Free Markets, Free People

Race Baiters and Political Correctness

Two of the banes of our existence.  First the old “race baiter” story.  For some out there, symbolism is always more important than substance, or, for that matter, the truth.  Instead of focusing on what is important, they make their living in the trivial, the irrelevant and the unimportant.  The problem, of course, is they have a modicum of power and attempt to use it in the most absurd ways. 

Take Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.)(please!).  He’s upset and demanding a person who is doing critical aid work in Haiti and who had the courtesy to brief the Congressional Black Caucus about that relief effort be demoted.

Why?  Because he’s doing a bad job?  Of course not – because he didn’t have any black faces on his staff when they showed up for the briefing.

“I was alarmed and chagrined to learn that none of the approximately dozen staff he brought with him were African American,” Conyers wrote in the letter. “This is so serious an error in judgment that it warrants his immediate demotion to a subordinate position at AID.”

“Alarmed and chagrined”?  A “serious … error in judgment”? 

No word on how he felt the team was doing in providing aid to Haitians, of course.  This person’s “sin” was not having the proper diversity of staff.  And the punishment for that sin is demotion – Conyers being a compasionate bigot didn’t want to see this person lose their job.

Some day, one can hope, this sort of nonsense will all be a thing of the past.  But it again points out why attitudes such as this and demands for “numbers” over merit hurt African-Americans more than help them.

Then there’s the NBC Cafeteria Story :

So who at NBC thought it would be a good idea for the special today to be, among other things, fried chicken, “in honor of Black History Month”?

The accompanying picture shows the menu (fried chicken, collard greens, etc) topped by a title saying “NBC  – In Honor Of Black Historty Month”.

Apparently this just offended the hell out of some black musician who eats there. 

The irony?

Well, you can see it for yourself, below:

Yes friends, the insensitive lout who foisted this offensive menu on unassuming black folks was an African-American cook who had fought for the last two years to be able to present meals in honor of black history month. To quote her:

It’s not trying to offend anybody and it’s not trying to suggest that that’s all that African-Americans eat. It’s just a good meal.

All I have to say is thank goodness she didn’t put watermelon on the menu for desert – they’d have probably rioted in the street. Need more irony? If you were to go to any place that purported to serve “soul food” and fried chicken wasn’t on the menu, you could rightfully question their authenticity.

The whole point is it is time to move past quotas and taking offense at every preceived slight. Now there’s a controversy about saying “retard”. Certainly we should not purposely offend others. And yes certain words should not be used – the “n” word being primary among them.

But it seems like we spend an enormous amount of energy and time looking for reasons to be offended anymore. That speaks to the success of those who’ve made policial correctness such a pernicious force in our lives. Political correctness (and I extend that to the “diversity mix” Conyers is demanding) has literally destroyed tolerance, which is ironic, given it is the PC crowd that is normally demanding tolerance for other issues they favor.

The NBC story is a perfect example of what that intolerance it brings. The assumption is made that the reason fried chicken is on the menu is someone is totally (and purposely) insensitive and the reaction is to immediately choose to take offense. And that’s a key point.  It is a choice.  It couldn’t just be “a good meal” that the person thought others might enjoy. Nope – the fact that most eating there would enjoy it, and most likely do eat fried chicken by choice when elsewhere must be subordinated to the PC demand that they be intolerant of such a perceived slight and demand the insensitivity be addressed.

This sort of knee-jerk PC stupidity needs to stop. And yes, I’m intolerant of it. So sue me.



16 Responses to Race Baiters and Political Correctness

  • McQThe assumption is made that the reason fried chicken is on the menu is someone is totally (and purposely) insensitive and the reaction is to immediately choose to take offense. And that’s a key point.  It is a choice.

    We can thank libs and democrats (is there really a difference?) for this sort of foolishness.  But why?  Because they determined years ago that political correctness was a handy club to beat their opponents.  The problem is that a cynical political ploy has taken on a life of its own as various minorities, told constantly that they are being offended, begin to genuinely feel offended.  On the other side, people who are accused of being offensive when they genuinely have no intent to offend get tired of it and start to push back and even employ the tactic themselves.  The result is NOT a country where people are judged on the content of their character, but on the color of their skin, their gender, their religion, their origin, and ultimately their politics.

    It is an open question whether Conyers is genuinely bothered that there weren’t black people on the staff that briefed him or whether he’s pandering to his minority / liberal voters.

    Now, as for fried chicken, watermelon, etc… I’ve always been amused and puzzled by the idea that these are traditional black foods, as fried chicken has always been a staple of Sunday dinners and other special occasions* in my (white, Southern) family, and most people I know, no matter what their color, enjoy a nice, cold watermelon on a hot summer day.  It’s not a black thing: it’s a Southern thing, like BBQ, iced tea, RC’s, and Moon Pies. 


    (*) If I may offer an amusing story, I had some yankee friends from grad school to my house for dinner.  Watching them eat fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits and cream gravy was almost as funny as watching British customers at my old company drink iced tea (“What… IS this????”).

  • To the NBC thing-

    I am all for blowing this up to be a “racial” incident. The more incidents like this happen, the faster this idiocy dies. Make the atmosphere toxic enough, people may learn their lesson. There’s no other way to make this go away to trivialize and delegitimize it to the point where the charge carries zero meaning.

    PS- I think Conyers doesn’t know the difference between African blacks and Caribbean blacks. I guess they all look the same to him…

  • Same here doc.  Sundays were fried chicken, collards, fried okra, sweet tea, etc.  All this eaten by white folk.  I read another story where this same situation arose at a school during MLK Day.  The cook pointed out that it was MLK’s favorite meal (actually what MLK said).

  • Chris Rock said it best in a stand up routine, “Who the hell doesn’t like fried chicken?!?”
    I appreciate what you wrote about taking offense is a choice.

  • It does get confusing. We are told to respect, even cater to, minority cultures, then called racist when we do. 

    As for ‘soul food’, I will put my father’s corn bread, etc. up against anybody’s. I love hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas & rice for you Yankees), grits, collards, and all the rest of that good stuff. I woul like to say that whoever claimed that ‘soul food’ was a peculiarly African-American cuisine was smart enough not to claim barbecue, another multi-racial favorite. Some folks take their barbecue seriously.  

  • That lady’s bewilderment and pain was palpable.
    What used to be called “Soul Food” is now often call “Southern Food.”  And this Yankee loves it.  There’s a place in Anchorage right outside the gates of Elmendorf and Ft Rich called Catfish Haven and my wife and I would schedule our trips to the commissary to coincide with lunch time so we could have some catfish, collards, red beans and rice, and blcky-eyed peas.  If they had fried chicken I would have had that too.  It was served in those 60’s style plastic hamburger baskets, nothing fancy.  Lunch time would find it busy with an almost exclusively fatigue-clad diners.  I miss it and when we go back to Anchorage for a visit we make a point of stopping there.  I like the food and feel comfortable around GI’s.

  • Is Conyers wife still a crook?

  • Political Correctness and racial politics confer lots of power on those who use it for personal and political ends.  So it is in their interest for there to be ‘racism’ that they must ‘combat.’  As people in general become more mature, more sensitive, and/or more wary, incidents of bias and racism become less common.  Which is a good thing, but not for the people who relied on those incidents for their political power.
    And so we come to this, where a firestorm is created over a “racist” menu that was drafted by a black woman.

  • Let’s face the facts that Haitian Blacks are at the bottom of the totem-pole of American groups.  Even Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Jamaicans and Dominicans look down on them.
    But on a more serious level, does anybody who happens to have a building on top of them or an empty stomach, really give a hoot what color the person giving them aid really is ?  Shoot, they would take aid from extraterrestial aliens.  And if you wouldn’t, you deserve your fate.
    As for Conyers, he is part of the problem  … nuf said.

  • I had the misfortune to be watching CSPAN when Conyers and Patrick Kennedy were both speaking. Absolutely incredible. I didn’t think people that moronic could even get elected. Weep! All is lost!

  • <I>Certainly we should not purposely offend others</I>.
    I disagree. We should, like the diplomats of the famous quotation, never offend anyone <I>unintentionally</i> and without forethought (and possibly malice).
    There are times and places for offending some people, by God, who deserve it.