Friday, September 20, 2019

Comedians endangered

A podcast from September 2018 was circulated in which Shane Gillis mocked Chinese people and described his remarks as "nice racism". In another episode from the same month, Mr Gillis was heard using homophobic slurs to describe Hollywood producer Judd Apatow and comedian Chris Gethard

I hope this offends someone...

Ed Driscoll put it best on Instapundit yesterday when he said, "Cancel Culture Collects Another Scalp." In case you missed it, a young comedian just had the career opportunity of a lifetime taken away because some emotionally-limited morons were determined to be aggrieved:

The details of Gillis's supposed transgressions are all over the internet, but they are irrelevant to the point I am going to make here.

It doesn't matter what he said. I don't care what the subject matter was or what kind of pathetic, poorly-parented emotional weaklings were offended by it. Heck, I don't care if he was talking about my mom. In fact, I hope that after this, Gillis goes on tour and does jokes about everyone's moms.

Of the myriad assaults on free speech -- most of which are coming from politically correct leftist scolds -- the assault on stand-up comedy is the most ominous. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a comic.

Just around this time last year, I wrote a lengthy post about the PC crowd's full-frontal assault on stand-up, noting that the slippery slope to the death of free speech gets much more slippery if they're successful in shutting up comedians.

Lorne Michaels' posturing via a spokesperson (at the Instapundit link) was timid, pathetic, and disturbing.

"Saturday Night Live" was once cutting-edge sketch comedy and satire. Now it's firing people for upsetting some snot-nosed Twitter scolds.

I am forever grateful that social media wasn't around during my early days as a comic. I'm pretty sure everything I did for the first five years on stage could have offended someone enough to ruin my career. I'm proud of that too.

Cancel culture needs to be canceled. The future of entertainment is well and truly bleak if left to these perpetually outraged emotional midgets.


California’s Travel Bans Are the Lamest Virtue-Signaling Tactic Yet

California is becoming an unhappy mix of serious problems and unserious policy ideas.

The Golden State is grappling with skyrocketing homelessness rates, net negative migration, nation-leading poverty rates, and an outbreak of disease that hearkens back to the Dark Ages.

It’s the perfect storm of ugly circumstances that cry out for bold leadership.

But rather than tackle these problems, state leaders are shifting the focus to other states who apparently deserve a moral lecture from California: The state has now added Iowa to its “travel ban” list.

According to Fox News, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that as of Oct. 4, “California will no longer offer taxpayer-funded trips to Iowa for any public employee or student at a state-run university.”

Why? Because the state will no longer spend Medicaid dollars on gender transition surgeries, thanks to a newly passed Iowa law.

Becerra said in a statement:

The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming health care. California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it.

Apparently, not paying for someone else’s transgender surgery is beyond the pale.

This isn’t the first time California has issued a travel ban.

In 2017, the state announced a ban on taxpayer-funded travel to states deemed “discriminatory” toward LGBT people. The list of banned states has grown to 11 with the recent addition of Iowa.

No surprise, those states are almost entirely red or red-leaning.

The policy may be getting lots of press, but it’s barely having any impact. Though the policy prohibits public universities from partaking in events in states on the list, it hasn’t interfered with the college sports schedule, according to The Sacramento Bee.

And, no surprise, the law makes clear exceptions for tax collectors traveling out of state.

Apparently, social justice takes a back seat to good ole cash revenue.

As I noted when California first started implementing this law, it was telling that California placed a ban on these states while suing the Trump administration for its own travel ban on terrorist hotbeds like Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, where same-sex sexual activity is illegal and in some cases is punishable by death.

Apparently, California sees red states as more of a threat than terror states.

This laughable double standard was noted by Assembly Minority Leader Marie Waldron, a Republican. She pointed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s April trip to El Salvador, which is not exactly a gay-friendly country.

“El Salvador doesn’t allow same-sex couples to marry or adopt children and discrimination is rampant. Where was the outrage from legislative Democrats when Gov. Newsom traveled there?” Waldron asked, according to the Los Angeles Times.

She called the governor’s trip “virtue-signaling at its worst.”

California’s travel-ban frenzy is full of irony. If anything, other states have better reasons to place California on a travel ban.

As mentioned, California is reeling from an outbreak of infectious diseases, and its residents are fleeing by the thousands. Moreover, when they leave, they take their political ideology with them to their newly adopted homes—which are often in red states.

Be careful, California: You might just find yourself on the receiving end of a travel ban.


Baltimore’s Police Exam Isn’t Racist

The U.S. Department of Justice has recently sued the Baltimore County government alleging that its written test for police officer recruits was unfairly biased against black applicants.

It turns out that black applicants failed the written test at a rate much greater than white applicants. That results in fewer blacks being trained and hired as police officers.

John A. Olszewski Jr., Baltimore County executive, said: “A law enforcement agency should look like the community it serves. As I have said repeatedly since taking office, I am committed to increasing diversity in the county’s police department.”

Baltimore City uses the Municipal Police Selection Test. You can examine some sample questions at its website. I’d like to know which of the questions are either unrelated to police work or racist.

Many jurisdictions use The National Police Officer Selection Test. You can examine some of the sample questions at its website. Again, I’d like to know which of the questions are unrelated to police work or are racially biased questions.

In addition, it has been found that MPST and POST are successful predictors of law enforcement training success and job performance.

Black performance on police exams is simply the tip of the iceberg of a truly tragic cruelty. That cruelty stands front and center when one examines the education that most blacks in Baltimore receive.

Several years ago, Project Baltimore began an investigation of Baltimore’s school system. What it found was an utter disgrace.

In 19 of Baltimore’s high schools, out of 3,804 students, only 14 of them, or less than 1%, were proficient in math. In 13 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math. In five Baltimore City high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math or reading. Despite these academic deficiencies, about 70% of the students graduate and are conferred a high school diploma.

A high school diploma attests that the holder can read, write, and compute at a 12th-grade level. Obviously, the diplomas conferred on students who have not mastered reading, writing, and computing are fraudulent.

When a person who cannot read, write, and compute very well takes a written employment exam, including that to become a police officer, he is going to encounter difficulties. His difficulties are not caused by any racially discriminatory aspect of the test. His difficulties are a result of not having acquired what he should have acquired by the time he finished high school.

But that is not how such a person sees it. He sees that he has a high school diploma just as a white applicant has a high school diploma. To him, any difference in treatment and outcomes must be the result of racial discrimination. Thus, the U.S. Department of Justice sued, claiming that the written test for police officer recruits was unfairly biased against black applicants.

The conclusion that Baltimore County’s written test for police officer recruits was unfairly biased against black applicants is tragic. It allows Baltimore public schools to continue to produce fraudulent education.

You say: “Hold it, Williams! You can’t blame everything on schools.” You’re right. One cannot blame schools and teachers for students who are hostile to the education process. One cannot blame schools and teachers for a rotten home environment or derelict parents.

But there is one thing entirely within the control of educators. That’s their power to issue diplomas. When they confer high school diplomas on youngsters who cannot read, write, and compute at or near a 12th-grade level, they are engaging in fraudulent conduct.

Thomas Sowell’s research in “Education: Assumptions Versus History” documents academic excellence at Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass High School and others. This academic excellence occurred during an era when blacks were much poorer and faced gross racial discrimination. It’s worthwhile reading for black people to learn the capabilities of other blacks facing so many challenging circumstances.

I’m wondering when the black community will demand an end to an educational environment that condemns so many youngsters to mediocrity.


Australia: Jacinta Price not the first indigenous person to fall foul of Coffs Harbour City Council

When the Coffs Harbour City Council last week attempted to ban Warlpiri/Celtic woman, Alice Springs councillor and former Coalition federal candidate Jacinta Nampijinpa Price from speaking on her Mind the Gap tour, it was merely continuing a long tradition of being seen to act in the best interests of indigenous people.

For example, nearly 70 years ago, one Councillor (President) Harry Bailey told the Dorrigo Shore Council, as it was then, that it was wrong for the NSW Government to accommodate Aboriginals within the town, or nearby for that matter.

“The aborigines are a vanishing race and we owe a great deal to them,” said Bailey, as quoted in the Coffs Harbour Advocate on November 19, 1948. “They should be treated with all the consideration and kindness we can bestow on them.” According to him, this involved allocating them “a natural setting — an area of land close to a beach, served with a stream or two and with some natural brush in which they could erect some dwellings and fish and work and live in keeping with their way of life”.

Bailey was wrong in believing the demise of indigenous people was nigh. Nonetheless, his romanticised and simplistic depiction, together with his belief that isolation and patronising were the answer, mirrors the views of many other officials, activists, and commentators today who purport to speak on behalf of indigenous people. Less enlightened folk refer to this phenomenon as the racism of low expectations.

Bailey, sometimes referred to as “the father of modern Coffs Harbour” died in office in 1965 but the WH Bailey Memorial City Library still bears his name, or at least it will until some professional offence-taker discovers his “vanishing race” utterance. Now a female mayor, Denise Knight, heads the council. No doubt she too would say it was acting as with consideration and kindness this month in writing to Price, who had booked the Jetty Memorial Theatre for her tour, saying it would “appreciate” her “requesting permission from Gumbaynggirr Aboriginal people to enter the land”.

A question for the non-indigenous folk who have stayed in Coffs Harbour — was your visit preceded by a similar instruction from council or were you allowed to go about your business as if you were an adult with the ability to make decisions for yourself? Memo to Mayor Knight and her mostly fair-skinned fellow councillors: the days of indigenous people not being allowed to travel unless they have a permit from a white government inspector are long gone.

Price has ample grounds to make a complaint of racial discrimination to the Australian Human Rights Commission, although for some unknown reason the normally noisy so-called anti-racists have not urged her to do so.

This is the same mayor who said only last month: “It’s vital in an inclusive community that we learn as much as we can about each other’s cultures so that we can better understand the different ways we view the world.”

The occasion was the launching of ‘Yandaarra — Shifting Camp Together’, an “Aboriginal cultural awareness and engagement guide”. Get ready for a good laugh: the guide specifies: “It is important that the Aboriginal community is provided with opportunities to openly share information and discuss issues that may impact on their community, culture, heritage and traditional lore.”

That is exactly what Price’s tour is about, thus proving that Coffs’ council chambers are full of mealy-mouthed hypocrites. Admittedly Price has some controversial views, for example, she says indigenous empowerment is realised through people taking responsibility for themselves rather than rely on government welfare. She also maintains colonisation is used to excuse epidemic levels of violence by indigenous men against women and children, and that the vulnerable in these communities are silenced through intimidation. Those views are uncomfortable facts, otherwise known in progressive parlance as “hate speech”.

Price is also dismissive of that ancient indigenous ritual, the so-called “Welcome to Country” ceremony. So ancient in fact that the two indigenous men who invented it, Ernie Dingo and Richard Walley, are still alive. The custom has become so widespread that no official function can claim moral legitimacy if it dispenses with it. And as the council’s guide specifies: “In providing cultural services such as Welcome to Country, artistic performances … it is important to acknowledge the intellectual property of the Aboriginal people through appropriate payment for their services.”

The ceremony serves two purposes. First, it reinforces the guilt industry by continually reminding whitey he is stained by the sins of his forefathers; and second, it makes for much moolah in return for doing very little. For example, in 2013, Matilda House of the Ngambri clan was paid $10,500 for officiating at the opening of the 44th Parliament. No wonder so many indigenous activists loathe Price. As Herald-Sun columnist Andrew Bolt pointed out last year, some of the foulest misogyny directed at her — including exhortations she “die a painful death” — was from indigenous men paid by government departments to conduct these ceremonies.

Price herself knows only too well the threat of impending death. In 2008 her then-partner struck her in the head with a lamp. Bleeding profusely, she escaped from the house, fearing she would be murdered if she did not. Her message is that men in her community must take action to end domestic violence. If she were a white woman, she would be feted by the leftist commentariat.

Instead Fiona Poole, an ABC Coffs Coast presenter who attended Price’s function, described her as “very divisive”. Her ABC colleague Claire Lindsay spoke with members of the Gumbaynggirr community groups who had objected to Price’s visit. As national affairs associate editor Chris Kenny noted this week, neither journalist sought Price’s input. In addition, Lindsay blithely repeated on air a defamatory excerpt from an indigenous community media release that Price “spreads racist vitriol, vilifies and ridicules Aboriginal people and cultures”. The ABC later released a statement, saying the organisation was “remiss in not offering Ms Price the opportunity to respond to criticism”.

As for the ABC dissing an indigenous woman on the grounds she is “very divisive”, this must be a new thing. There was no such criticism from the national broadcaster when indigenous activist Tarneen Onus-Williams declared at an “Invasion Day” rally in Melbourne last year “F**k Australia, hope it burns to the ground”. In a column titled “Australia Is Tearing Down Another Woman of Colour for Daring to Have an Opinion,” then Junkee news and political editor Osman Faruqi defended her from conservative critics, stating: “The goal is not just to silence Onus-Williams, but to discourage anyone like her from speaking up.” Faruqi is now deputy editor of ABC Life. Surely any day now it will be running his article: “Progressive Australia is Tearing Down a Woman of Colour for Daring to Have a Contrary Opinion”. Right?

Then there is the case of indigenous woman, actor and playwright Nakkiah Lui. In 2016, the star of ABC’s “Black Comedy” tweeted: “My main concern in Indigenous Affairs atm is our use of the saying ‘White Dogs’. Dogs are innocent, sweet and loyal. Let’s not insult dogs.” All in the name of reconciliation, I am sure. Interviewed on ABC Radio National regarding a negative review of her play How to Rule the World by Daily Review critic and ABC senior producer Jason Whittaker this year, Lui attributed this to “white supremacy”, and suggested he no longer be allowed to review any works by “people of colour”.

Joining her in the studio and metaphorically holding her hand as Lui told of how Whittaker had “hurt” her “feelings” was Gamilaroi/Eualeyai woman, academic, and host of ABC’s Speaking Out, Larissa Behrendt. You might remember in 2011 she tweeted “I watched a show where a guy had sex with a horse and I’m sure it was less offensive than Bess Price,” referring to Jacinta’s mother, who like her daughter is outspoken about reducing Aboriginal violence and who supported the Northern Territory intervention. But of all these indigenous women it is only the Prices who are divisive, at least in the eyes of Aunty.

As to why this is the case, it is best explained by the reality that many indigenous activists see perpetual bemoaning of the status quo as a livelihood, and a lucrative one at that. Working in tandem with them is a sympathetic progressive media eager to portray itself as the stalwart defender of the wretched. Any indigenous person who publicly challenges that narrative can expect to be labelled a pariah by the former and treated with cold indifference by the latter. The fact that even local government now takes part in this bullying, ostracising and groupthink shows how pervasive the censorious ideology of identity politics has become.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

Regarding the Baltimore Police test issue;

"He sees that he has a high school diploma just as a white applicant has a high school diploma. To him, any difference in treatment and outcomes must be the result of racial discrimination."

And he is right. But the racism isn't in the test, or (necessarily) the Baltimore Police Department. It is in the educational system that, because he is Black, considers him incapable of learning, and thus never asks him to. Or, alternatively, in the political Party (*cough* Democrat *cough*) that is more interested in getting large donations from the teachers' unions than in making sure that the teachers employed in the public schools aren't mouth-breathing morons.