By:Hugh Cadfael | July 07, 2014
A tactic the left uses to inspire loathing for conservatives is repeating something a conservative or even nominal Republican says, and then slapping scare quotes around it. That supposedly shows that whatever the conservative said is self-evidently false, and worse, “hateful.”
It might run something like this: “Tea Party Senator says ‘Earth revolves around Sun.’” Or, “GOP Congressman says ‘Gay sex is a sin.’”
The left routinely puts scare quotes around words they want you to think are self-evidently false even if those words are self-evidently true. They don't want those words to be true, which is why they use the scare quotes. Scare quotes are a signal: What you are about to read is unthinkable.
The SPLC has mastered this technique, and just the other day offered this one: "Talking Points Memo: Dinesh d’Souza says African Americans are better off because their ancestors were ‘hauled from Africa to America.’” The link leads to the leftist TPM website, which ran this headline over a story about John Fund’s review of D’Souza's new film, “America: Imagine a World Without Her.” I’d prefer to imagine an America without “Distort D'Newsa,” as D’Souza’s nickname goes, but that’s a beef for another day.
Here is TPM’s headline: “D'Souza: African-Americans Better Off Because Ancestors Were ‘Hauled From Africa To America.’” Then TPM offered this rendition of Fund’s review:
“Did America owe something to the slaves whose labor had been stolen?” D’Souza writes in the book, according to Fund. The answer is yes, but “that debt ... is best discharged through memory, because the slaves are dead and their descendants are better off as a consequence of their ancestors being hauled from Africa to America.”
And that was the end of that subject, whereupon TPM wanders off that reservation to another: D’Souza’s treatment of the Indians.
Note that TPM offered nothing to refute D’Souza’s claim; i.e., that the descendants of slaves are better off than they would be had their kinfolk not come to the New World in chains. That statement, as Walter Williams has explained in recalling one of his job interviews, is obviously true:
During a reception, one of the Marxist professors asked me what I thought about the relationship between capitalism and slavery. My response was that slavery has existed everywhere in the world, under every political and economic system, and was by no means unique to capitalism or the United States. Perturbed by my response, he asked me what my feelings were about the enslavement of my ancestors. I answered that slavery is a despicable violation of human rights but that the enslavement of my ancestors is history, and one of the immutable facts of history is that nothing can be done to change it.
The matter could have been left there, but I volunteered that today’s American blacks have benefited enormously from the horrible suffering of our ancestors. Why? I said the standard of living and personal liberty of black Americans are better than what blacks living anywhere in Africa have. I then asked the professor what it was that explained how tens of millions of blacks came to be born in the United States instead of Africa. He wouldn’t answer, but an answer other than slavery would have been sheer idiocy. I attempted to assuage the professor’s and his colleagues’ shock by explaining to them that to morally condemn a practice such as slavery does not require one to also deny its effects.
My yet-to-be-learned lesson — and perhaps that of Rep. Hubbard — is that there are certain topics or arguments that one should not bring up in the presence of children or those with little understanding.
A late friend of mine recalled how the incorrigible and hilarious Cassius Clay, who dropped his “slave name” for Muhammed Ali, laconically explained it: “I sure am glad my grandpappy got on that boat.”
In other words, SPLC and TPM used D’Souza’s uttering an obvious truth to transmogrify him into “hater.” Another example of what happens when a conservative trespasses into forbidden rhetorical territory is the left’s treatment of Rep. Paul Ryan’s comments about “urban” social pathologies, which would have been unremarkable 25 years ago. Ryan mentioned Charles Murray in his remarks, which invited this rejoinder from the leftist editrix at Salon, Joan Walsh: “If the racial subtext of your remarks ‘never even occurred to me,’ as you cite a writer who has been repeatedly charged with racism, who is categorized as a ‘white nationalist’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center (I’m not sure I’d go that far), well, that in itself is a problem.” Well, no it’s not a problem, if what the “white nationalist” says is true, but in any event, note the sneaky approbation of SPLC’s defamation of Murray. Walsh isn’t sure she’d go that far. Which means she just might and probably does. Note another leftist tactic: Walsh cited SPLC’s charge of racism against Murray as proof that Murray is guilty. The indictment establishes guilt.
Inasmuch as we aren’t permitted to say that the descendants of slaves are better off than their African brethren, perhaps it’s time to say something else, given another unutterable truth: what statistics reveal about inter-racial crime. Whites would be better off if African slaves had never come to the New World, because the slaves’ descendants wouldn’t be here to rob, rape and murder.
SPLC’s next scare-quote headline: “Chronicles: ‘Today’s whites would be better off if black slaves hadn’t come to New World.’”