Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Taxing Wright-Off

An Ill-Gotten Capital Loss

So we’ve all heard how Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) is so shocked at the words of his (former?) pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. “Enough,” declares the Democratic Presidential hopeful. But it’s only now that you’ve had enough? What have you been thinking the last 20 or so years? For that matter, what has everyone else been thinking?

The one thing we should not say about Wright’s statements is that they are really anything new. Wright himself alludes to black liberation theology, particularly James Cone, who is known for his hateful rhetoric. From what I have gathered, many of the left-wing churches (and this is not limited to any ethnic community) have either looked the other way, or outright (out-Wright?) condoned and approved this sort of thing. It’s either a sense of “solidarity” with a left-wing cause, channeling anger at conservatives, or a sense of self-ashamed guilt. I also find it ironic that Wright talks a great game about oppression and slavery, but then associates with Louis Farrakhan (born Louis Eugene Walcott), a person who voluntarily joined a religion that was most responsible for putting blacks in “chains.”

The fact is, Obama knows quite well what Wright and his ilk have been about all these years. However, the congregation over which Wright presided represented an important stepping stone for a young lawyer with political ambitions, and besides, who would really challenge his associations? After all, that would be “racist!”

Even worse, this kind of behavior has been subsidized by all of us. Here’s what ABC News reported:

The bulk of his remarks addressed, however, different groups seeing each other as deficient. He acted out the differences between marching bands at predominantly black and predominantly white colleges. "Africans have a different meter, and Africans have a different tonality," he said. Europeans have seven tones, Africans have five. White people clap differently than black people. "Africans and African-Americans are right-brained, subject-oriented in their learning style," he said. "They have a different way of learning." And so on.

This is really not any different from what university students as well as workers in government and private industry are being fed day after day, year after year. In fact, universities, private corporations, and government agencies at all levels pay over $1,000 per hour for the privilege of hearing this sort of drivel.

You don’t believe me? Check out this article from the March 2000 issue of Reason Magazine called “Thought Reform 101" by Alan Charles Kors. He describes one such “trainer,” Edwin J. Nichols, a man who has been hired by my employer numerous times. Here’s the training that your tax dollars have paid for:

What does Nichols believe? He believes that culture is genetically determined, and that blacks, Hispanics, and descendants of non-Jewish Middle-Eastern tribes place their "highest value" on "interpersonal relationships." In Africa, women are the equal of men. Whites were altered permanently by the Ice Age. They value objects highly, not people. That is why white men commit suicide so frequently when they are

Nichols calls his science of value systems "axiology," and he believes that if managers and administrators understand these cultural differences, they can manage more effectively, understanding why, according to him, blacks attach no importance to being on time, while whites are compulsive about it. Whites are logical; blacks are intuitive and empathetic. Whites are frigid; blacks are warm and spontaneous. Whites are relentlessly acquisitive; nonwhites are in harmony with nature. White engineers, for example, care about their part of something; Asian engineers, managers should know, care about the whole. Whites are linear; nonwhites have a spiral conception of time. Nichols has a handout that he frequently uses. Whites, it explains, "know through counting and measuring"; Native Americans learn through "oneness"; Hispanics and Arabs "know through symbolic and imagery [sic]"; Asians "know through striving toward the transcendence [sic]." Asking nonwhites to act white in the workplace is fatal to organizational harmony. Understanding cultural axiology is essential to management for the 21st century. Now, reread his list of clients.

[Note that the list of clients is in the article.]

Strangely enough, the “Best of the Web Today” column in today’s Wall Street Journal online quoted Brit Hume from “Fox News Sunday.” Hume had no recollection of Rev. Jesse Jackson using the same kind of rhetoric. Hume continues with, “And I said that to him [Jackson] here the other day, and he said no, no, no, I'm not going to touch that.” Maybe that’s for good reason. Remember, Jesse “Shakedown” Jackson has embraced much of the same politics and theology as Wright, and has shaken down corporations and other entities to “hire” the kinds of trainers just like Nichols.

The real pity is that charlatans like Wright and Nichols actually distract minority communities from achieving real solutions Again, today’s Wall Street Journal had a great article about the real outrage affecting urban communities: The sad state of education. Somehow everyone misses the fact that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have sent their children to private schools in order to avoid the voters they take the most for granted. Heck, when you can count on the Jeremiah Wrights of this world creating a distraction, why not?

I once heard a great speaker on the topic of “environmental justice,” Dr. Christopher Foreman. He wrote a book called The Promise and Peril of Environmental Justice in which he also states that this is the kind of issue that distracts distressed urban communities from the real problems that they face such as high crime and failing school systems. Foreman, who happens to be black, was at the time a scholar at the Brookings Institution which is no right-wing think tank.

So basically, we pay for overpriced, crumbling schools in urban areas. We pay extra because of high crime that is not adequately prosecuted in many cities. We pay for bloated city bureaucracies. On top of it all, we also pay for hucksters and charlatans to teach us division and crackpot conspiracy theories. So, why are we all surprised only now?