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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lawrence Auster ... Just Being Lawrence Auster

Here is Lawrence Auster ... who, it seems to me, is just being Lawrence Auster; that is, Mr Auster seemingly cannot forgo the opportunity to non-constructively criticize conservative writers and magazines or sites ... just because.

Now, IF Mr Jackson were doing as Mr Auster says he is ... IF Mr Auster's criticism of Mr Jackson's piece appeared to be principled -- in contrast to appearing to be just another instance of "this is just what Auster does" -- then I'd not be criticizing Auster at the moment.

That is, we conservatives certainly should not wink at "one of ours" engaging in the sorts of disreputabe behaviors we condemn when the "liberals" do it; such winking would be intellectually dishonest, it would be hypocritical, it would be immoral to do so.

Or, perhaps I ought to cut Auster some slack. Perhaps he's just not flexible enough in his thinking or robust enough in his intelligence to be able to hold more than one or two logical associations in his consciousness at any one time. I mean, Gentle Reader ought to understand by now that I don't believe any of us are generally in a position to make such a judgment about another ... yet, it cannot be discounted as a logical possibility.

And, if *that* is the answer to the perennial question, "What is the problem with Lawrence Auster?" then, obviously, we all should cut him some slack.

And ignore him and all his works: for if he can't help it, then he simply can't help it.

To quote Lawrence Auster's piece: American Thinker falsely accuses Michelle of blaming obesity on racism
On the subject of Michelle Obama's recent speech to the NAACP, Kevin Jackson, another of American Thinker's endless supply of half-baked writers from the heartland, repeatedly accuses her of blaming the obesity of black children on racism. Yet he does not present a single quote from her speech in which she actually makes such an accusation:
[snip of Auster quoting Jackson]
To ascertain the facts, I read Michelle's speech. It is true that the rhetorical framework of her speech consists of congratulations of the NAACP for its work against racial discrimination. But that is merely to be expected. Everything in the world of organized black America is approached through the lens of racial inequality and its overcoming. It is the only common reference point blacks have for discussing their problems, and thus is obligatory in any speech by or to blacks. However, in the main body of Michelle's speech, which is about obesity and what to do about it, she never once says or hints that obesity is due to racial discrimination. She blames the problem on lifestyle, families, entertainment. Indeed, she places the main burden of responsibility on black families, who she says must start having healthful meals.

Thus Jackson's accusation, for which he supplies not a single supporting fact, which in turn raised my suspicions, is disproved by Michelle's speech.

This is just one example of how the mainstream conservative Web has become in large part an instrument, not for informing and persuading readers, but for whipping up their partisan passions. I am not saying that the mainstream conservative Web as a whole is bad, and I am not saying that American Thinker as a whole is bad. But the badness has become endemic. And no one in the mainstream conservative world mentions it.
Now, it is true that Mr Jackson might have more explicity quoted Mrs Obama's statements to supply the context which supports his thesis. I don't know, perhaps he expects his readers to be able to read for themselves and to be able grasp that 2 + 2 = 4.

Here is the text of Mrs Obama's speech; an excerpt:
One hundred and one years ago, the NAACP was established in pursuit of a simple goal, and that was to spur this nation to live up to the founding ideals, to secure those blessings of liberty, to fulfill that promise of equality.
But I also know that their legacy isn't an entitlement to be taken for granted. And I know it is not simply a gift to be enjoyed. Instead, it is an obligation to be fulfilled.

And when so many of our children still attend crumbling schools, and a black child is still far more likely to go to prison than a white child, I think the founders of this organization would agree that our work is not yet done. (Applause.)

When African American communities are still hit harder than just about anywhere by this economic downturn, and so many families are just barely scraping by, I think the founders would tell us that now is not the time to rest on our laurels.

When stubborn inequalities still persist -- in education and health, in income and wealth -- I think those founders would urge us to increase our intensity, and to increase our discipline and our focus and keep fighting for a better future for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

And that's why I really wanted to come here today -- because I wanted to talk with you about an issue that I believe cries out for our attention -- one that is of particular concern to me, not just as First Lady, but as a mother who believes that we owe it to our kids to prepare them for the challenges that we know lie ahead. And that issue is the epidemic of childhood obesity in America today.
How is it that Mr Auster cannot grasp that Mrs Obama *is* whinging that so-called racism is the reason that "stubborn inequalities still persist -- in education and health, in income and wealth." How is it that Mr Auster simply cannot grasp that Mrs Obama *is* whinging that so-called racism is the reason that "so many of our children still attend crumbling schools, and a black child is still far more likely to go to prison than a white child."

Sure, ultimately Mrs Obama is pushing leftism, but she's using hyper-concern about (hypothetical and/or mythological) racism as the vehicle.

Mr Jackson blogs here