbia, Newark, and New York City.
However, not every charter school is the same, and some are struggling to stay open.
But where they’re succeeding, Turner said, he believes parents should have that option.
“To hear Black Lives Matter national and NAACP national come out with a moratorium on charter schools put me on the opposite side of the table, and I believe it put them on the wrong side of history,” Turner said.
In early September, Turner announced he could no longer associate himself with Black Lives Matter.
“I don’t ever want to feel like I’m misleading people,” he said, explaining his decision to leave:
I know a lot of people in the community look up to me for answers, for guidance on issues of social justice, whether it be police brutality or the inequities in our educational system. I needed to be able to do what was right, I don’t want to associate myself with people who feel that parents shouldn’t have choice.
Turner says he's not scared of confrontation for the sake of his daughter, or other children. "Any person that feels like parents should be in total control of their education has to be up on this type of stuff, be very diligent, and if that means calling people out, that's what we have to do." (Photo: Rashad Turner)
Turner says he’s not scared of confrontation for the sake of his daughter, or other children. “Any person that feels like parents should be in total control of their education has to be up on this type of stuff, be very diligent, and if that means calling people out, that’s what we have to do.” (Photo: Rashad Turner)
‘The School Doesn’t Meet Their Needs’
Turner has an 8-year-old daughter, and although she isn’t enrolled in a charter school, he said other children still deserve to have that right.
“My daughter, she goes to a district school,” Turner said. “The school serves her fine. But there’s tons of kids in that school, black boys in particular, who the school doesn’t meet their needs. It’s those types of students that we need to make sure we’re serving to the highest quality school with highly effective teachers. To me, there’s no one in their right mind that should say I as a parent or the next parent shouldn’t have the greatest say and the most opportunity in choosing where their kid goes to school.”
Turner blames the teachers’ unions and their allies for convincing Black Lives Matter and the NAACP to take an anti-charter school position. On the ground in Minnesota, he said he’s seen Black Lives Matter and the unions work hand-in-hand to coup support for their education platforms.
“I can’t say [Black Lives Matter and the NAACP] is directly [receiving money from the unions], but I would definitely say that financial gains are indirectly given to Black Lives Matter, whether that be directly from the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers or its members,” he said.
The tactics employed by the teachers’ unions, he added, are sometimes questionable. “Our Saint Paul Federation of Teachers will pay for a family’s groceries and on its face, it might seem like that’s a good thing to do, but, when they pay for that family’s groceries, now that family’s wearing Saint Paul Federation t-shirts and is given a script of what to say to benefit the union.”
The Daily Signal reached out to the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers and Education Minnesota. Education Minnesota did not deny that its local chapter sometimes pays for families’ groceries, but neither organization agreed to an interview.
Today, Turner no longer has a relationship with Black Lives Matter. Instead, he was hired as the director of community engagement with Minnesota Comeback, an organization whose goal is to enroll all children—especially students from low-income backgrounds—in “rigorous and relevant schools that prepare them to thrive in college, career, and community.” Eventually, he hopes, groups like Black Lives Matter and the NAACP will change their minds on the charter school issue.
“We still have some time to get the truth out there and really paint a more accurate picture for families,” he said.
‘In This Fight’
When he was just 2 years old, Turner’s father was shot and killed, he told The Daily Signal, adding that his mother, who was still a teenager at the time, got caught up in drugs and abandoned Turner and his younger brother. His grandma took them in, and ever since, Turner sought revenge—not from the cops, but from criminals on the streets. After graduating college, he said he enrolled in a police training program in St. Paul “to keep other people’s fathers from being killed.”
But after going through a few months of training, Turner says he decided that policing was not for him.
Turner also had several negative experiences with police, resulting in him being charged with domestic assault, which later was downgraded to disorderly conduct when he was convicted, and misdemeanor possession of a BB gun.
“Any mistakes I’ve made in the past, I make sure that I’ve grown from it, learn from it, and pay it forward,” Turner said.
Instead of joining the police force, Turner became a cultural liaison for African-American students. It was during that time that he became familiar with the education system, and decided that poor schools were largely to blame for his community’s problems.
“Traditional public schools, they’re not meeting the needs of kids,” Turner said. “And then we’re seeing those same kids grow up and because they don’t have an education, they can’t get a job. And because they don’t have a job, now they have a higher risk of committing a crime. Because they commit a crime, now they still can’t get a job.”
Despite his passion for criminal justice and police accountability, Turner said that Black Lives Matter taking a stance against charter schools made it easy for him to step away. Because in the end, he said, education reform will initiate the greatest change.
“If we can reform our education system, if we can make sure that every student has a high quality school to attend that meets their needs, I think that we can eliminate a lot of the ills that we see in the world,” he said, adding:
I think [education] is the most important change that could happen.
The Antidote- Healing America from the Poison of Hate, Blame, and Victimhood ~ By Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
Book Review by Martha D. Gies-Chumney
Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson has lived the angry black youth experience in America with its attendant legacy of fatherlessness, poverty, and fatalistic attitude. However, through real religious experience and with the guidance of a few wise black men, he has created a successful and fulfilled life as a true black spokesman. He is now an author of renown, a sought after speaker, a frequent guest on Fox News etc., and a passionate reverend. He is most of all a savior for young black youth with his Los Angeles based organization: BOND (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny. Reverend Peterson is the quintessential, genuine black activist.
Peterson contrasts the difference between his black activism and the alchemy of most notorious black activists such as Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton. These alchemists, in Peterson's view, are black activists, media, and politicians who have created generations of hate and victimhood in the black community. In this book, he chronicles some of the effects of this misguided help for the black community and the part played by the alchemists.
Peterson relates and aligns his own life with the lives of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown; all three were victims of the fatherlessness so prevalent in both white and black families of America today. Destructive enablers from vote conscious politicians, black activists, and a slanted media are responsible for the "drugs, burglaries, guns, truancy and street style martial arts in many black neighborhoods."
Some of results of these alchemists in America are "welfare, food stamps, payouts from lawsuits and maybe one day even reparations." Further this alchemy has created the present negative environment in America which separates and denigrates the white population and makes any future cooperation an impossibility. It is Peterson's contention that if any headway is made to save the nation, black Americans "must reject the culture of blame."
Obama's presidency rather than tamping down racial divisiveness has only exacerbated it. The president has intervened in many of the major racial controversies in the United States even before the legal results were concluded. He has jumped to conclusions consistently as have, consequently, the black activists. A narrative has been created by Obama and the media which has driven any hope of cooperation on race relations underground. This "media spin" and "glaring double standard" have created doubt in the minds of many whites. "The media's natural impulse is to bury stories of black-on-white crime, even those with multiple victims." Peterson regrets deeply how "paternal abandonment and abuse can fill the children left behind with murderous rage."
Peterson's belief that winning this spiritual battle between good and evil is essentially a religious one which calls for the reconstruction of the family and its attendant values. This solution will contain the antidote to the alchemists' desire for the destruction of American society. Peterson says that while many reformers may be finished with the battle with the alchemists, he, himself, is not. "I am not done. I am in earnest-I will not equivocate-I will not excuse-I will not retreat a single inch... AND I WILL BE HEARD."
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.