Friday, August 07, 2020

Planned Parenthood Is Still Delivering on Margaret Sanger’s Racist Vision

One of Planned Parenthood’s largest abortion affiliates has finally disavowed Planned Parenthood’s founder for “her racist legacy” and her “connections to the eugenics movement.” However, this symbolic bowing to the far left’s “cancel culture” doesn’t change the fact that the organization is still influenced by her inhumane beliefs.

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) is finally removing Margaret Sanger’s name from its Manhattan clinic after decades of choosing to overlook the organization’s white supremacist roots.

Sanger said all sorts of disturbing things, like, “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” She favored the forced sterilization of those she deemed “unfit,” she gave a speech to the Ku Klux Klan, and she once wrote, “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it” (mind you, like Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, she was talking about a child who had already been born).

PPGNY’s national organization, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has long said that many of Sanger’s racist quotes have been taken out of context. While the national organization acknowledges some of Sanger’s many flaws, it says her story is “complicated” and it hasn’t totally disavowed her. It still labels her a “woman of heroic accomplishments” and it still calls its “highest honor” the Margaret Sanger Award.

However, in its news release, PPGNY parted ways with the standard talking points, acknowledging what it called “Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color.” Yet for years, Planned Parenthood has had the audacity to claim that it believes Black lives matter.

As we know all too well, the “cancel culture” is one of the far left’s frequently used tools to destroy anyone or anything that doesn’t comport with its radical ideology. Never at a loss for hypocrisy, though, the left frequently attempts to nuance the troubling pasts of its heroes, trying to make them acceptable while at the same time tearing down statues of those who helped make America the exceptional nation it is.

Some will accuse me of having a double standard when I say that it’s OK to “cancel” Margaret Sanger while I defend statesmen like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Yet there’s a significant difference. While we roundly condemn Washington’s and Jefferson’s participation in the evil of slavery, we can still celebrate their lifelong work to create a nation built on the highest ideals of humanity.

On the other hand, Sanger’s open racism, her promotion of eugenics and her advocacy of forced sterilizations to keep those she deemed “unfit” from “breeding” was her vision. Planned Parenthood was formed on that vision, and much of that vision still exists at Planned Parenthood today.

Planned Parenthood still considers certain people less than human and rejects the science of prenatal development by calling babies in the womb “clumps of cells,” “tissue masses,” and “products of conception.”

Planned Parenthood also still targets minority communities. If Black lives matter to Planned Parenthood, then why, according to a 2015 study, are nearly 80 percent of its surgical abortion facilities located within walking distance of minority neighborhoods? According to the Guttmacher Institute, in 2014, a year when Black women only accounted for about 13% of the U.S. population, they made up 28% of those having abortions. Each year in New York City, more Black babies are aborted than born.

Pro-lifers have been pointing out Sanger’s despicable views for decades, and Planned Parenthood didn’t just find out about Sanger’s past yesterday. So why is Planned Parenthood only now rejecting its founder—and why isn’t the entire organization doing it?

It strikes me how blatantly we see the double standard at work here. Sure, Sanger is getting “canceled,” but only at one of Planned Parenthood’s facilities and in a relatively mild way. Planned Parenthood still talks about the good she allegedly did and is willing to ascribe her transgressions to being a woman “of her time.”

How ironic that the left doesn’t give America’s Founders the same courtesy. There’s no allowance for context; no allowances for being “men of their time.” There is only cancellation and demands that everything they produced (ie. America) be destroyed.

Until Planned Parenthood stops dehumanizing living, growing children in the womb; until it ceases performing abortions; and until it stops locating facilities and advertising heavily in and around minority communities, it will continue carrying out Margaret Sanger’s original vision. “Canceling” Margaret Sanger and the symbolic gesture of removing her name from a building won’t change any of that.


Washington Post Praises Chinese Communist Party as Bastion of Prosperity for Youth

The Washington Post published a report on Monday sharing glowing stories of Chinese youth celebrating the history of communism in their nation. Full of hope for the youth of the nation, the article built an image of the Chinese Communist Party as being full of vibrance and hope, a juxtaposition to President Trump's portrayal of China as a global threat.

"Trump views China’s Communist Party as a threat. Young Chinese see it as a ticket to a better future," the article headline promises whimsically.

"Chinese who were complaining in February about the party’s coronavirus coverup reflect more positively on their experience now that they can see, through the American example, how much worse it could have been," the Washington Post author says of her subjects, wistfully described in front of a statue of a young Mao Zedong in Changsha.

One young member of the CCP was described by the Post as "dressed more like a pop star than a propaganda star." She excitedly described her visit to Mao's statue as a pilgrimage and rite of passage for a young member of the Party.

The Post then transitions into a section of the article that could very easily be mistaken for a recruitment advertisement for the CCP, promising better housing, better lives, and even better marriage for members of the Party. Those who do not join will face hardships in the communist nation, the author wrote.

Party membership means better education prospects and better jobs, more politically advantageous marriages and nicer apartments. For many, it is a ticket to a brighter future.

“If you want an important job, or even to work in a university or a social organization, if you’re not a party member, you won’t be promoted,” said Zheng Yongnian, a Chinese political scientist who teaches at the National University of Singapore. “Plus, young people these days are quite nationalistic, so they are choosing to join the party.”

Some 80 percent of recruits last year were younger than 35, according to official party statistics.

With only sparing criticism about how difficult membership could be to attain and how General Secretary Xi Jinping has required more ideology purity throughout his command of the CCP, the article lays out a promising future for the dutiful communists of the world's most populous nation.

Of course, the Post had plenty of criticism for the United States leadership. China, for all its flaws, had COVID-19 under control, the newspapers asserted. Secretary Pompeo and President Trump both exhibited fear of being overtaken by China on a global level, the report says, hence their harsh words against the Party.

"This just shows that they fear a stronger Communist Party and a stronger China after we showed our might in the battle against the coronavirus epidemic," Communist Party School professor Wang Wei told the Post.

Completely absent from the newspaper's glowing report of joining the CCP for the youth of China, however, was any mention of the atrocities the Party has committed on the people of China. As the controlling party of China sterilizes the Uhygur Muslims, imprisons them for their faith, and murders them, the Washington Post suggests the children of China join the ranks of the oppressors.

Nevermind that Bejing ordered the imprisonment of anyone speaking out against the agenda of the CCP and the disenfranchisement of their whole families when there's a chance to punch at the president. Forget that China lied to the world about the release of a deadly novel virus that has now taken the lives of millions and crippled the global economy.

The Washington Post was under fire in 2011 for publishing sponsored inlays of English language propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party. The embedded articles seemed carefully planted to look like they belonged on the newspaper's website as a blog called "China Watch." Only small lettering off to the side of the page noted that the alarming pro-CCP material was not published by the Washington Post, they had only taken money to make it look like they published it.

This time, the Washington Post is responsible for every word.


The Troubling Goals of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Politicians and various social justice groups have long used labels that have nothing to do with the real intent of legislation, or an organization, to dupe the public. But, to paraphrase Shakespeare, a rose by any other name is still a rose.

Numerous “civil rights” bills have been passed by Congress over the years that have nothing to do with civil rights, but how many members are brave enough to point that out and vote against them?

Which brings me to the Black Lives Matter movement. How many mainstream reporters have bothered to delve into the background and founding principles of the rapidly spreading organization to which even white CEOs are contributing gobs of money in what appears to be an attempt to protect themselves and their businesses from any potential charge of racism?

The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, which self-describes as “an ecumenical, nonprofit research organization that promotes the benefits of free enterprise to religious communities, business people, students and educators,” has exposed the ideology of Black Lives Matter.

According to Acton, the founding principles of BLM include a guaranteed minimum income for all black people, free health care, free schooling, free food, free real estate, gender reassignment surgery, and free abortion (already disproportionately high among African American women, “27.1 per 1,000 women compared with 10 per 1,000 for white women,” but apparently unborn black lives don’t matter to BLM).

Washington, D.C.’s local BLM chapter has even called for “no new jails” (which would likely guarantee an increase in crime, much of it perpetrated in black communities—see the District’s crime stats, see Chicago, see Los Angeles). BLM also demands reparations and wants to create a “global liberation movement” that will “overturn U.S. imperialism [and] capitalism.”

According to The New York Post, “Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors said in a newly surfaced video from 2015 that she and her fellow organizers are ‘trained Marxists.'”

Breitbart News, a conservative syndicated news website, reported that “Cullors, 36, was the protege of Eric Mann, former agitator of the Weather Underground domestic terror organization, and spent years absorbing the Marxist-Leninist ideology that shaped her worldview.”

Driving through what appeared to be a mostly white neighborhood in Washington, D.C., last weekend I was surprised, though I probably shouldn’t have been, to see quite a few “Black Lives Matter” signs on front lawns and on cars. A few friends have posted the BLM sign on their social media pages. I wonder if any of these people know the background and goals of the movement, or the radical ideology behind it.

There are a growing number, especially among the young, who have been “educated” in our once-great universities by some professors who support the BLM movement and promote similar or identical ideologies.

Part of what they are taught is that America began as a white, slave-owning patriarchy and that slaves actually built America. They quickly absorb this, then come home to tell their parents they are part of the problem.

This is a major reason school choice is important if the nation is to be preserved. It should also be obvious that parents must be more selective in where they allow—and in many cases pay for—their children to attend colleges and universities and choose one where their values are strengthened and the nation not undermined.

Black lives matter because like all lives, everyone is endowed with unalienable rights. But the BLM movement might be more harmful than helpful to African Americans.

BLM’s foundational principles and goals seem closer to those of China and the former Soviet Union. If more people understood that, they might wake up and realize that the United States, as Ronald Reagan used to say, is only one generation from losing it all.


NYC Health Commissioner to De Blasio: Your COVID Response Sucks, So I'm Outta Here

Look, she was in no way totally immune from criticism regarding the city's response to coronavirus, but at least Dr. Oxiris Barbot, New York City's now-former health commissioner, turned a corner and warned Mayor Bill de Blasio that COVID was tearing through the Big Apple rapidly and the results could be disastrous. She presented him with the data. He ignored it. Now, both were saying pretty much the exact same thing in February regarding outdoor activities: "live your lives, New Yorkers." But Bill was still saying that in mid-March, when it was pretty clear the city was suffering from an outbreak, telling people to go out and eat and see movies.

Unlike most of the country, New York is the mecca for COVID in the United States. The outbreak could be traced right to the Empire State, which is getting praise from Acela Media because why not? What are these clowns going to do…attack de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo for their reckless response to this virus? No. They can't. They're Democrats and these writers need ammunition to attack Trump in an election year. New York is the all-time champion in total cases and deaths. Florida will never come close. Sorry, it just won't. New York forced nursing homes to admit COVID-positive patients, which killed thousands of the elderly and infirmed. The most vulnerable were sacrificed on the altar of American liberalism. Kill the elderly, infect everyone—that's the New York way of responding to COVID. It's also the idiot's way.

Even as the city was still dealing with COVID, Dr. Barbot had to deal with Mayor Billy's "woke" governance that's destroyed the city. He's defunding the police by $1 billion; the city's plain-clothes anti-crime unit has been disbanded, and to no one's shock, crime has spiked. It's August, and already the city has seen more shootings than in all of 2019. Kids are being blown away; de Blasio doesn't care. He does care that someone vandalized his precious Black Lives Matter mural outside Trump Tower, which he admits was never brought before the permit process…because "orange man, bad." It was out of moral urgency, you see. Oh, and the contact tracing program the city has initiated is not allowing city officials to ask new COVID patients if they participated in any mass demonstrations recently. We all know a lot of these new cases are because of the George Floyd riots. And yet, Trump is the one not listening to the experts. De Blasio put them in the back row, according to Dr. Barbot, who decided to tender her resignation today. Hey, do you blame her? De Blasio said he's banning large gatherings, except mass BLM protests. How can you work with an idiot like that? How can you work with a clown who says schools will be closed in the fall, but daycares will be open? (via NYT):

New York City’s health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, resigned on Tuesday in protest over her “deep disappointment” with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent efforts to keep it in check.

Her departure came after escalating tensions between City Hall and top Health Department officials, which began at the start of the city’s outbreak in March, burst into public view.

“I leave my post today with deep disappointment that during the most critical public health crisis in our lifetime, that the Health Department’s incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree it could have been,” she said in her resignation email sent to Mr. de Blasio, a copy of which was shared with The New York Times.

“Our experts are world renowned for their epidemiology, surveillance and response work. The city would be well served by having them at the strategic center of the response not in the background.”

It seems like the "woke" agenda puts lives in danger. No, it's gotten people killed. And Bill doesn't care. The Left doesn't care. If it means removing Trump, getting rid of American history, and making white people feel bad about themselves, then, by all means, stack those bodies high, right? That's liberalism in 2020.



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

Thursday, August 06, 2020

How ‘Wokeness’ Is a Product of Marxism

“Wokeness” has become the nomenclature for the ideology or mentality of radical leftist activists on college campuses, at protests, and on social media.

But wokeness has not been limited to just a handful of activists. It’s becoming a dominant mindset in the American workplace, in both the public and private sectors, as a method to promote “anti-racism.”

A Heritage Foundation panel on July 24 addressed first what wokeness actually is, but also how it has crept into corporate boardrooms and why it’s such a problem.

Angela Sailor, vice president of The Feulner Institute at The Heritage Foundation, said that “pervasive trends under the guise of equality makes diversity training in government, and corporate America, and schools, destructive, divisive, and harmful.”

James Lindsay, the co-author of a forthcoming book, “Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody,” says wokeness is actually a combination of many different ideas.

“Wokeness is a fusion of the critical theory school of neo-Marxism, which is a form of identity politics, and radical activism that has a very particular worldview that separates the world into liberationists versus oppressors or oppressed versus oppressors,” said Lindsay, whose book is set for release Aug. 25.

It marries that, Lindsay said, with postmodern theory, which holds that “all applications of truth are actually applications of politics by other means.”

In other words, the truth is malleable, based on power and who drives the narrative of what truth really is. In effect, the truth is replaced by my truth.

Marxism is a mostly economic theory, with origins in the 19th century. Those ideas, he said, led to some of the worst atrocities in world history.

Traditional Marxist ideas were adopted but changed in the 1920s by Italian communist Antonio Gramsci and others, and became the project of the Frankfurt school of critical theory. That new theory focused more on shaping culture, Lindsay said, marrying traditional Marxism with Freudian psychology and other social theories to change the way people think.

The goal of postmodernists who were part of that movement was to “deconstruct the very meanings of things,” said Lindsay.

Those ideas reached a new phase with the writings of Herbert Marcuse, a Columbia University professor in the 1960s and 1970s who advocated radical activism based on identity politics.

But this radicalism burned out, Lindsay said, because its violence ultimately made it unpopular.

The radicals then left the streets and embedded themselves in our schools and universities.

“It has all of the conflict theory—separate the world into oppressor-versus-oppressed classes—with zero-sum conflict, no ability to agree or understand one another across those, and then takes on the postmodern understanding of truth being just politics by other means, which removes all of the brakes standing up against it,” Lindsay said.

Seeing the world through that lens is what constitutes wokeness.

Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation and author of the new book “The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics Is Dividing the Land of the Free,” explained how these ideas entered the workplace under the guise of combating racism and why they are so toxic.

“Anti-racism training is a con,” Gonzalez said. “These consultants get paid exorbitant amounts of money. Often these fees come from taxpayer funds.”

Though many of the advocates of wokeness are con artists, we have to take them seriously, Gonzalez said, because there is a strong ideological component to it.

“The true name of anti-racism training is consciousness-raising struggle sessions,” he said.

It’s used to demolish the “hegemonic narrative,” which in simpler terms, Gonzalez said, is simply “the American story, the American dream, the promise of liberty and prosperity that have attracted about 100 million immigrants from all over the world from 1850 to the present.”

Christopher Rufo, the director of the Center on Wealth and Poverty at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and contributing editor at City Journal, has delved into how “anti-racist training,” together with the Black Lives Matter movement, has invaded the boardroom and government.

“This is now becoming the default ideology of the bureaucracy, and people are making, in some cases, millions of dollars offering essentially political indoctrination on the public dime to public employees,” Rufo said.

All levels of government, as well as nonprofits and corporations, now have human resources departments that have adopted critical race theory as their dominant functioning ideology, he said, adding that it’s become a particularly big problem at the federal level.

“You have an apparatus of federal power that has grown extraordinarily since the days of Woodrow Wilson through [Franklin Roosevelt] through [Lyndon Johnson] in this kind of permanently expanding power that until recently, at least theoretically, operated under the ostensible ideology of the social sciences, of neutrality, but it’s really been abandoned,” Rufo said.

The permanent bureaucracy, no matter who the president is, has adopted critical race theory as its ideology of choice.

That’s leading to a “change in regime” that has never been voted on or approved by the American people, Rufo said. The result is that the machinery of the bureaucracy will be weaponized against the American people.

Rufo spoke of potential ways to stop this form of regime change. He said that it’s important to create institutional infrastructure to protect people from being targeted and “canceled.”

Gonzalez said that it is essential to inform other Americans of the transformation taking place and warn them of the radical changes to come if these ideas are not stopped.

“The more we write about this, the more we expose people to what has taken place, to why, who did it, how they did it, and what is their real goal here, we can start to demolish this idea that ‘no, this is nice because people need … justice,’” Gonzalez said, adding: “Let’s really be honest, and without rancor in our heart, just expose them. Sunshine can be a great disinfectant. Let’s really allow in the light and expose this for what it is.”


Identity Politics Divides America

America’s founding creed is “e pluribus unum.” “Out of many, one.” That is the motto that appears on the seal of the House of Representatives. The greatness of America comes from the melting of many cultures and ethnic backgrounds into one American family.

Neither Congress, nor this nation, can function when it is divided along demographic lines. But that’s exactly what a dangerously large group of individuals in the modern Democrat Party are now intent on doing.

To make matters worse, these same individuals falsely smear Republicans with vile labels like racist and sexist during honest policy debates, while excusing blatant racist acts on their own side.

For example, it was discovered last year that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam literally wore either blackface or a Ku Klux Klan hood—he couldn’t decide which. But he was let off the hook, and he still has his job.

Let’s be honest here: No fair-minded person could deny that if that were a conservative governor, he would have been run out of office the same day by the very leftist politicians who allowed Northam to skate.

Why is that? Because it’s assumed by liberal coastal elites who dominate our media and shape our popular culture that Democrats have pure hearts and that Republicans are diabolical.

To leftists, producing liberal policy victories is more important than standing against hate on their own side. How else do you explain the consistent mainstream media narrative that reports Republican mistakes as news, but buries Democrat errors under a headline of “Republicans Pounce”?

While leftists use the Black Lives Matter movement to excuse the destruction and looting of black small businesses and black homes, we hear nothing from leftists on the House floor pushing back on this violence.

We don’t hear about the death of St. Louis Police Chief David Dorn. He was killed by rioters. Our hearts break for his family because his life mattered, too.

Furthermore, it is offensive for leftists to insinuate that law and order policies don’t matter to African Americans. The silence is perhaps most deafening when it comes to abortion in the black community, a killer of more than 20 million black lives in the United States since 1973. Our hearts break because unborn black babies’ lives matter, too.

The woke mob is now “outraged” over federal officers defending federal buildings in Portland because leftist mayors refuse to do their job. I’ve heard those opposed to the presence of federal agents argue that this is about a Republican president trampling on Democrat governors’ rights. They are missing the point. This issue is not about conservatives or leftists, it’s about the difference between safe streets and lawless anarchy.

It just so happens that the lawless anarchy only happens in cities with liberal mayors. If they don’t want to protect the life, liberty, and property of their towns, then the federal government, at the direction of this president, will do it for them.

But I suspect that these bad-faith accusations would be different if the parties were reversed. It all comes down to weaponizing identity politics to divide this country and achieve power.

Those who traffic in unfair name-calling don’t want to unify Americans as part of a shared history, a shared pursuit of justice, or economic prosperity. Identity politics stands diametrically opposed to e pluribus unum, and therefore, stands diametrically opposed to the values of the United States of America.


What the Silence Over Bill's Alleged Visit to Epstein's Pedophile Island Tells us About the Acela Media

The Acela train is Amtrak's flagship high speed service along the Northeast Corridor in the Northeastern United States between Washington, D.C. and Boston via 16 intermediate stops, including Providence, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City

In VIP, we noted how Bill Clinton is earning his “slick Willy” moniker regarding the latest bombshell from the trove of Jeffrey Epstein-Ghislaine Maxwell documents that unsealed last week. That being former President Bill Clinton being spotted on Epstein’s infamous pedophile island. Of course, the Clinton camp denies the former president was ever there, but Maxwell has alleged that there are tapes of two prominent politicians having sex with minors. Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged partner in coordinating these depraved sex acts with underage girls, was recently arrested by federal authorities, denied bail, and being held in the same federal facility as Epstein before his highly suspicious suicide. With three passports and numerous accounts with millions of dollars, she’s a flight risk. She’s reportedly been given paper clothes to prevent self-harm.

Still, the former president being spotted on the island with minors That seems like at least something to look into, right? Epstein was a Clinton ally. He was connected with some of the world’s richest, most powerful families. To simply put it, there’s definitely a motive regarding seeing both Epstein and Maxwell be put six feet under. I’m not saying that’s what happened to Epstein, though the circumstances surrounding his death are amazingly irregular, almost a perfect alignment of events and actions that would make way for his death. Anyways, the point is he’s gone. And with these new documents, you’d think there would be at least some mention on the mainstream circuits. We’re not expecting much, but it’s been quiet. I mean, like German U-Boats in the Black Pit silence. Nothing. They’re suffocating this story with a pillow and those who do report on it barely give it the light of day. Is it shocking? No. Is it expected from these clowns? Yes. A former president was seen dabbling on some debauched island with an indicted child sex trafficker. That seems…like a problem (via Fourth Watch) [emphasis mine]:

A federal judge on Thursday unsealed a trove of court documents related to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, as the latter awaits trial. In it, Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Epstein and Maxwell of sexually abusing her, details incidents she says she witnessed of the pair having sex with girls as young as 15-years-old.

But that's not all. Giuffre reveals in the just unsealed interview from 2011 that former president Bill Clinton visited Epstein’s private island, Little St. James Island, along with Maxwell and “two young girls” from New York. “I remember asking Jeffrey what’s Bill Clinton doing here kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said well he owes me a favor,” Giuffre said in the interview.....

But this sensational story involving former President Clinton - last seen eulogizing John Lewis just this week - has barely caught the attention of the legacy media. While the story has been covered dozens of times on Fox News, CNN viewers haven't heard anything about it unless they saw the one report at 6am on Friday morning. Nothing this weekend. MSNBC? Literally not a single mention (according to TV Eyes).

Bill Clinton's alleged trip to "pedophile island" was not mentioned once today on the Sunday shows - in fact, it hasn't been mentioned at all by ABC or CBS. To NBC's credit, it was covered on the Today show Friday morning.....

What does this tell us about the Acela Media? Quite a bit. As Glenn Greenwald tweeted Friday night, "I don't think there's been a bigger gap between (a) the importance, multi-layered and fascinating aspects of a news story and (b) the mainstream media's weirdly steadfast avoidance of it than the Jeffrey Epstein saga."

The media has largely avoided this story, while the media remains intertwined with it. It was less than 10 years ago that Jeffrey Epstein was sitting down for dinner with some famous houseguests, a short 18 months after he was released from jail after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of solicitation of prostitution with a minor. ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos was there. Former NBC and CBS anchor Katie Couric was there. Former E! and Netflix host Chelsea Handler was too. Why were they there? They've all said it was the one and only time they met Epstein, and they were unaware of his past.

So on one hand, you have the New York elites who intermingled with Epstein. But then we introduce former President Bill Clinton. As Drew Holden documented in his Twitter thread, there was almost uniform silence connecting Clinton and Epstein after the Thursday night story from every major media organization.

Oh, and the FBI knew about Epstein’s creepiness as well and did nothing, despite being in contact with one of his accusers before his formal indictment on child sex trafficking charges last year. Also, they had that photo of Giuffre with Prince Andrew before their 2011 interview with her.

They’re deep-sixing a story to protect Bill. Typical.


Big backdown by Leftist library

A sheriff in Nevada on Monday sent a letter to the county's public library board letting them know deputies would not be responding to its 911 calls. Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley cited the board considering a diversity statement that endorses the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The Douglas County Public Library denounces all acts of violence, racism and disregard for human rights. We support #BlackLivesMatter. We resolutely assert and believe that all forms of racism, hatred, inequality and injustice don’t belong in our society," part of the proposed statement said.

According to Coverley, the BLM movement has caused "violence, property damage and the closing of local businesses."

"The Black Lives Matter movement openly calls all law enforcement corrupt and racist on their website. They call for the defunding of police, and we have seen how a lack of active law-enforcement has worked in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon," Coverley wrote. "Numerous Black Lives Matter protests have resulted in violence, property damage and the closing of local businesses, sometimes permanently. To support this movement is to support violence and to openly ask for it to happen in Douglas County."

"Due to your support of Black Lives Matter and the obvious lack of support or trust with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, please do not feel the need to call 911 for help. I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior, since those are just some of the recent calls my office has assisted you with in the past," he concluded.

Following a backlash, Douglas County Library Director Amy Dodson met with Coverley to discuss the potential diversity statement.

"Sheriff Coverley and I had a very candid conversation about the statement and we both expressed our opinions regarding the intent of our exchanged correspondence,” Dodson told Fox News “We agreed that we both support the people of Douglas County and this may have been an unfortunate circumstance of misunderstanding. The library respects and supports the work of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and appreciates everything they do to keep our community safe.”

“I am passionate about and proud of the work the Sheriff’s Office does for all members of this community,” Coverley clarified. “This has been a difficult time to be a law enforcement professional and can be disheartening when we perceive that our office may be under attack. My response was rooted in my belief that these issues need to be openly discussed in a way that values diversity and law enforcement.”

It's sad that we have to have this kind of conversation at all. Law enforcement officers should be respected and not feel like they're constantly on the defense. Their job is to help people, and yet they're having to do their job and worry about increased violence against them. Sheriff Coverley, however, is right. This is a difficult time for police officers but changes – especially when it comes to law enforcement reforms – should be discussed in a way that respects officers and the community.



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

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

'Cancel Culture': Old Tyranny in New Bottles

If the progressives succeed, they will create what the Founders feared.

The last few weeks we’ve seen programmatically progressive media outlets purging their political bedfellows for deviating from the “woke” party line. Some, like erstwhile New York Times editor James Bennet, confessed and apologized for their alleged sins voluntarily, like an old Bolshevik apparatchik in a show-trial. Others, like Times editor Bari Weiss and Atlantic writer Andrew Sullivan, resigned before they were hustled to the guillotine, at least salvaging some self-respect.

And it’s not just today’s people and institutions that are facing the baying mobs of mostly callow millennials who pitch a fit over anything that challenges their fragile self-esteem and “smelly little orthodoxies.” For months we’ve watched two-bit anarchists and race-hustlers knocking down monuments from our history as a graphic repudiation of America and its defining principles––a 21st century version of the old Roman damnatio memoriae, in which enemies of the state or emperor were disappeared from history by removing any public reference to them in inscriptions, statues, or books.

Indeed, today’s “cancel culture” is nothing new. It is just the latest manifestation of tyranny: As Aristotle defined it, “arbitrary power . . . which is responsible to no one, and governs all alike, whether equals or betters, with a view to its own advantage, not to that of its subjects, and therefore against their will. No free man willingly endures such a government.”

Historically, the tyrant has achieved that power by violence, especially against anyone who appear to be a threat to his ambitions or power. Herodotus has a famous anecdote about the tyrant’s use of violence. In the 7th century BC, Periander, the tyrant of Corinth, deliberating over how to keep his power safe from rivals, sent a messenger to Thrasybulus of Miletus asking his advice. Thrasybulus led the messenger into a field of wheat, and as he questioned him during their walk, broke off the tallest ears of grain. Periander got the message: “Kill outstanding citizens.”

Today’s leftists haven’t yet descended into that level of political murder. Instead they practice character assassination, the destruction of their enemies’ careers and reputations. Their weapons are not daggers or poison, but the catalogue of question-begging epithets, particularly “racism”––after all, as they keep telling us, “words are violence.” What’s also typically modern about their purges is the emphasis on personal feelings and identity, and complaints not about actual crimes or injustices, but confected ones like “systemic racism” and white cops targeting black men for execution. The subalterns at the Times who got their editor fired over an op-ed by Republican Senator Tom Cotton claimed that it made “people of color” on the staff feel less “safe,” as though affluent, privileged members of the cognitive elite live, like hoaxer Jessie Smollett, in daily fear of packs of Klansmen roaming Manhattan looking for blacks to lynch.

Therapeutic solace, not correcting injustices, is what in part the demands for “inclusion” is about. It’s not about “diversity” and working in an organization that reflects the demographic variety of America. If it were, there would be a lot more conservatives and Christians working at the Times or Atlantic. It’s about establishing a safe, comforting “herd of independent minds,” to borrow art critic Harold Rosenberg’s phrase, a “safe space” in which nothing challenges or upsets the “woke” persona of righteous “social justice warriors.” It’s about something no one people before the age of Freud ever thought about: How any individual other than the sick and destitute “feels” about himself and his circumstances.

But make no mistake, for all its therapeutic sensibilities, the “woke” herd is mainly about achieving the quintessential totalitarian aim–– the autocratic power that defines the tyrant. That’s what makes the current progressive media so important: Their incessant coverage of “cancel culture” and the violent protests gives the “woke” the power of publicity that confirm their self-righteousness, legitimizes them with the “halo effect” from prestigious cultural institutions, and bestows on them the shopworn romance of revolution, just as a poster of the Caucasian psychopath Che Guevara does in their bedrooms.

Of course, violence is still a necessary tool of the aspiring tyrant, who uses murder to remove rivals and challengers, and intimidate the mass of sheep into remaining sheep. Destroying and vandalizing public monuments and private businesses, and physically attacking the police, are telegenic advertisements for the rioters own power and the civil authorities’ weakness. Allowing this mayhem to continue for two months strengthens that power as well as the status of the mobs. And the appeasement by mayors, governors, and Democrat politicians, whether from fear or political calculation, validates the charges that America is corrupt, unjust, and guilty of institutionalized racial injustice. Why else would official authority retreat and placate the mob, going so far as to kneel before them in contrition?

And, this failure of nerve in the face of public violence allows mostly middle-class poseurs and layabouts to get all this attention and validation on the cheap. It’s a lot easier to strut, scream epithets, and throw rocks, bricks, and bottles at the cops when you know it’s unlikely that you will experience the wonderfully mind-concentrating effects of a nightstick bouncing off your skull, followed by a trip to the emergency room, and then arrest and trial. “Social justice” is one thing, but a criminal conviction staining your public record is taking it too far.

What this protest theater suggests is that this level of riots and violence is not going to bring on a revolution that radically changes the American political order. The savvier members of Black Lives Matter know this, so their aim is to create enough disorder to hurt Trump’s chances for reelection, and then install a pliant Democrat who will play Charlie McCarthy to the radical Dems’ Edgar Bergan. Whether by design or chance, the capitulation of the Democrats to the Bernie Sanders/AOC wing of the part has strengthened this tactic.

So too have the lockdowns, which have damaged Trump’s signature achievement, an economy revitalized after eight years of Obama-Biden malfeasance. Along with the subsequent ongoing riots and protests, they have created a sense that the country is dangerously out of control. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but it’s suspicious that the second wave of lockdowns and the blue-state enabling of the violent protests happened just as the economy was showing signs of recovery.

Finally, “fundamentally transforming” America doesn’t need a violent revolution. What we are witnessing today is the acceleration of changes begun over a hundred years ago. The critical factor in moving this country from political freedom to soft despotism has been the rewriting of the Constitution, and this has been happening since Woodrow Wilson. The progressive ideal of technocratic government by means of metastasizing federal bureaus and agencies has been created, and is so entrenched in our political culture that most Republicans and “conservatives” seldom question it. Today, the idea of unalienable natural rights like freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and bearing arms are under assault, as they have been since progressive Charles Beard in 1912 call them “obsolete and indefensible.” Hence today’s progressives agitate for limiting the Second Amendment, and curtailing free speech, which is the aim of “cancel culture.”

Also under attack has been the Constitutional order of balanced and divided government. Technocracy, as Wilson understood, requires centralized and concentrated power wielded by unelected, unaccountable experts: a “bureau of skilled, economical administration,” Wilson wrote, comprising the “hundreds who are wise” to guide the thousands who are “selfish, ignorant, timid, stubborn, or foolish.” One big step to achieving the goal of weakening the balance of powers was also taken during the Wilson administration––the popular election of senators, which stripped from the sovereign states the power to appoint senators and through their checks on executive power protect the states’ interests, rights, and powers.

So no surprise that today progressives are seeking to weaken federalism by basing the number of senators on population rather than on equal representation for each state; and by abolishing the Electoral College to create the tyranny of the majority feared by the Founders. The result of these changes, if effected, will be to further limit the freedom and autonomy of individuals, states, businesses, and civil society­­––just as during the pandemic we have seen blue-state governors and mayors suspend or compromise the natural rights to bear arms, peacefully assemble, and worship publicly.

Progressives have long desired and worked for those changes to the Constitution. If achieved they will create what the Founders feared––tyranny and the end of our political freedom, the ultimate aim of “cancel culture.” When that happens, it won’t just be this reporter or that institution that will be cancelled­­––it will be the United States and the principles, virtues, and political order that have made it the freest, richest, most powerful country in history.


The Great Deletion

Reddit’s purge of ‘hateful’ forums shows us how unfree the internet is becoming.

My two most recent columns for spiked dealt with cancel culture and hate-crime hoaxes. Thanks to the internet being what it is, events during the past month have provided me with a perfect real-life combination of these two trends.

On 29 July, Reddit, the self-proclaimed front page of the internet, deleted a popular ‘subreddit’ (a type of forum specific to the platform) dealing with hate-crime hoaxes. (Those so inclined can check out what is now simply a blank page here.) That same day, Reddit also deleted a number of other popular subreddits, including the r/GenderCritical and r/TrueLesbians/ – forums known for hosting debates by female feminists about the role of trans women in the feminist movement – and a subreddit devoted to female reproductive-health issues. It also deleted r/HBD – short for human biodiversity – a page which focuses on questions of race and human genetic variation. For good measure, the site also kicked off what may have been its most popular right- and left-wing political forums respectively: r/TheDonald/ and r/ChapoTrapHouse.

The explanation Reddit gave for banning all of these communities was that they ‘promoted hate’. Having been on Reddit, this is probably not a wholly baseless claim. It is hard not to notice a small but noisy contingent of alt-righters on the HBD forum, alongside biology grad students and Charles Murray fan-boys, who seek an (elusive) wholly genetic explanation for small differences in traits like tested IQ and running speed. r/GenderCritical was attacked fairly often for criticising both straight males and trans women – often for the same reasons. And, certainly, both r/TheDonald and r/ChapoTrapHouse/ were known for crude, if often funny, memes mocking everything under the sun.

However, the deletion decision becomes a bit more surprising given what Reddit left up. While deleting r/GenderCritical/ as potentially offensive to women (of both the trans and ‘traditional’ variety), the site specifically decided not to take down the r/RapeKink subreddit, which is dedicated almost entirely to rape pornography and fetish stories (though this page was at least temporarily quarantined). r/RapeFantasy made the cut too, although a sub called r/StruggleFucking/ was eventually taken down.

For those curious in the crowd, the primary ‘bukkake’ subreddit survived as well, as did the hyper-popular subreddit just called ‘Ass’. As a free-speech absolutist, I take no real position on the existence of these forums. But it’s an odd world indeed where ‘RapeKink’ is considered less potentially harmful to women than a feminist forum. To some extent, we see here the logical application of modern ‘social justice’ morality, within which the worst sin is intolerance: TERF-y feminism is intolerant and thus bad, while rape porn is okay.

What should worry us most is that the Great Deletion has undeniably suppressed some serious ideas. The striking thing about many of the vanished subs is that they were mostly populated by wonks and geeks, not Nazis. Even if these forums may have attracted some assholes, human biodiversity, hate-crime hoaxing, gender-critical feminism, the lived experiences of lesbians and discussions about female health disorders are all essentially classroom topics of study. Offensive memes may have provided the initial justification for taking down the forums – this is the internet, after all – but lurking behind Reddit’s decision is the belief that some ideas are too dangerous for discussion of them to be allowed.

This sort of thing is becoming more common. On Twitter, a popular account called ‘Anti-Racist Science’ – which gained more than 1,000 followers during its first day active – has called for a total ban on ‘further use’ of the most common data-set of national IQ scores, put together early in the 21st century by the quantitative psychologist Richard Lynn. Lynn’s data includes the IQ test scores of more than 80 nations. But according to this Twitter account, it is ‘fraudulent’ and has been used to support ‘scientific racism’ concerning ‘the inferiority of people with African ancestry’. For good measure, the Anti-Racist Science account includes an official form that any interested follower can use to report the use of Lynn’s data or other ‘racist / race-science misinformation’ in a peer-reviewed academic paper.

Similar activity is not uncommon inside elite journals themselves. In 2016, academic David Gilborn wrote in the Journal of Educational Policy: ‘We need to (understand) that any assertion of fixed and inevitable inequalities in ability / intelligence between racial / ethnic groups is…racist.’ While I am myself a culturalist when it comes to questions of IQ and have some serious questions about Lynn’s famous data set – such as, how many years of school did the African and East European kids in his samples attend? – claims like Gilborn’s are over the top. Ability is a broad term. Is the good professor arguing that the average Samoan guy is as fleet-footed as the average Kenyan guy? If so, can’t we just go down to the track and test that?

The censoring of ideas, including some quite serious ones, as too ‘dangerous’ or ‘hateful’ to be heard is far more prevalent than most might think. Years ago, when I became active on Facebook and later Twitter, I made a list of accounts I generally disagreed with but enjoyed trolling or arguing with. That list included Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, Third World Press, You Owe Blacks Trillions, and much of the black-nationalist hotep movement. It also included provocateur Milo Yiannopolous, Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists, Cop Block and many left- and right-leaning libertarian pages, and even the now-banned Chapo Trap House. Searching the accounts on this list a few weeks ago, I was surprised to find that essentially all of them had been disappeared across all social media – as had white nationalist Stefan Molyneux, my old debate foe Jared Taylor from the Southern Poverty Law Centre, virtually anyone considered alt-right, and even the first Black Lives Matter Facebook page I ever followed and sparred with.

While not generally a conspiracy-minded fellow, I can’t help suspecting a long game here. For decades, the US mass media – whose star reporters, producers, and on-air talent almost universally share a single cosmopolitan center-left viewpoint – had enormous influence over what written and visual content Americans were able to access. Then came the internet. And within a decade or two, commentators like Matt Drudge, Tim Pool, Joe Rogan and more than a few of those mentioned above had become some of the most well-known ‘journalists’ on the planet. To many wired-in young people, ‘boomer’ mass media began to seem increasingly dated and irrelevant. Between 2000 and 2019, some 2,100 American newspapers, many quite major, closed.

In recent years, however, mainstream media outlets seem to have adopted a two-pronged strategy of fighting back. First, by posting their own content to social-media platforms; and secondly, by backing efforts by those platforms to censor any voices which are even mildly heterodox. MSNBC, for example, is now a major player on YouTube, with more than 3.3million subscribers. Online, too, the network is losing to Fox News, which has 5.78million subscribers.

While they build their digital presence, major outlets and publications almost invariably give positive coverage to actions like the deletion of the subreddits – which Buzzfeed, Vice, MarketWatch and People magazine all reported. Buzzfeed faithfully parroted Reddit’s line that this was ‘a crackdown on communities that promote hate’. Other alternative voices – from PragerU to Cop Block (and even myself) – are not banned outright but find their content is demonetised across various platforms. Mass media outlets are now in the enviable position of being able to run stories that advocate for the removal of their competitors, while simultaneously drawing clicks to their own online content.

How should ordinary netizens respond? A first, very simple approach is simply to remember that almost anyone famously removed from social media also has a professional website. If dark political humour is your thing, you can now find The Donald here and Chapo Trap House here. Alternative media platforms like Parler are increasing in popularity, although at times it can feel like a more professionally designed 4chan. Savvy citizens might go so far as to press their elected congressmen or parliamentarians to remind tech companies of the distinction between ‘platforms’ and ‘publishers’. Technically speaking, if social-media platforms want to avoid legal liability for user behaviour by claiming to operate merely as ‘host sites’ for content generated by third parties, they should be deleting little or no legal material.

And there is one more option – keep it old school. If you are genuinely interested in controversial topics like race relations, gender or human genetics, go down to the local library and check out a book. I myself wrote a fairly solid one on hate-crime hoaxes. When we are online, though, let’s try to keep the bastards honest.


You can’t defeat racism with censorship

Afer his unhinged and seemingly interminable anti-Semitic rant, the rapper Wiley has been dropped by his management and is being investigated by the police. As if that weren’t enough, his tweets have provoked renewed calls for tighter regulation of speech on social media.

Home secretary Priti Patel has demanded an explanation from Twitter and Instagram as to why they took so long to remove Wiley’s posts. ‘Social-media companies must act faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms’, she said. For Labour’s shadow culture secretary, Jo Stevens, Twitter and Instagram’s ‘failure to tackle these high-profile examples of hate speech’ apparently ‘shows why we so desperately need proper legislation to force the social-media companies to keep people safe online’.

There is now a clear cross-party consensus in favour of state censorship of the internet. Labour’s main criticism of the Conservatives in this regard is that the government has been too slow to implement its proposed ‘online harms’ legislation. These new rules represent the most draconian crackdown on the internet in any Western democracy – something ministers seem oddly proud of.

It seems there is almost no social issue in the world today which cannot be answered with controls on social media. Racism? Regulate social media. People voting for populist causes? Regulate social media. People dying in a pandemic? Regulate social media.

But there are many reasons why we should oppose any and every attempt to stifle free expression – even if that means defending the rights of rappers to rant about the Jews (or some other ethnic group of their choice).

First, it is simply a myth to say that social media is a haven for free speech (which for many would-be censors is synomymous with bigoted speech). Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and PayPal have all banned users who they consider to be spreading ‘hate speech’ – a definition which extends from conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and racist motormouth Katie Hopkins to left-wing feminists like Meghan Murphy and some Antifa organisations.

As well as overseeing their own opaque and unaccountable regimes of censorship, the social-media firms are already subject to the laws of the lands in which they operate. In the UK, where hate-speech laws, online-communications laws and public-order laws already conspire to undermine the right to free speech, nine people are arrested every single day for what they post on social media. Only last month, British police arrested a 12-year-old child for sending racist messages to a footballer. (And even when there are no legal restrictions on the average tweeter, such as in the United States, the phenomenon of cancel culture means that a few badly phrased or unorthodox posts could cost you your job or your reputation.)

When countries have tried to introduce social-media regulation on top of this, it has backfired spectacularly. It is clear why. For instance, by the time the whole internet had seen them, it might well have been obvious that Wiley’s tweets were racist and should therefore have been censored. But in order to censor content before it is seen by thousands, social-media companies have to act quickly. That tends to mean censoring first, asking questions later.

The NetzDG law in Germany, which threatens enormous fines of up to €50million on social-media firms if they fail to remove ‘hate speech’, ‘fake news’ and other illegal content within 24 hours, has forced social-media companies to take this approach. It means that all kinds of innocent people get dragged through the net of censorship and plenty of non-racist babies are thrown out with the racist bathwater. One such person whose old posts were removed was government minister Heiko Maas, who as justice minister was the very politician charged with drawing up the law. In France, new laws against fake news led Twitter to ban a campaign encouraging voter-registration which was produced and paid for by the French government.

If even government ministers and campaigns end up being censored, who could possibly know how many innocent civilians are also being silenced at the behest of some algorithm. Satirists are particularly vulnerable to being unfairly censored as even human censors are sometimes too obtuse to recognise their intent.

But more important than any of that is the fact that censorship does not and cannot defeat bigotry. It has become something of a cliché to say we need social-media regulation or hate-speech laws to prevent rising racism or even a second coming of fascism.

Leaving aside the histrionics of such predictions, they ignore the historical truth. In Weimar Germany, the Nazis and their ideas were censored – regularly, in fact. Leading Nazis including Joseph Goebbels, Theodor Fritsch and Julius Streicher were all prosecuted for hate speech before they rose to power – and Streicher was imprisoned twice. The Nazi publication Der Stürmer was regularly confiscated and its editors were taken to court on at least 36 occasions. Anti-Semitic speech was explicitly prohibited by law, leading to more than 200 prosecutions in the 15 years before Hitler came to power. ‘As subsequent history so painfully testifies’, writes civil-liberties campaigner Alan Borovoy in When Freedoms Collide, ‘this type of legislation proved ineffectual on the one occasion when there was a real argument for it’.

In contrast, the civil-rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s were intimately connected to the struggle for free speech. As historian Kevil Yuill explained recently on spiked, it is ‘always the powerless who gain the most from the freedom to speak out against their condition’ – and it is only the powerful who can establish the legal and regulatory limits to what can and cannot be said. Rules and laws around hate speech may be proposed in the name of protecting the weak, but ultimately it will be the powerful – in this case, governments or Silicon Valley tech giants – who will decide how those rules should operate.

Anyone who is serious about standing up to bigotry should go ahead and do just that. We should be winning the arguments in favour of equality and against racism, instead of demanding the false comfort of censorship.


Portland Protesters Burn Bibles, American Flag Outside Federal Courthouse

KOIN News reports that Friday's protest started out as a peaceful assembly but turned destructive at night with crowd members setting fires on the street in front of the federal courthouse.

Twitter user Ian Miles Cheong shared a video of demonstrators desecrating Bibles and the symbol of American freedom.

Cheong wrote, "Left-wing activists bring a stack of Bibles to burn in front of the federal courthouse in Portland."

In a later thread, Cheong wrote, "I don't know what burning the Bible has to do with protesting against police brutality. Do not be under the illusion that these protests and riots are anything but an attempt to dismantle all of Western Civilization and upend centuries of tradition and freedom of religion."

News reporter Danny Peterson posted a video of protesters burning an American flag while chanting about the police.

Some in Portland have made an effort to rally without violence, but the unyielding activists who are determined to destroy anything that opposes their ideology remain in the area.

According to the Jewish Press, a severed pig's head wearing a police hat was placed on top of an American flag and set on fire at the city's Justice Center last Thursday night.

Following "repeated requests" from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, the federal government agreed to begin withdrawing federal officers from Portland last week.

Brown argued that the officers "acted as an occupying force, refused accountability, and brought violence and strife to our community."



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

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Thousands of unmasked protesters fill the streets of Berlin, fighting the government’s COVID-19 restrictions

Loudly chanting their opposition to face masks and vaccines, thousands of people gathered in Berlin on Saturday to protest against coronavirus restrictions before being dispersed by police.

Police put turnout at around 20,000 – well below the 500,000 organisers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs.

Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over recent weeks and politicians took to social media to criticise the rally as irresponsible.

“We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists as they converged on the Brandenburg Gate, demanding “resistance” and dubbing the pandemic “the biggest conspiracy theory”.

Few protesters wore a mask or respected the 1.5-metre (five-foot) social distancing requirement, an AFP journalist reported, despite police repeatedly calling on them via megaphone to do so.

After several warnings, Berlin police ordered demonstrators to leave the area at the end of the afternoon.

Police tweeted they had launched legal proceedings against organisers for not respecting virus hygiene rules.

A handful of people held a counter demonstration, condemned by several politicians as Germany seeks to minimise transmission of a virus which had claimed more than 9,000 lives as of Saturday.

Still, the nation is seeing a far lower toll than some of its neighbours.


A Race-Based Case of Political Entitlement 

There are some urban centers around the nation where the degree of “racial entitlement” and the resulting political corruption is astoundingly brazen. One of those Democrat-controlled cities is Memphis, Tennessee. This week Democrat state Senator Katrina Robinson was indicted on 24 counts of both embezzlement and wire fraud. That a politician was indicted for corruption is nothing new, but Robinson’s response to the indictment is noteworthy.

Fortunately, prosecutors with U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant’s office had the benefit of an impaneled grand jury with enough integrity to charge Robinson, who stands accused of stealing $600,000 in federal grants to her vocational school — much of that theft occurring after she was elected in 2018. Among the expenses she paid with those taxpayer funds: bills for her wedding and honeymoon and then, predictably, legal fees for her divorce; $170,000 in illegal salary payments to herself, personal debts; travel and entertainment; improvements to her personal residence; a vehicle for her daughter; clothing, accessories, and more.

Dunavant noted, “Protection of the U.S. Treasury and federal grant programs against theft, fraud, waste and abuse is a top priority of this office and the Department of Justice. We commend the F.B.I. and the HHS-OIG for their diligent and thorough investigation in this case.”

Reflecting Robinson’s warped sense of racial entitlement, she insists that this prosecution is the result of her race and that of her constituency. She claims, “It is believed that if I were not in the position that I’m in — that if I did not champion the voices, the views, and the faces that I represent — that I would not be in this moment right now.” Despite the charges, Robinson laughably added that she would continue to serve “with the same integrity, the same passion that I’ve demonstrated since you’ve elected me to this office.” In a social media post the day before her indictment, Robinson emphasized, “If 2020 has taught us nothing else, it has taught us the importance of electing good leaders. GO VOTE!”

Well, OK!

Apparently, she’s deploying the “victim of systemic racism” defense.

Robinson’s attorney, Janika White, set up Robinson’s entitlement defense, insisting the indictment “leads to what no one in this society wants, which is over-criminalization.” According to White, “That’s the idea where, sometimes, we criminalize activity that may not have any criminal intent.” In other words, “over-criminalization” is when a criminal believes she is so entitled that she does not perceive her criminal actions were a crime. That suggests the notion that theft is wrong must be a “white construct.”

Tennessee’s Senate Democratic Caucus issued a statement asserting: “Just like every other American, Senator Robinson deserves the presumption of innocence and due process under the law. Her case should be resolved by a court of law, not by the court of public opinion.” That is the kind of thing Democrats say when their Leftmedia propagandists can’t save one of their own from the “court of public opinion.”


Louisville Black Lives Matter Using 'Mafia Tactics' on Hispanic Business Owners

Fernando Martinez owns a restaurant group with several Hispanic eateries. He accused BLM of using “mafia tactics” and explained his position.

“There comes a time in life that you have to make a stand and you have to really prove your convictions and what you believe in,” Martinez wrote in a public Facebook post. “… All good people need to denounce this. How can you justified (sic) injustice with more injustice?”

The response by Black Lives Matter was immediate. Several members stood outside one of the business owner’s establishments demonstrating their displeasure and confronting Martinez when he came outside to talk to them.

“If you and I can sit down as human beings that we are without screaming at each other, without calling each other names, without offending each other, we can come to an understanding,” Martinez told one protester after explaining that he felt threatened by the way the demands were delivered to his business. “… How is destroying our business going to bring any justice?”

Not surprisingly, some of the business owners who were recipients of the BLM letter are caving to the pressure. The “demands” include “employ more Black people, purchase more inventory from Black retailers and undergo diversity training” according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Adequately represent the Black population of Louisville by having a minimum of 23% Black staff;

Purchase a minimum of 23% inventory from Black retailers or make a recurring monthly donation of 1.5% of net sales to a local Black nonprofit or organization;

Require diversity and inclusion training for all staff members on a bi-annual basis;

And display a visible sign that increases awareness and shows support for the reparations movement.

The protesters claim the business owners benefitted by the “gentrification” of the neighborhood when a public housing project was torn down. So the neighborhood is improved and this is an “injustice”? Sheesh.

One BLM activist, Phelix Crittenden, wasn’t very subtle.

Crittenden said several NuLu business owners have volunteered to sign a contract created by the protesters and are open to discussing their roles in gentrification.

But others have expressed anger and an unwillingness to work together, she said.

“How you respond to this is how people will remember you in this moment,” Crittenden said. “You want to be on the right side of justice at all times.”

And if you refuse to be on the “right side (my side) of justice at all times”? Nice business you have there. Be a shame if anything happened to it because you weren’t on the “right side of justice at all times.”

Martinez’s pleas for understanding fell on deaf ears. His restaurant has been the target of vandalism and overt threats in recent days. In response, the Hispanic community is rallying around Martinez and offering their support for his resistance.

According to a press release, members of the city’s Cuban community will meet outside the NuLu restaurant at 4 p.m. Sunday to support the immigrant-owned business, which “has been subject to vandalism and extortion in recent days.”

The release states that La Bodeguita de Mima was forced to close July 24 during a demonstration that shut down East Market Street, at which several protesters presented Martinez with the list of demands and said he “better put the letter on the door so your business is not f*cked with.”

The restaurant remained closed the next two days because “management and staff were concerned about safety,” according to the release. “30+ staff members (mostly immigrants) were unable to earn a paycheck.”

That’s what you get for not being on the “right side of justice all the time.”


Why Is Change away from homosexuality Such a Threat?

What is it that makes the very existence of ex-gays so threatening? And why is there a concerted, worldwide effort to block professional counseling for those with unwanted same-sex attractions?

Before you think I’m exaggerating, consider these following examples.

In England, Barclays Bank announced it was closing the account of a Christian charity after protest from LGBTQ activists. The charity, Core Issues Trust (CIT), was accused of practicing “conversion therapy.”

On the social media front, it is now reported that, “Facebook and its photo platform Instagram are banning any content advertising or promoting treatment to overcome unwanted same-sex attraction.”

According to Facebook spokeswoman Stephanie Otway, “This is a global policy. The policy is still under development, but for now it will be applied to content that promotes conversion therapy when we become aware of it.”

Ex-gay colleagues have already informed me that their content is being removed from Facebook and their pages are being shut down, simply for stating that change is possible.

Last year, Amazon stopped selling books by respected therapists like Dr. Joseph Nicolosi as part of their ban on “conversion therapy” books. This year, Amazon refused to allow Regnery Books, one of the largest conservative publishers, to buy ads for their new book by journalist Abigail Shrier, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.

But there’s more.

As posted on the official website of the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights organization, a UN expert is calling for a global ban on so-called “conversion therapy.”

And what, exactly, is this dangerous therapy?

According to Victor Madrigal-Borloz, “the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity . . . conversion is attempted through beatings, rape, electrocution, forced medication, isolation and confinement, forced nudity, verbal offense and humiliation and other acts of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.”

This sounds pretty horrible, right? No wonder the Christian charity in England is having its bank account shut down. No wonder Facebook and Instagram are blocking posts advocating these torturous practices. No wonder the UN is calling for a ban.

There’s only one problem.

This is a myth. It is a creation of the left. It is a bogeyman, manufactured out of thin air, meant to discredit fine organizations and ministries which simply say, “If you are unhappy with your same-sex attractions or gender-identity confusion, we’re here to talk with you and help.”

That’s it.

Nothing is forced or coerced. No one is being beaten. Or raped. Or electrocuted. Or isolated. Or confined. Or forced to take medication. Or stripped naked. Or subjected to “verbal offense and humiliation and other acts of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.” God forbid!

There is not a person I know on the planet who would affirm such abusive practices, and if they do exist, they have no connection at all to organizations like CIT and others.

Instead, professional counselors and ministry leaders, many of them ex-gay or ex-trans themselves, are offering prayer, support, and talk therapy to those who request it.

That’s it.

You say, “But I’ve heard horror stories of kids taken against their own will and isolated and tortured in an attempt to drive the gay out of them. It is child abuse of the worst kind.”

Actually, some of these stories are not true at all. More importantly, there is not a single, recognized ex-gay ministry or organization in the world that would sanction any of the horrific practices listed here.

Why, then, should they be banned by the UN, by social media, by Amazon, and by other countries when all they do is offer counseling and prayer to those who request? What is their crime?

You say, “I have gay and trans friends who told me how damaging it was to receive this kind of counseling and prayer when they were adults. And it made them feel like there was something wrong with being gay or trans when, in fact, this is how God made them.”

Well, it could be they weren’t helped at all. Perhaps they were actually hurt. The same can be said for countless people who tried everything from new diets to spiritual fads to life coaches to psychiatrists. They report negative outcomes rather than positive outcomes.

But I can also point you to countless thousands who have been helped. Who have improved the quality of their lives. Who are happier and more content. Who have resolved deep inner conflicts. Who have found gender wholeness (without surgery or lifelong hormones). Who have even seen changes in their sexual orientation.

Why don’t their stories count? And what about those people who believe that God did not make them gay or trans? Do not their beliefs or convictions count?

Really now, in today’s world, if someone wants to go to a new age healer who allegedly makes contact with UFO’s, they can do so. Or, if someone wants to go to a holistic cancer treatment center rather than get chemotherapy, that’s their choice.

Yet if someone says, “I would rather not take hormones for life and remove perfectly healthy organs in order to feel at home in my body. Instead, I would prefer finding wholeness from the inside out, and I’d like to meet with a professionally trained counselor,” they will be told that such counseling is forbidden.

This is both criminal and cruel, and people of conscience around the world need to raise their voices in support of freedom of choice. (Shall I mention here the secular therapists who believe that sexual orientation is often quite fluid?)

The Restored Hope Network has posted this Call to Action, offering many practical steps you can take. And you can do what I’ve done on social media, specifically, challenging the ban and asking for people to post their testimonies of change. (See here for a Facebook post that, thankfully, has not been taken down. Some of the testimonies are very powerful.)

As for the questions I asked at the outset of this article, the answers are simple. People who are ex-gay and ex-trans are a threat to the whole “born that way” argument, the argument that says that gay (or trans) is the new black. By undermining that, we undermine the movement.

And that’s why it is such a threat.


Australia: Ambitious new targets to improve Indigenous lives

Targets are all very well but how are they going to be met?  Nobody knows. We have only vague generalities below and it has all been tried before.  The truth is that Aborigines have been going downhill ever since the missionaries were forced out

Even the missionaries could do only so much.  Aborigines have some eerie abilities at perception and memory but they have one of the lowest average IQs in the world, and it shows.  Their educational performance is disastrous and that is fatal

Ambitious targets to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians by lifting school attendance, employment rates and university enrolments while dramatically lowering the number of children in out-of-home care and behind bars will be unveiled on Thursday.

A new national agreement on Closing the Gap, which sets 16 new national socio-economic targets to track progress, will put community-controlled Indigenous organisations at the centre of efforts to redress inequality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the broader community.

The plan will commit federal, state and local governments and a coalition of 50 peak Indigenous organisations to a significant reduction in suicides as well as a pledge to reduce the Indigenous adult incarceration rate by at least 15 per cent among adults and at least 30 per cent among juveniles by 2031. It will also aim to dramatically reduce the number of Indigenous children in out-of-home care in the next decade.

After more than 10 years of failings in many of the key targets, new independent and state-based reporting of results will be put in place. This will include the Productivity Commission undertaking an independent three-yearly review on progress, complemented by an independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led review.

The agreement has been written in a collaborative process overseen by Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt and Pat Turner, convener of a coalition of 50 peak Indigenous organisations.

Mr Wyatt said the historic plan would for the first time bring shared responsibility and joint accountability to efforts by governments, councils and communities to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the results are not good enough as he releases the Closing the Gap report vowing to make changes.

He said the new agreement represented a "quantum shift" from a decade of failings.

"Every word has been considered and debated, every target has been considered and debated," Mr Wyatt said. "We know that the best outcomes are achieved when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are equal partners with governments and when they have a direct say in how we are going to be successful in driving the desired outcomes."

The annual Closing the Gap report, released in February, showed a staggering failure to meet targets in improving levels of Indigenous childhood mortality, life expectancy, school attendance and employment.

The new agreement will focus on four priority reforms to change how governments work with Indigenous Australians, establishing formal partnerships and shared decision making, transforming government agencies, and improving and sharing access to data and information to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to make informed decisions.

Ms Turner said it would be the first time First Nations people would share decision making with governments on Closing the Gap.

"Our country has unforgivable gaps in the life outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians in all aspects of life including mortality, chronic disease, disability rates, housing security, education, employment and wealth," she said.

"These gaps have burdened our people and caused the erosion of health and well-being of generations of First Nations Australians. The national agreement represents a turning point in our country's efforts to close these gaps."

Federal and state governments agreed on draft targets in December 2018 for education, economic development and health as well as planning a new goal to reduce Indigenous incarceration within a decade.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the agreement was a new chapter. "The gaps we are now seeking to close are the gaps that have now been defined by the representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is as it should be," Mr Morrison said. "By focusing our efforts on these more specific, practical and shared objectives we can expect to make much greater progress.



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

Monday, August 03, 2020

Black Lives Matter: All the ‘racist’ names being changed

So much has happened, it can be hard to keep track of all the casualties of the Great Racism Purge of 2020. Here are some of the ones we’ve lost.

Nestle moves to rename Red Skins and Chicos lollies

Multiple brands have announced their decision to rebrand or rename products with "racist" or "offensive" packaging and labelling.
Remember the good old days, aka everything before 2020, when the biggest racism controversy was Kim Kardashian being accused of “cultural appropriation” for naming her shapewear range “Kimono”?
In the wake of the global Black Lives Matter riots and protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, pressure to rename, redesign or otherwise tear down supposedly “offensive” reminders of the past have gone into overdrive.
So much has happened in the space of a few months, it can be hard to keep track of all the casualties.
Below is an incomplete list from what future generations will look back on as The Year We Finally Ended Racism by Changing Syrup Bottles.
Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley. Picture: Darren England
Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley. Picture: Darren EnglandSource:News Corp Australia
On June 11, Grammy-winning country trio Lady Antebellum announced they were dropping the second half of their name, saying they had originally chosen it to reflect the southern music genres that had influenced them but that they “did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the Civil War, which includes slavery”.
Awkwardly, their new name, Lady A, was already taken by African American blues singer Anita White – who they are now suing to enforce their trademark.
“You’re saying that you are an ally, but you are not,” Ms White told CNN, speaking to the group. “You basically want to bully me and take the name and think that that’s OK. That’s not an ally.”
Colonial Brewing Co has denied any ‘malice’ but will review its name. Picture: Chris Eastman
Colonial Brewing Co has denied any ‘malice’ but will review its name. Picture: Chris EastmanSource:News Corp Australia
On June 16, craft beer brand Colonial Brewing Co, based in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, said it would consider changing its name following a long campaign by Melbourne journalist Shaad D’Souza, who accused the company of profiting by “creating nostalgia for a time when First Nations people were killed en masse”.
Managing director Lawrence Dowd said the original owners chose the name because they were “colonising” a famous wine region as a beer brewer and that there wasn’t any “malice” intended.
Kellogg’s has – so far – refused to budge on the Coco Pops monkey.
Kellogg’s has – so far – refused to budge on the Coco Pops monkey.Source:Supplied
Also on June 16, disgraced former UK Labour MP Fiona Onasanya launched an attack on Coco Pops, claiming its cartoon monkey mascot was racist and questioning why Rice Krispies “have three white boys representing the brand”.
Kellogg’s has – so far – not caved in, saying the monkey was “created in the 1980s to highlight the playful personality of the brand” and pointing out a “range of characters that we show on our cereal boxes, including tigers, giraffes, crocodiles, elves and a narwhal”.
We do not tolerate discrimination and believe that people of all races, genders, backgrounds, sexual orientation, religions, capabilities and beliefs should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect,” a statement from the company said.
Aunt Jemima was ‘based on a racial stereotype’. Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP
Aunt Jemima was ‘based on a racial stereotype’. Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
On June 17, PepsiCo-owned US food manufacturer Quaker Oats said it was changing the name and image of its Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup range.
The brand, founded in 1889, features an African American woman in the vein of the “mammy” caricature critics say presents a romanticised image of slavery.
“We recognise Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” Quaker Foods executive Kristin Kroepfl said in a statement.
Descendants of Lillian Richard, who portrayed Aunt Jemima for years, said they and families of other women who brought the character to life were not consulted.
“Erasing my Aunt Lillian Richard would erase a part of history,” her niece Vera Harris told NPR.
Mars is also considering a change to its Uncle Ben’s rice brand. Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP
Mars is also considering a change to its Uncle Ben’s rice brand. Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
Hours later on June 17, Mars announced it would be making changes to its Uncle Ben’s rice brand, which features an elderly African American man in a bow tie.
According to the blurb on the Mars website, the brand’s namesake was a renowned Texas rice grower, while Chicago waiter Frank Brown sat for the portrait.
“As a global brand, we know we have a responsibility to take a stand in helping to put an end to racial bias and injustices,” Mars said in a statement.
“(We) recognise that now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben’s brand, including its visual brand identity, which we will do. We don’t yet know what the exact changes or timing will be, but we are evaluating all possibilities.”
Mrs Butterworth’s will also be reviewed. Picture: Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Mrs Butterworth’s will also be reviewed. Picture: Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Also on June 17, Chicago-based Conagra Brands announced it had begun a “complete brand and packaging review” of Mrs Butterworth’s, including its syrup bottle in the shape of a woman.
“The Mrs Butterworth’s brand, including its syrup packaging, is intended to evoke the images of a loving grandmother,” the company said in a statement.
“We stand in solidarity with our black and brown communities and we can see that our packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with our values. We understand that our actions help play an important role in eliminating racial bias.”
Cream of Wheat’s logo dates back to 1893. Picture: Stilfehler/Wikimedia Commons
Cream of Wheat’s logo dates back to 1893. Picture: Stilfehler/Wikimedia CommonsSource:Supplied
Finally on June 17, B&G foods jumped on board by announcing a review of its Cream of Wheat packaging, which features an African American chef.
The character was first introduced in 1893 as “Rastus” – a generic name often considered offensive.
“We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism,” the company said in a statement.
“B&G Foods unequivocally stands against prejudice and injustice of any kind.”
The Chinese name still means ‘black person toothpaste’. Picture: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images
The Chinese name still means ‘black person toothpaste’. Picture: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
On June 18, Colgate announced it was reviewing Darlie, a popular Chinese toothpaste brand sold across Asia that was originally called Darkie and featured a man in blackface on the packaging.
Colgate purchased 50 per cent of the brand’s Hong Kong-based maker Hawley & Hazel in 1985 before changing the name and logo to a man in a top hat in 1989.
“For more than 35 years, we have been working together to evolve the brand, including substantial changes to the name, logo and packaging,” a Colgate spokesman told Reuters.
“We are currently working with our partner to review and further evolve all aspects of the brand, including the brand name.”
The brand’s current name in Chinese still translates as “black person toothpaste”.
Goodbye, Eskimo Pie. Picture: Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose/Wikimedia Commons
Goodbye, Eskimo Pie. Picture: Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose/Wikimedia CommonsSource:Supplied
On June 20, ice cream company Dreyer’s said it would be retiring the “inappropriate” Eskimo Pie name.
The company plans to have a new name for the century-old vanilla-and-chocolate bar by the end of the year, and will discontinue the Eskimo character – a small, dark-haired child wearing a fur-lined hood.
“We have been reviewing our Eskimo Pie business for some time and will be changing the brand name and marketing,” Dreyer’s head of marketing Elizabell Marquez told Rolling Stone.
“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognise the term is derogatory. This move is part of a larger review to ensure our company and brands reflect our people values.”
Similarly, the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos later announced they would be changing their name.
The names are ‘out of step’ with Nestle’s values. Picture: Matt Blyth/Getty Images
The names are ‘out of step’ with Nestle’s values. Picture: Matt Blyth/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
On June 23, global food giant Nestle announced it was renaming its Red Skins and Chicos lollies sold in Australia as they were now “out of step” with the company’s values – critics say the terms are racially insensitive to Native Americans and Latin Americans.
The Red Skins packaging had already been changed a few years earlier from a Native American in a headdress to a plain red-and-purple wrapper.
In the same review of its 25,000 products, Nestle said it would rename and redesign Colombian chocolate brand Beso de Negra, which translates as “kiss from a black woman”.
The creams are popular in Asia. Picture: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The creams are popular in Asia. Picture: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
On June 25, Unilever announced it would rename its Fair & Lovely skin-lightening creams sold across Asia, after criticism the products promoted negative stereotypes of dark skin tones, the BBC reported.
Unilever also agreed to remove references to “whitening” or “lightening” on the products.
“This product has built upon, perpetuated and benefited from internalised racism and promotes anti-blackness sentiments,” one petition to the global consumer goods company said.
Unilever president of beauty and personal care Sunny Jain said the company recognised “that the use of the words ‘fair’, ‘white’ and ‘light’ suggest a singular ideal of beauty that we don’t think is right, and we want to address this”.
The artists formerly known as the Dixie Chicks. Picture: Robin Harper
The artists formerly known as the Dixie Chicks. Picture: Robin HarperSource:Supplied
On June 25, American country trio the Dixie Chicks announced they were changing their name to the Chicks, dropping the word “Dixie” after 31 years.
Dixie refers to the Mason-Dixon line, the informal border between the free Northern states and the slave-owning Southern states of the Confederacy.
“We were literally teenagers when we picked that stupid name,” band member Martie Maguire told Variety.
Natalie Maines said they wanted to change it “years and years and years ago”.
“I just wanted to separate myself from people that wave that Dixie flag,” she said.
The widely used word is also being scrubbed from the oldest brewery in New Orleans, Dixie Brewery, and possibly from Utah’s Dixie State University – to name just a few.
The Colston Arms pub in Bristol, UK. Picture: Google
The Colston Arms pub in Bristol, UK. Picture: GoogleSource:Supplied
On July 1, a UK pub named after 17th century slave trader Edward Colston temporarily changed its name to “‘Ye Olde Pubby McDrunkface” while a replacement was sought.
The Colston Arms in Bristol was one of many places in the city ditching the name after Black Lives Matter rioters tore down Colston’s statue and dumped it in the harbour on June 7.
At the same time, Metro reported that another historic venue, a 404-year-old pub in Kent called The Black Boy, was rebranding as The Restoration.
Another pub in Nottinghamshire with the same name had earlier removed its sign amid fears it would be targeted by protesters.
The iconic Kimberley ranges have been renamed. Picture: Supplied
The iconic Kimberley ranges have been renamed. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
On July 3, the Western Australian government renamed the King Leopold Ranges in the Kimberley region to the Wunaamin-Miliwundi Ranges, combining two traditional Aboriginal names for the 500km stretch of iconic hills.
Explorer Alexander Forrest originally named the hills after King Leopold II of Belgium in 1879, “for the great interest taken by His Majesty in exploration”, despite the foreign monarch having no connection to Australia.
Leopold II was responsible for an estimated 10 to 15 million deaths during his brutal rule of the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908.
“I’m delighted we’ve finally got around to removing the name of someone history recognises as a tyrant, who massacred a lot of African people and had no connection to Western Australia whatsoever,” WA’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt told the ABC.
Trader Joe’s backflipped on renaming ‘racist’ product lines. Picture: Supplied
Trader Joe’s backflipped on renaming ‘racist’ product lines. Picture: SuppliedSource:istock
On July 17, US grocery store chain Trader Joe’s suggested it would review some of its ethnic product ranges sold under names like Trader Giotto’sTrader Jose’s and Trader Ming’s, after a petition claimed the branding “exoticises other cultures – it presents ‘Joe’ as the default ’normal’ and the other characters falling outside of it”.
Just four days later the company backflipped, however, issuing a new statement describing earlier reports as incorrect and stressing “we disagree that any of these labels are racist”.
“We do not make decisions based on petitions,” the statement said.
“We thought then (decades ago) – and still do – that this naming of products could be fun and show appreciation for other cultures.”
The Captain Cook Hotel has dropped the ‘Cook’. Picture: Dylan Robinson
The Captain Cook Hotel has dropped the ‘Cook’. Picture: Dylan RobinsonSource:News Corp Australia
On July 23, Sydney’s iconic Captain Cook Hotel in Paddington officially changed its name to The Captain Paddington, sparking outrage on social media and talkback radio – but the owners insisted the name change had nothing to do with caving into political correctness.
“This infuriates me,” Sky News host Rowan Dean told 2GB’s Ben Fordham, saying he “smells wokeness” behind the decision.
In a statement on Facebook, the new owners – who took over in January after the business was placed into administration last year – said the decision to rebrand “was a collaborative one with absolutely no motivation drawn from the political discussion surrounding the subject”.
“We assumed that people would still associate The Captain with Captain Cook,” they wrote. “We were simply keen to refresh this space with a new catch phrase as the new owners.”
Dr Stephen Hagan has finally prevailed in his campaign to rename Coon cheese. Picture: Lenn Campbell
Dr Stephen Hagan has finally prevailed in his campaign to rename Coon cheese. Picture: Lenn CampbellSource:News Corp Australia
On July 24, the owners of Coon cheese agreed to “retire” the brand – originally named for its founder, Edward William Coon – after complaints from an Aboriginal activist that it was “racist”.
Saputo Dairy Australia acknowledged that many consumers “cherish the brand and recognise the origin”, but said after “thorough consideration” of the “sensitive situation” it had decided to change the name.
“At this time, we are working to develop a new brand name that will honour the brand affinity felt by our valued consumers while aligning with current attitudes and perspectives,” Saputo chief executive Lino Saputo Jr said.
The football team that must not be named. Picture: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP
The football team that must not be named. Picture: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFPSource:AFP
On July 24, the Washington Redskins NFL team announced that it would adopt Washington Football Team as its interim name for the 2020 season, prompting widespread derision.
“To date, we have been pleased to see so many people putting forward their vision of what the new name and design should be on their social media channels and we look forward to including their feedback as this process progresses,” it said in a statement.
The team had announced earlier in the month that it would drop the Redskins name and logo after 87 years.
The same day, baseball team the Cleveland Indians said it would consult with Native American leaders “to better understand their perspectives”.
Ice hockey team the Chicago Blackhawks had earlier refused to change its name.
Blacks Camp will soon be no more. Picture: Google
Blacks Camp will soon be no more. Picture: GoogleSource:Supplied
On July 28, councillors in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula indicated they would be dropping the “offensive” name Blacks Camp from a number of locations including a street, a reserve and a kindergarten, after being told it likely stemmed from “some knowledge of the habitation of this area by Aboriginal people”, according to a report from the shire’s head of governance and legal Pam Vercoe.
“The name Blacks Camp is a derogatory term that the shire has been advised is offensive to the traditional custodians of the Mornington Peninsula, the Bunurong Land Council and People of Aboriginal heritage,” Ms Vercoe said in the report, according to the Mornington Peninsula News.



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.