Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Some things never change

An oldie but goodie from Thomas Sowell, revealing a few eternal liberal-media verities:

When former Cabinet member Patricia Roberts Harris proclaimed that I did not know what poverty was, no one questioned what basis she had for that statement, or what relevance it had to the facts about public policy. It so happened that I grew up in such poverty that I was eight years old before I lived in a home with hot running water. Patricia Roberts Harris, though black, grew up in a middle-class home and in college belonged to a sorority too snobbish to admit dark-skinned women. When I reported these facts, there was a storm of outrage in the press — and claims that I was attacking Mrs. Harris for being lightskinned! The lady herself played this theme to the hilt, saying that it was a “use of South African apartheid concepts of racial gradations, combined with an exotic infusion of Marxist class warfare notions.” By and large, the press bought her version.

The behind-the-scenes story of this controversy was more of the same double standard. Editor Meg Greenfield of the Washington Post tried repeatedly to get me to water down or eliminate various criticisms — including that of Patricia Harris — in a pair of articles I wrote for that paper. I challenged her to find a single misstatement of fact in my articles, but she complained instead of the harshness of what was said. After her many phone calls, weeks of delay, and heated words between us, Meg Greenfield finally agreed to print what I had said — but with a weary air of being much put upon.

No such standards applied to the many articles which the Post then printed denouncing my position. For one thing, they appeared much too quickly for Meg Greenfield to have engaged in weeks of agonized discussions and hand-wringing. Neither harshness, nor irrelevance, nor inaccuracy stopped them from being published. If someone wanted to refer to my “blackface sociology” or to my nonexistent castigation of Vernon Jordan, that was fine. If they had no specific facts but only vague innuendoes about “selling out,” that was fine. If later Carl Rowan wanted to say that I did more harm to blacks than Quisling did to his fellow-Norwegians under Nazi rule, the Post was ready to print it.

Apparently, it all depends on whose ox is being gored.

Indeed it does–now and forever. Plenty more examples in the article. Which, y’know, there would be.

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2 thoughts on “Some things never change

  1. Of all the hypocrisies of the left, their treatment of Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, and Walter Williams must be among the most despicable. It lays bare the truly toxic and pathological nature of today’s left.

    These men have achieved what they claim they have always wanted for blacks to achieve. Yet, because of disagreement with their political faith, um, sorry, ideology, they smear them with everything they can make up.

    It’s nauseating to watch them scramble for any crumb of an excuse to tear these honorable men down – just because of the combination of their color and their politics. Today’s left is racist to the core, judging people by the color of their skin instead of the content of their character.

    They constantly insist that these men are wrong, which implies that blacks are unable to fend for themselves. They believe that blacks would flounder without their wise white liberal massahs. They fear that if the black community ever actually listened to Sowell, or West, or Elder, then the left would be thrust out of power for a generation.

    All they care about is politics and power – notwithstanding their smugly self-satisfied delusion that they are the most moral people on the planet.

  2. I have no idea with whom it originated, but one of the olderst mantras of political activism is that “In a good cause, there are no failures.”

    The Left, particularly the race-hustling component thereof, has altered that slightly: “In a good cause, there are no sins.”

    Once you’ve decided that your intentions pre-absolve you of any crime you might commit against “the enemy,” it becomes quite easy — even natural — to resort to the sort of calumny the Left has heaped upon its opponents for decades. You can do any amount of harm, to any number of people, and tell yourself that it’s “for the Cause”…while never bothering to ask yourself “Exactly who is the Cause supposed to serve?”

    With some Leftists, it’s a species of moral blindness. With others, it’s deliberate villainy. And it must be unmasked and denounced whenever it rears its head.

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