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At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

The Neocons and Iraq: Let Us Never Forget

posted by Jack Kerwick

Unsurprisingly, for his latest stance on the NSA, Rand Paul is now Public Enemy Number One—courtesy of the members of his own party.

Rand Paul’s “isolationism” spooks neoconservatives.

In light of both the latest blitzkrieg against Rand as well as the impending presidential season, we would be well served to remind ourselves of exactly who it is that both the Kentucky senator and the rest of us are dealing.

The Iraq War

Let us never forget that the very same Republicans who vilify “isolationists” are responsible for having plunged this nation into what many now regard as the worst foreign policy disaster in its history.

Against this charge, neoconservatives can be counted upon to reply in two ways:

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(1)In 2002, everyone believed that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD’s) that he was determined to use against America.

(2)Following The Surge in 2008, the war in Iraq was won. That the country is an unmitigated conflagration at present has everything to do with Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw American forces.

Both of these lines are scandalously dishonest.

For starters, it is simply false that there was ever a unanimous consensus that Iraq had WMD’s.

For sure, the dominant narrative of the time featured an Iraq laboring feverishly and secretively to destroy the United States.

But the narrative had its critics from day one.

Within the intelligence community, there were dissenting voices, experts who insisted that the conventional wisdom on this issue—like the conventional wisdom on so many others—was just wrong.

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Plenty of seasoned conservative and libertarian commentators spared no occasion to draw the public’s attention to the bad arguments and weak evidence of the war’s polemicists. For good measure, they also foretold (presciently, as we now see) of the dire consequences to which war in Iraq promised to lead.

For their efforts, they were ignored, mocked, and, ultimately, purged from the Big Media-approved discourse. As Republicans and Democrats peddle the lie that no one knew then what everyone knows today—Iraq had no WMD’s—they reveal their determination to keep the war’s old right conservative and libertarian critics in exile.

In short: Some people most certainly did know that there were no WMD’s in Iraq.

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Pushed on this score, the neoconservative Republican may cede the point. However, he could then fire back that even if it wasn’t literally everyone who believed that Iraq posed a threat to American security, most people did believe this.

This may very well be true. It is also logically irrelevant—as neoconservatives themselves should be the first to know.

After all, “most” of “the experts” claim that anthropogenic “climate change” is a real and perilous phenomenon. Yet neoconservatives remind us that there are scientists, even if they are in the minority, who insist that this is propaganda. And it is with this minority of dissenters that they side.

“Most” Americans are convinced that the war in Iraq was a calamitous course of action. Neoconservatives, however, still refuse to be persuaded of the error of their ways.

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“Most” Americans staunchly oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. But neoconservatives assure the former that “comprehensive immigration reform” is necessary.

“Most” Americans believed in 2006 and 2008 that their country would be best served in the hands of Democrats. Neoconservatives still disagree.

Neoconservatives’ claim regarding the reason for the contemporary situation in Iraq is every bit as disingenuous as their attempt to vindicate their decision to launch the war.

Iraq had never been won.

Notice, those who say as much never ever tell us what exactly it is that was “won.” Considering that the establishment of a functioning “democracy” in the heart of the Islamic world was eventually revealed to have been the neoconservatives’ ultimate objective in invading Iraq, victory, presumably, could be declared only if this was achieved.

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But nothing of the sort came close to being realized.

Well, neoconservatives will respond, the machinery of a democratic government, i.e. democratic elections, etc. were indeed in place. And after The Surge, some semblance of peace and stability had been secured. It was only after Obama brought our soldiers home that Iraq was lost.

A little rudimentary logic will go a long way in analyzing this reasoning.

First, tellingly, Obama (of whom I am no fan) advanced this GOP talking point before the Republicans invented it! Obama declared victory in Iraq. Precisely because the idea of victory implies the completion of a contest, he used the pretext of victory to justify his decision to call America’s soldiers home.

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At the time, the war’s apologists beseeched Obama to reconsider—but they never once agreed with him that America “won” in Iraq.

This came later—after Iraq degenerated into the cesspool that it is right now.

Secondly, what kind of victory could we have achieved in Iraq if the moment American soldiers left for home the place became a bastion for exponentially more violence, disorder, and terrorism than it ever was under the regime that America toppled? In other words, after a decade or so of war, if the American Soldier is the only thing standing between the post-Surge Iraq and, say, an Iraq dominated by ISIS and the like, then Iraq was a house of straw.

This is not the face of victory.

Think about it: If the only way to prevent your home from imploding in on itself is for the men who you called upon to repair it to move in with you and prop it up indefinitely, would you credit them with having fixed your problem? Would you or they think to declare “victory” over the problems with your home?

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Whatever the neoconservatives say against Rand Paul and/or any and every other “isolationist,” the stone-cold fact of the matter is that no isolationist is responsible for the catastrophe that is the Iraq War. No “isolationist” is culpable for the tens of thousands of deaths, the even greater number of non-fatal casualties, the annihilation of whole communities (particularly Christian communities), the trillions of dollars, and the incalculable emotional and mental anguish that are the costs of the project in Iraq.

It is the neoconservatives who enjoy this distinction.

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“Roots” Remake: History Channel to Remake a Lie

posted by Jack Kerwick

In 1976, Alex Haley authored the nearly 1,000 page, Roots: The Saga of An American Family. The following year, ABC aired a mini-series that was based upon it. Both book and television show proved to be tremendous successes. Now, the History Channel has officially announced that it will remake Roots.

There’s only problem: Roots is a fake and Haley is a fraud—and a fraud on multiple levels.

Investigative journalist Philip Nobile refers to Haley as a “literary rogue,” an “impostor” whose “prose was so inept that he required ghosts [ghost writers] throughout his career.” Upon reading Haley’s posthumously released private papers and interviewing one of his original editors for Roots, Nobile was able to determine that the latter’s real author was Murray Fisher, Haley’s editor from his time at Playboy. 

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Fisher was also white.

But matters get worse.

Not only was Roots ghost-written. It was plagiarized.

You probably aren’t familiar with the name of Harry Courlander. In 1978, one year after 130 million viewers tuned into Roots, Haley agreed to pay Courlander $650,000 (2 million dollars in today’s terms) as part of an out of court settlement.

Courlander—a white man—had sued Haley for having plagiarized his 1967 work, The African. Haley conceded that at least 81 passages were lifted practically verbatim from the latter, and the judge presiding over the case agreed with Courlander’s pre-trial memorandum remark that Haley “copied [from The African] language, thoughts, attitudes, incidents, situations, plot and character.”

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So too did Columbia University English professor, Michael Wood. In his Expert Witness Report, Wood insisted that the “evidence of copying from The African in both the novel and television dramatization of Roots is clear and irrefutable,” “significant and extensive [.]”

Judge Robert J. Ward concluded: “Copying there was, period.”  Years later, Ward came forth in an interview with the BBC and admitted that Haley “had perpetrated a hoax on the public.”

Although during the trial Haley swore that he personally had never read The African, that “the life” of Courlander’s book had found its way into Roots courtesy of careless research assistants who failed to document their material, a “minorities’ studies” professor, Joseph Brucac from Skidmore College, signed a sworn affidavit in which he noted that he and Haley had indeed discussed The African at least five years prior to the publication of Roots. In fact, Brucac even lent Haley his own copy of it.

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However, for as bad as plagiarism is, Roots was cooked in another respect:

It is a lie.

Professional genealogists Gary B. and Elizabeth Shown Mills have noted that not only is there zero formal documentation to corroborate “the oral tradition” regarding Haley’s family history; what evidence there is—“plantation records, wills, census records”actually repudiates this tradition.  The evidence “contradict[s] each and every pre-Civil War statement of Afro-American lineage in Roots” (emphases original)!

Haley claims that his great-great-great-great grandfather, Kunta Kinte, was brought to America and renamed “Toby” by his new master. But upon canvassing all of the evidence, the Mills issue a decisive verdict:

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“Toby Waller was not Kunta Kinte.”

The insuperable problem is that “this Waller slave Toby appeared in six separate documents of record over a period of four years preceding the arrival of the Lord Ligonier,” the ship that supposedly brought Kunta Kinte to America (emphasis original).

The Mills conclude that it is “inarguable” that “the 182 pages and thirty-nine chapters in which the Virginia lives of Haley’s ‘ancestors’ are chronicled have no basis in fact.  Neither of the two relationships that are crucial to his pedigree (the identity of Kizzy as daughter of Kinte alias Toby, and the relationship of Bell as wife of Kinte and mother of Kizzy) can be established by even the weakest genealogical evidence.”

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Haley’s account of his post-Civil War ancestry fares no better than that of his antebellum genealogy. As the Mills say, “not only the authenticity of Roots’ evidence is called into question by the total absence of documentation for any alleged event, individual, or relationship, but doubt also falls upon the very essence of family life portrayed in Roots” (emphasis added).

There is one final point.  Roots climaxes with Haley discovering the village from which his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, was supposed to have been captured.  A griot from the village of Juffure—“Fofana”—confirmed the account of Kinte’s abduction that Haley had grown up (allegedly) hearing about from his aunts.

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Professor Donald R. Wright, “a specialist in African pre-history with extensive experience in the collection of Gambian oral traditions,” visited Juffure twice.  What he discovered was that Fofana was a con artist.

Fofana “showed no inclination to recite long (or short) genealogies of any families.”  When it came to Kunta Kinte, though, “he was eager…to speak [.]”  Kinte, Wright continues, “was the only individual about whom Fofana provided any specific information.”

There is a reason for this.  In advance of his exchange with Fofana, Haley relayed to Gambian officials the account of Kunta Kinte’s capture that had supposedly been transmitted to him by his relatives.  He told them as well that it was confirmation of this account that he sought.  Seeing the potentially boundless profits to be reaped from tourism and the like, the officials insured that Haley would hear what he wanted to hear.

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The second time Professor Wright visited Juffure he did not seek out Fofana by name.  Rather, he sought out “the person best versed in the history of the village and its families.” Wright was taken to listen to four people.

Fofana’s name was never even mentioned.

Black commentator Stanley Crouch describes Haley as a “ruthless hustler” and “one of the biggest damn liars this country has ever seen.”  Haley, Crouch states, is like Tawana Brawley, the young black woman who infamously lied about being raped and humiliated by a white police officer.  Like the lie concocted by Brawley and abetted by the likes of Al Sharpton, Haley’s story is also a “hoax” that beautifully illustrates “how history and tragic fact can be pillaged by an individual willing to exploit whatever the naïve might consider sacred.”

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Regarding Roots’ depiction of slavery, the black scholar Thomas Sowell remarks that it consists of “some crucially false pictures of what had actually happened—false pictures that continue to dominate thinking today.”

For example, West Africa, from which Kunta Kinte was supposed to have been taken, had been “a center of slave trading before the first white man arrived there [.]” Moreover, “slavery continues in parts of it to this very moment.”

Sowell also notes that “Africans sold vast numbers of other Africans to Europeans.  But they hardly let Europeans go running around in their territory, catching people willy-nilly,” as depicted by Haley in Roots.

Even Haley’s friend, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. stated that if we are going to “speak candidly,” we have to concede that “it’s highly unlikely that Alex actually found the village from whence his ancestors sprang.”

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That Gates, the editor of the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature, chose to omit references to Haley tells it all.

The black leftist scholar, John Henrik Clarke, confessed to having “cried real tears” when he discovered that “Haley was less than authentic.”

The History Channel’s rendition of Roots should be subtitled: “Remake of a Fake.”

 

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A Review of a Momentous Book: Colin Flaherty’s, “Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry”

posted by Jack Kerwick

Colin Flaherty, the author of the best-seller, White Girl Bleed A lot, has once again revealed his heroism in his latest, Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry.

Not since Ilana Mercer’s, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, have we witnessed such steely resolve in reckoning with the great unmentionable evil of black criminality and violence.

Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry consists of 511 pages, 944 endnotes, and a super abundance of references to videos meticulously documenting over 1,000 instances of black mob violence spanning just the last few years.

From sea to shining sea, in hundreds of cities both large and small, and in every region of the country, mobs of (mostly young) black people—males and females—have been busy unleashing reigns of terror upon virtually every other conceivable demographic: whites, Hispanics, and Asians; homosexuals; Jews; the elderly; women, small children, even babies; the mentally and physically disabled; bicyclists and hikers; veterans; Sikhs; and students.

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The terror knows no boundaries. It takes holidays, but it takes them hostage, for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and even Christmas Day have repeatedly been occasions for mass property destruction, brutal beatings, stabbings, and shootings. And beaches, parades, malls, shopping centers, sports stadia, high schools, college campuses, festivals (including Asian festivals), gas stations, parks, and biking trails have been among the locations for these displays of inhumanity.

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t list the police among the victims of black mob violence. It’s always the same: Hundreds of black people set their sights upon the properties and persons of their victims, the thin blue line asserts itself, and the rioters attack the forces of law and order with a range of weaponry: rocks, bricks, bottles, and—get this—even fireworks, i.e. makeshift bombs.

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While the terror of Islamic militants is accompanied by cries to Allah, that of the black mobs is accompanied by…laughing.

Lots of laughing.

Flaherty frequently cites Marlin Newburn, a prison psychologist who “has been on the front lines of racial violence for 30 years.” According to Newburn, these “predators,” do not reflect “a subculture,” but “a primary part of the black culture [.]” This culture “is one of sadistic and primitive impulse where they [the predators] believe themselves to be 10 feet tall, bulletproof, very smart, good looking, gifted, and tougher than anyone.” These “predators” live “without any sense of personal responsibility or boundaries with others.” Hence, while “assaulting or killing someone, the absence of a conscience is considered among their peers as an indicator of strength and power.” The expression of “joy in the process [of violence] only heightens their street cred.”

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When two Muslim thugs shot up Charlie Hebdo, segments of the American media were apoplectic over the number of France’s “No-Go” zones, Islamic neighborhoods that non-Muslims dare not enter. Yet America has had legions of its own No-Go zones for decades: We just call them “inner cities.”

This is no hyperbole.

Flaherty relays the story of a “Californian college girl” who was arrested at an airport in Chicago and then released by police into the city’s “deepest and most dangerous ghetto [.]” Within no time, she was set upon and thrown from the top of a seven-story building. Her family sued the city. During the trial, a professor from Harvard introduced the court to “Routine Activities Theory” (RAT), the fancy name given by specialists to the phenomenon of violence committed by blacks against whites who pass through black neighborhoods.

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The judge presiding over the trial declared that being a white woman “‘in a predominantly black, poor neighborhood,” the victim “had a much higher risk of predatory victimization.’”

Translation: For whites, areas that are “predominantly black” and “poor” are No-Go Zones.

Flaherty speaks to another dimension of this national scourge of black mob violence that is no less frightening than the violence itself:

The vermin in the streets that are traumatizing, hospitalizing, and murdering innocents have enablers and even apologists in the media.

Whether locally or nationally, members of the press invariably ignore or otherwise misrepresent the nature of black mob violence. Readers of this column know the drill: Reporters either won’t remark at all on black-on-non-black terror or, if they do, they fail to mention the races of the attackers and their victims, choosing instead to refer to the assailants simply as “teens” while waxing perplexed as to how or why the incident in question occurred.

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No short supply of media talking heads, along with their accomplices in academia, Hollywood, and Washington D.C., go so far as to excuse black mob violence. The most common strategy of choice is to invoke what is known in academia as “Critical Race Theory” (CRT), the theory that, ultimately, black criminals are the victims, the victims of “institutional racism.” Their white prey, though, are the real culprits, for they enjoy “white skin privilege” courtesy of an incorrigibly racist society.

Flaherty nicely distills the essence of CRT: “Critical Race Theory says three things: White racism is permanent, everywhere and explains everything.”

The apologists are what Hannah Arendt referred to as “accessories” to the crimes of those for whom they run cover. Thus, they too shoulder responsibility for this wickedness.

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Flaherty writes: “I’m not frightened of black mob violence. But I am terrified of the bat shit crazy people in the media and government who ignore it, condone it, encourage it, and even lie about it.”

He concludes: “Now those folks are dangerous.”

Colin Flaherty is a national treasure. It is at our peril that we neglect his Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is There Really a Connection between Baltimore and Egalitarianism?: A Reply to Boyd Cathey

posted by Jack Kerwick

In Boyd Cathey’s latest article in The Unz Review, “Baltimore and The Failure of Egalitarianism,” the author contends that both the usual suspects among the left as well as those on the so-called “right,” both Democrats and Republicans, “progressives” and “conservatives,” endorse lock, stock, and barrel a shared ideological vision that has swept the gamut of our society’s institutions.

This ideology is egalitarianism, or what Cathey calls, “Neo-Marxism.”

Its proponents, in short, believe that justice demands the existence of an activist government—i.e. an omnipotent government—that will be forever preoccupied with its quest for a more “equal” distribution of material and social resources.

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It is this “Neo-Marxist” Zeitgeist that accounts for why the American taxpayer has spent trillions since the 1960’s to “level the playing field” for blacks.

And it is the intellectual poverty of this ideology that accounts for why these trillions of dollars have failed miserably to yield any returns.

Having come to know Boyd as both a man and scholar, it is unsurprising that this analysis of his—like virtually every other that I’ve encountered—is as perceptive as it is well written. To the crux of his argument I have no objections. It is with some details that I take issue.

Boyd writes that the bi-partisan egalitarian fantasies of our culture’s movers and shakers gave rise to “expectations” on the part of lower-class blacks that remain “unfulfilled” because, in truth, they “could never be fulfilled or accomplished.” This, he believes, is “one of the major reasons for the pent-up anger and frustration unleashed in Baltimore and other major cities with a large black underclass.” It is this “continuing failure of expectations” that “has engendered anger and rage, but anger and rage directed”—or, rather, misdirected—“at a system perceived to be the oppressor [.]”

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The problem here is that the notion that members of the black underclass are consumed by rage arising from a belief in their own oppression is an essential piece of the very narrative that Boyd urges us to reject.

That Boyd (correctly) denies the reality of this oppression while his opponents affirm it is neither here nor there: Whether the oppression is real or imagined, Boyd and his PC enemies concur that a belief in their “oppression” accounts for the riots and mob violence of underclass blacks.

To be fair, Boyd is no different than partisans of all stripes in endorsing this line.

I reject it.

I submit that the black mob violence on exhibit in hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country has absolutely nothing—to repeat: absolutely nothing—to do with any suppressed rage or hatred arising from a belief in either racist oppression or, for that matter, anything else.

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(1)For starters, the orgies of violence that are daily fare in black communities around America belie the thesis that the nationally televised riots to which we are occasionally treated are the culmination of years of simmering rage: The most cursory of glances in the direction of any ghetto readily reveal that its inhabitants are among the most expressive folks on the planet.

It is also painfully clear that pillaging, looting, destroying, and violence are the preferred means of expression.

Considering that this mayhem is most often directed against their fellow blacks, it obviously isn’t the function of a belief in systemic white-on-black oppression. The culprits here are under no illusions as to the identity of their targets: It is their neighbors, not the masterminds of any “white system,” on whom they set their sights.

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(2)During those decades when blacks had far fewer opportunities than they have today—when, in other words, the case could be made that they really were oppressed—there was none of the violence that we now witness. Doubtless, yesteryear had its share of blacks who were angry and hateful toward whites—and yet there was no epidemic of black mob violence as there is today.

True, one might reply, but in the past, egalitarian ideologues weren’t busy inflaming expectations by making assurances to blacks that they couldn’t keep.

Wrong: From at least the time of the completion of the War Between the States, blacks had been issued promises that white society failed to honor (Remember “forty acres and a mule?”).

So, if black thugs aren’t motivated by rage over a belief in their own oppression, then what does motivate them?

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In short, black thugs act criminally because they can.

Between the time of the pre-“civil rights” era and that of the post-“civil rights” era, two remarkably dramatic changes occurred:

First, blacks lost all fear of reprisals from the white majority.

Secondly, whites acquired a paralyzing fear of offending blacks.

Moreover, blacks know that whites fear them, an insight that accounts for why threats of violence invariably accompany the ever increasing list of demands that blacks make upon (white) “society.”

Notice, we no more need to invoke anger, hatred, or oppression to explain the bullying, thuggish tactics of underclass blacks and their elitist apologists than we need to invoke the same to explain the bullying and thuggish tactics of Al Capone, John Gotti, biker gangs, etc.

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We no more need to invoke these “root causes” to make sense of why young black males engage in acts of violence than we need to draw upon the same “root causes” to make sense of why any young males style themselves “tough guys.”

And we needn’t appeal to anger, hatred, or oppression to understand why cowards would resolve their individual identities into an amorphous mob in order to besiege those who are outnumbered or otherwise weaker.

For certain, those of the black underclass who are participating in “the Knockout Game,” riots, and so forth know all about the conventional template of White Oppression and Black Suffering. They’ve been imbibing it from the time that they were in their cradles. However, they’ve also imbibed from their elders stories of God and Jesus. That black thugs have an abstract awareness of such ideas scarcely means that they have the subjective conviction that they are true. But in the absence of the latter, without this passionate commitment to a proposition or belief, there is no motivation to fight for a cause, least of all a cause as noble as that of “freedom.”

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This is the difference between black rioters, on the one hand, and, say, Islamic jihadists, on the other. The latter have committed their hearts, minds, and souls to realizing their theocentric vision of the world. Murderous jihadists are evil, certainly; but they are sincere: The killing of every infidel is driven by a desire to honor their God.

In the case of those black thugs who burn senior citizen complexes to the ground and vandalize CVS stores, though, there are no such commendable motives. Even their “hatred” is counterfeit.

The sooner we realize this, the better we might be.

It’s time to reject the dominant PC paradigm.

 

 

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