Just another weekend in America: A black man walks up to a police cruiser and shoots two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies. Both, as I write, are alive but in very serious condition. If they survive, they will live with their wounds for what remains of their days.
It is small consolation that even in Compton the number of persons willing to commit cold-blooded murder in broad daylight is relatively small. It is rather more disturbing to contemplate the huge mass of people willing to gloat and feast on the blood. Here is a chap called "beno_the great" rejoicing on "social" media that "them niggers just got aired out", even as them niggers bleed out behind him with not a soul going to their assistance.
The felled deputies were eventually removed to the St Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, a private hospital founded by the Sisters of St Francis of Penance. The nearer public hospital, Martin Luther King Jr, was closed a decade-and-a-half back because of its general incompetence and mismanagement resulting in so many unnecessary deaths that the American College of Surgeons revoked their certification of the trauma unit. So now the bodies travel further. Once the marching morons discovered that the wounded were at St Francis, they went and blocked the entrances to the hospital's emergency department.
This, of course, made no difference to the victims, who were already in the operating room, but it did prevent anybody else requiring emergency services from getting into the hospital - for example, one of those "hands up, don't shoot" types we're assured are being mown down by racist cops every day of the week, even as the body count of this evil #BLM movement climbs daily. The County Sheriff beseeched the "mostly peaceful protesters" not to obstruct the entrances and exits:
People's lives are at stake when ambulances can't get through.
Earth to California law enforcement: That's not a bug but a feature. As one protester put it:
Y'all gonna die one by one. This ain't gonna stop.
As for the two deputies on the surgeon's table, they need to be transferred to the mortuary slab:
I want to deliver a message to the family of the pigs. I hope they fuckin' die.
When they spell it out, take them at their word.
~It is one of the oldest of conservative axioms that if you incentivize bad behavior you get more of it. The radical left, the woke corporations, the Big Tech thought police, the corrupt American media, the celebriklatura, almost all of America's crappy corporate sports franchises, one of two political parties and the squishier half of the other, President-in-waiting Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden's multitudes of here-let-me-pay-your-bail staffers have all been incentivizing this for over three months. The distinguished actor James Woods advises:
Vote like your life depends on it.
It does. If the Democrats win the White House, they will also win the Senate - and things will get very bad very fast. I don't necessarily mean that you'll be shot in your car, but the intolerance of dissent from "social justice" will accelerate: You'll still be able to glory in the murder of police officers on Twitter, but you'll be banned if you object to all the glorying. And it won't stop there: If you have public misgivings about this thuggish moronic dystopia, as is already happening to outliers (with whom it never rests), you'll be denied access to domain registrars, internet servers, credit-card companies, business insurance, and eventually even car insurance and health insurance. The lights will be going out very fast.
~Aside from their uses as the poor bloody infantry in the messier engagements, #BlackLivesMatter isn't really about blacks: As I said on Rush last week, it's about "white privilege" so privileged it's utterly bored with its pointless seven year bachelor's degrees. As recent arrests confirm, a leisurely trustfunded ennui has led unhappy whites - particularly young women and their even more violent transgender comrades, the beneficiaries of a childhood on the Upper East Side and country spreads in Connecticut - to embrace the pathologies that have done so much for Compton. It's the overclass engaging in an underclass minstrel show.
When I'm accused of being xenophobic or Islamophobic, thisaphobic or thataphobic, the charge is often formulated as "otherizing" people. But the rampaging trustiefundies and psychotrannies are in effect self-otherizing - otherizing their entire civilizational inheritance, and those who still value it. De-humanizing your fellow man is what leads to "beno_the great" gloating in the offing of pigs. #BlackLivesMatter is now expanding de-humanization to half their fellow citizens. This will not end well.
~My old Spectator comrade Theodore Dalrymple, one of the wisest and calmest men around, makes some sharp points on this "moral grandiosity":
The sight of young middle-class people taking the knee—an expression with which we are now lamentably familiar—and putting their hands up as if they are about to be shot, disgusts me. It is the same kind of bogus sensibility, if that is the word for it, that encourages people to wear carefully torn jeans, as if by doing so they were expressing solidarity with the poor. Instead of proper gratitude for being able to afford decent food and clothing, thanks to the efforts of all preceding generations, they prefer to pretend to feel guilt. If anything has been institutionalized, it is not racism but guilt, though guilt of a peculiar, ersatz, dishonest kind.
This insight is well made, too:
Whereas not long ago young people of the middle classes sought to express their sympathy for the lower and supposedly oppressed orders by imitating their tattoos and way of dress, imitation being the highest form of empathy available to egotists, they now express the same desire by making Wokeness the touchstone of their morality. They think they are rebelling when, of course, they are conforming. They do not realize that it is more difficult, and more courageous, to contradict a friend than to criticize a society.
That is true. And it is very difficult not to conform when Facebook, Netflix, Harvard, Warner Bros, Starbucks, the NFL, NPR, Nascar and your mayor and school board are all demanding you do so - or else. But a society built by #BlackLivesMatter would be one in which no lives matter. So it is necessary to summon up the courage to contradict a friend, many friends, and persuade them that, notwithstanding the slings and arrows, they need to cease acquiescing in this civilizational bonfire.
~As you know, I have become increasingly disgusted by the official observances of 9/11, and thus have declined to join them in recent years. On the other hand, over at the Independent Women's Forum (which gave me and the great Kellyanne Conway a couple of awards not so long ago), in her own 9/11 commemorations, Rachel DiCarlo Currie unearthed something I said twelve years ago:
I always think back to something Mark Steyn wrote in National Review at the end of 2008 — just before George W. Bush left the White House — lamenting one of the biggest missed opportunities of the post-9/11 period.
"A few weeks after the attacks, Bush had the highest approval ratings of any president in history," Steyn noted. "But he didn't do anything with them. And the greatest mistake of all was his disinclination to take on the broader culture that, in the wake of 9/11, looked briefly vulnerable — in that moment when Americans opted for 'Let's roll!' over the desiccated Oprahfied chants of 'healing' and 'closure' and the rest of the awful lifeless language of emotional narcissism.
"Bush had a rare opportunity to reverse the most poisonous tide in the Western world: He could have argued that Western self-loathing is a psychosis we can no longer afford. He could have told the teachers' unions there was more to the Second World War than the internment of Japanese Americans and it's time they started mentioning it to our children. You can't hold the 90 percent approval ratings forever, but, while he had them, George W. Bush could have used them for a 'teaching moment': If ever there's a time for not being mired in civilizational self-abasement, wartime is it. Yet the president figured he could fight a long existential struggle against America's enemies in a culture that teaches its children there are no enemies, just friends whose grievances we haven't yet accommodated."
Those words ring even truer today. In the Age of Wokeness, Western self-loathing has reached previously unthinkable levels, with the media, the academic establishment, large corporations, and professional sports leagues all endorsing a virulent form of anti-American identity politics. Reversing this trend will be the work of generations — and there's no guarantee of success.
That was not the benefit of decade-old hindsight. I first made the argument in the late spring of 2002: You can read it in my book The Face of the Tiger.
But there is a very short, straight line between the self-loathing post-9/11 and the madness of 2020. And we are living with the consequences of "conservative" inertia two decades ago.
~It was a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with a welcome return for our Clubland Q&A and a splendid hour of questions from Mark Steyn Club members live around the planet. Kathy Shaidle's Saturday movie date celebrated Kenosha's finest, and our Sunday song selection offered a glorious standard, "Body and Soul". If you were too busy blocking hospital entrances this weekend, I hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.