Race

rep-danny-davis

by Reid Fitzsimons

On Nov. 18, 2016 a black youth, 15 year-old Javon Wilson, was shot to death in his home in Chicago. The suspects/culprits were inside the house when apparently an argument over a pair of shoes ensued, and 17 year-old Dijae T. Banks (a female) handed a pistol to 16 year-old Tariq M. Harris (a male) who then shot Wilson. News accounts summed up his short life with a depressing “he liked basketball and rap music.”

His death was not particularly out of the ordinary, sadly. In the progressive world we’ve created, life, per se, is not of inherent or specific value, lest we sound like Pro-Life nut jobs talking about the “sanctity of life.” This especially holds true with black people, where there exists no innate value, but rather the meaning and matter of life is largely determined by the manner of death, with a few exceptions such as black sports and music figures, celebrities in general, and inaptly described civil rights leaders. Had young Javon Wilson been shot by the police his life would had found great significance and been marked by ecstatic outrage, marches, riots, and perhaps other murders.   Typically, however, a black person murdered by another black person rates at best a candle light vigil, a makeshift monument of teddy bears, and a few pro-forma words from a local politician of how we have to stop the violence.

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blood-clean-up-cropped

by Reid Fitzsimons

From 1982 to 1986 I worked as a Physician Assistant (PA) at a Federal Prison (FCI Ray Brook in New York). This, of course, was in the early days of AIDS and there was heightened concern of exposure to blood. One day, along with one or two other PAs, I was in the little pharmacy and one of us knocked over a bottle of Betadyne, a common surgical antiseptic with a rusty brown color. The pharmacist, who was not with us at the time of the spill, returned and was quite vocal that we had been “throwing blood around the pharmacy.” We assured him everything was okay, it wasn’t blood but Betadyne. His response to this was emblematic of certain human reactions in the face of the unexpected: “It might as well be blood!” he declared. To be fair, the pharmacist was a decent guy who had a little problem with his temper, but in many ways his denial of facts in favor of his angst of the moment has proven to be prescient of a behavior that is now largely ruling our society.

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melissaclick

by Reid Fitzsimons

There is an undeniable temptation, when considering Melissa Click, to compose a juvenile limerick in regards to her surname. Having admitted this and successfully resisted it we can move on.

Melissa Click, in her mid-40s, first entered our consciousness in November 2015 during commotions for social justice at the University of Missouri, Columbia. These were largely the progeny of Michael Brown and all that he entailed, and spearheaded by student government President and U of M 2015 Homecoming King Peyton Head, who is worthy of a brief detour. President Head is a child of actual privilege in that (his bio suggests) his father has been present throughout his life, and the pseudo-privilege that so distresses the social justice activists in that his father obtained the level of school principal in the Chicago school system, indicating a certain financial comfort. His privilege is fully mitigated, however, by his being a young black man and apparent homosexual.

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http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4542228%2Fpresident-obama-eulogy-clementa-pinckney-funeral-service  President Obama at his best, drawing on 2000 years of Christian tradition, also recently demonstrated by Rwandan Christians after their 1994 genocide and by Lancaster County Amish folks after their 2006 Nickel Mines school massacre (an example of forgiveness also explicitly followed by the survivors at Emmanuel AME church). The President here has kept a tight rein on his inclination to exploit crises for political advantage (limiting it to between about 25:00 and 30:00 in this 38 minute speech). That's progress, but he is still missing that part of the Christian tradition, which some Rwandan survivors have also missed, but which the Amish understand, and which Jesus himself clearly understood and articulated: that there is a possibility for Christians to do forgiveness and reconciliation, and experience Amazing Grace, without at the same time yielding to the temptation to lay their hands on political power which amounts to violence and coercion in another form.

blck lives mtter girls

by Reid Fitzsimons

Several months go, when the BLM sentiment was all the rage, progressives climbed over themselves to express their heartfelt commitment to the cause, lest they be discovered as the first one to have stopped applauding. As the hapless president of Smith College ($62,000 per year to attend), Kathleen McCartney, attempted to hop on the bandwagon of compassion and outrage, the poor thing committed quite a faux paux. In her rush to be hip and stand in solidarity with the huddled masses she ejaculated an e-mail declaring, “All Lives Matter.” Much like a malodorous emission of flatulence at a Boston wine tasting, there was brief pause as the proper reaction was considered. This was followed in short order by expressions of hurt and offense so dear to our modern educated youths: “It felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives” one Smith student was quoted as saying; “It minimizes the anti-blackness of this the current situation” opined another. Needless to say Ms. McCartney apologized profusely, sycophantically acknowledging that, “As members of the Smith community we are struggling, and we are hurting.” She promised the soothing tonics of a new Chief Diversity Officer and renewals of social justice commitments. Perhaps the most embarrassing aspect of her statement, “All Lives Matter,” was that it came precariously close to sounding like the words of some Pro-Life nut job. ...continue reading